Young lesbians face the most tension at home, research finds
Young lesbians are the most likely in the LGBT+ community to experience tension at home, according to new independent research by Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity.
Six in 10 (61%) of young lesbians are experiencing tension at home, such as arguments with family, on at least a weekly basis. This is compared to 54% of LGBT+ young people generally, and just 37% of non-LGBT+ young people.
Young lesbians face more tension at home on at least a weekly basis than bisexual young people (56%), transgender young people (55%) and young gay boys (37%).
The independent research commissioned by Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity, surveyed 2,934 secondary school pupils (including 1,140 LGBT+ young people) in Years 7-13 (ages 11 to 18) across 375 schools and colleges in December 2020 and January 2021.
The data forms part of a larger report into inclusive education and the experiences of LGBT+ young people that charity Just Like Us is due to publish in June 2021.
LGBT+ young people who are Black are also more likely to face tension at home – 58% of Black LGBT+ young people are facing tension at home at least weekly, compared to 54% of white LGBT+ young people.
In addition, 58% of disabled LGBT+ young people and 53% of LGBT+ young people who are eligible for free school meals are also facing tension at home on a weekly basis.
Young lesbians are also the most likely to be lonely
Young lesbians are more likely than all other young people under the LGBT+ umbrella to report feeling lonely and separated from the people they are closest to on a daily basis since the pandemic began.
Almost 9 in 10 (87%) young lesbians have felt lonely and separated from the people they’re closest to, including 6 in 10 (60%) who have felt this daily, since the pandemic began. This is compared to 46% of gay boys, 54% of young bisexual people and 52% of young transgender people who have felt lonely and separated on a daily basis.
In addition, 78% of young lesbians say their mental health has got worse through lockdown.
How schools can help LGBT+ young people
Dominic Arnall, Chief Executive of Just Like Us, has called for more primary schools, secondary schools and colleges to show their support for young lesbians by signing up to take part in School Diversity Week.
“It’s really concerning to see that young lesbians are disproportionately facing tension at home and highlights just how much LGBT+ young people need positive messaging from their schools that it’s OK to be who they are.
“We already know from Just Like Us’ independent research 87% of young lesbians are feeling lonely and 78% say their mental health has got worse through lockdown.
“To help combat this, we want to make it really easy for schools to support their pupils so we’ve launched a new online toolkit of teaching resources that all schools can access for free by signing up to take part in School Diversity Week.”