According to a new independent study, transgender youth are the least likely to feel optimistic about the future.
The study surveyed 2,934 secondary school pupils across 375 schools and colleges in December 2020 and January 2021.
It was conducted by Just Like Us, the charity for LGBTQ+ youth, as part of a larger report into inclusive education and the experiences of young queer pupils.
The research revealed that 14% of transgender youth have “never” felt optimistic about the future in the past 12 months, compared to 10% of gay boys, 10% of bisexual people and 6% of lesbians.
Only 35% of transgender youth said they felt optimistic about the future on a weekly basis in the past year. The same question wielded the following results from other corners of the community: 54% for gay boys, 48% for lesbians and 43% for bisexual people.
Unsurprisingly, LGBTQ+ youth are less optimistic than non-LGBTQ+ people. In the past 12 months, 45% of LGBTQ+ youth said they felt optimistic about the future on a weekly basis, compared to 64% of non-LGBTQ+ people.
Dominic Arnall, Chief Executive of Just Like Us, called for schools to better support their LGBTQ+ students.
“Our independent research has found that trans young people need to know that they have a positive future ahead of them,” he said.
“All young people should be able to see themselves as belonging and that there is a positive future ahead for them – schools can play a fantastic role in this.
“We know that schools are under immense pressure currently, and that’s why at Just Like Us we will do everything we can to help teachers to empower and support their LGBT+ pupils who are struggling right now.
“We really encourage primary schools, secondary schools and colleges across the UK to sign up and take part in School Diversity Week.
“It’s free, you’ll receive an online toolkit of resources for all key stages across the curriculum, and it’s a wonderful way to send a positive message to your pupils who are struggling to see themselves in the world right now.”
Just Like Us runs School Diversity Week from 21-25 June. For more information about the LGBTQ+ charity, visit their website here.
Schools can now sign up to take part in School Diversity week – for free – here. You’ll also receive a toolkit of resources.