House of Lords debates suicide rates among LGBT young people
During a recent House of Lords debate on suicide amongst young people, LGBT youth were noted as being one of the groups most bullied.
PinkNews was also commended for providing coverage of and highlighting cases of bullying and suicide among young people.
Peers debated the issue of suicide, and looked at groups more likely to take their own lives, in particular LGBT teens.
During the debate, Lord Black of Brentwood noted the case of 14-year-old Essex boy Ayden Keenan-Olson who was bullied for being gay and fatally overdosed on prescription drugs .
Lord Black said: “His case was highlighted by the publication PinkNews, which does an excellent job of campaigning in such crucial policy areas. As my noble friend said, Ayden, who had come out to his parents just a few months before his death, left two suicide notes outlining the homophobic and racist bullying he had experienced. He had been targeted with consistent violence, abuse and malicious allegations because of his sexuality and his Japanese origins.”
He went on to express regret at the fact that, despite having made strides towards equality, including the introduction of equal marriage later this month, young gay people still experience a high level of homophobic bullying in schools.
Baroness Brinton also discussed the case of Keenan-Olson, and pointed to a 2012 Government report titled ‘Preventing Suicide in England’, which specifically noted LGBT alongside ethnic minority groups and children in a list of nine categories needing specific care.
She went on to strongly condemn all bullying, noting that 69% of all school children say they have been bullied.