A new report aimed at raising awareness of the issues facing LGBT school pupils has made some startling claims.
The ‘Growing up in Yorkshire’ report surveyed almost 20,000 school children in the North Yorkshire area, 15% of whom identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or were questioning their sexuality or gender identity.
The report found that of those surveyed, 41% of LGBT year 10s had experienced bullying and 54% of girls who identified as LGBT had self harmed.
“This survey showed that North Yorkshire has a significant number of young people in the LGBT community,” wrote Val Arnold, chairman of the task group who authored the report.
…”and more who are questioning their sexuality but unfortunately the data also clearly shows that their sexuality makes them a vulnerable group.
“Most young LGBT people feel that their time at school is affected by hostility or fear, with consequences such as feeling left out, lower grades and having to move schools.”
Authors of the report also went to meet young LGBT people at two youth groups and were told that they had received death threats, indifference from school teachers when seeking help and described their experiences as “being left stranded”.
The report found that access to these youth groups did benefit the young people they talked to, but the locations of these groups had to be kept secret to avoid homophobic abuse and violence.
Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan recently launched a new campaign to combat homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools and has admitted that when it comes to LGBT bulling “I know that the job isn’t done yet.”