70% of LGBT young people don’t feel safe in school, report finds
Irish support organisation ‘BeLongTo’ is hosting StandUp! Week in an effort to tackle homophobia in schools across Ireland.
Director of BeLongTo Moninne Griffith has spoken up about the severity of homophobic and transphobic bullying that takes place in public schools in Ireland.
Griffith said: “We know that LGBT young people are twice as likely to self harm, three times as likely to consider suicide, and four times as likely to experience mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.
“This is because of the bullying that they experience as well as isolation and fear of rejection.”
The Irish Times recently wrote an article about homophobic bullying of young people in Ireland, which broke down the statistics on LGBT discrimination in schools.
According to the Gay Community News survey, which surveyed 565 young LGBT+ people, 75% of LGBTI young people say they have been verbally abused on the basis of their sexual orientation.
39% say there is a serious lack of inclusive sex education at school. 25% feel bullying and homophobia continue to be problems in Ireland and 70% say schools in Ireland are still not fully inclusive of them.
StandUp! Week aims to tackle homophobia and transphobia in Irish schools by “increasing awareness, friendship and support for LGBT students by other students.”
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Griffith went on to say: “70% of young people don’t feel safe in schools and that’s why Stand Up! Is so important.
“It takes place in secondary schools across Ireland this week and the aim is to make schools safe and supported for all students irrespective of their gender identity or sexual orientation.”
Same sex marriage has been legal in the Republic of Ireland since 2015, when a referendum on 22 May 2015 took place, amending the Constitution of Ireland to provide that marriage is recognised irrespective of the gender of the partners.
However, homophobia in Ireland has certainly not ended despite this progressive move. Recently, mixed martial arts fighter and widely admired figure Conor McGregor apologised for using the word “f*aggot”, but also accused those who said they were offended by his language as trying to “throw [him] under the bus” and dismissed the slur as “trash talk”.