Comment: Keegan Hirst’s coming out has a huge impact on LGBT youths
Tony Butchart-Kelly of the Albert Kennedy Trust writes on why Rugby League player Keegan Hirst’s coming out has a major impact for LGBT young people.
It is with great pride that we heard that Keegan Hirst has made the brave decision to come out and has, so far, received a very positive reaction from fans and the public as a whole.
At The Albert Kennedy Trust, The LGBT youth homelessness charity, we see young people every day who have been forced into homelessness due to rejection and abuse by their families as a result of coming out to their loved ones.
This often leaves the young people who come to us with issues around their identity and self-worth, struggling to come to terms with who they are and how they are accepted in the world.
A recent study conducted by The Albert Kennedy Trust found that up to 24% of all young homeless people identify as LGBT, and 77% of those felt that their sexual orientation or gender identity was a major factor in their family’s rejection.
We believe when more public figures come out, especially those in traditionally male dominated sports disciplines, they provide positive role models to LGBT youth, as well as help change attitudes and breed further acceptance in wider society.
It also encourages more LGBT young people who have made a conscious decision to not participate in sport because of fears of harassment to give it a go and to believe that sexual orientation and gender identity should not be a barrier to achieving your dreams.
As with all comment, this does not necessarily reflect the views of PinkNews.