According to a new study, LGBTQ+ people struggle with bullies, loneliness and family rejection in school, whereas straight peers are more concerned over dating and money.
The study was conducted by Research Without Barriers in collaboration with LGBTQ+ youth charity Just Like Us for their #YoungerMe campaign, which aims to raise awareness for more inclusive education in schools.
Surveying 3,143 adults in the UK, it highlighted the vast differences between the experiences of LGBTQ+ and straight/cisgender people growing up.
When asked what advice they would give to their younger selves, heteronormative respondents said money management (37%), starting their careers (35%), applying to the right university (26%), meeting a partner (23%) and passing their GCSE’s (20%).
LGBTQ+ respondents answered much differently, saying they would advise their younger selves on being judged (38%), being picked on (33%), tackling loneliness (28%), rejection from their families (26%) and coping with bullies (24%).
Dominic Arnall, Chief Executive of Just Like Us, said the study proves that young LGBTQ+ people are “often struggling to survive the school day”.
“While their straight and cisgender counterparts wish they’d had advice on careers and earning, the survey results paint a very different picture for LGBT+ people,” he said in a statement.
“The study found that British LGBT+ adults were clearly having a very tough time at school and we know at Just Like Us that three in four LGBT+ young people still face bullying today.”
Although Arnall acknowledges the positive changes for the LGBTQ+ community in recent years, such as marriage equality, he says “little of this legislation has changed the realities of young people growing up LGBT+ today.”
“At Just Like Us we want every young person to know that being LGBT+ is something to be celebrated, and we believe inclusive education is that way to make long-term change,” he continued.
“We have responded to the coronavirus pandemic by taking all of our programmes online, including making our school talks and student-led Pride Groups virtual where needed.”
Arnall than called for readers to assist Just Like Us in their #YoungerMe campaign on social media this month to further highlight the “need for inclusive education”.
For more information about Just Like Us and their #YoungerMe campaign, visit their website here.