Almost half of LGBT+ adults in Manchester bullied at school
Almost half of LGBT+ adults in Manchester were bullied at school, three times more than their non-LGBT+ peers and higher than the national average.
Nearly half (47%) of LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) adults in Manchester were bullied at school. This is compared to 15% of their non-LGBT+ peers, according to new independent research by Just Like Us.
This figure was the third highest of all 40 cities surveyed across the UK, after only Southampton (53%) and Cambridge (48%). It is also significantly higher than the national average (36%).
The new research suggests that anti-LGBT+ bullying may be on the rise. Just Like Us’ previous Growing up LGBT+ report found 42% of LGBT+ school pupils nationally are bullied today (compared to 21% of non-LGBT+ pupils).
More than a quarter of LGBT+ Mancunians blocked school from their memory
LGBT+ Mancunians are twice as likely to say they have blocked their school experiences from their memory. The independent study highlights stark differences in school experiences between LGBT+ and non-LGBT+ people.
More than a quarter (28%) of Manchester’s LGBT+ adults agreed with the statement: “I do not have fond memories of school, I have blocked it out of my memory.”
This was double that of non-LGBT+ Mancunians surveyed (14%), higher than the national average for LGBT+ adults (22%). It was also third only to Norwich (31%) and Bristol (30%) out of the 40 cities surveyed.
In addition, more than half of LGBT+ adults in Manchester (58%) said they did not feel like they had a role model at school.
Just Like Us launches this year’s Ambassador Programme
The latest data comes as Just Like Us prepares to launch this year’s Ambassador Programme. The charity trains young LGBT+ volunteers to speak in schools.
The charity is encouraging LGBT+ people aged 18-25 and living in Manchester to volunteer because school pupils need positive LGBT+ representation.
LGBT+ Mancunians surveyed were also more than twice as likely to say they felt lonely at school. Three in ten LGBT+ adults (29%) in the city said they had very few/no friends at school, describing it as a “very lonely time”. This is compared to 12% of non-LGBT+ respondents in Manchester and higher than the national average for LGBT+ adults (25%).
Less than half (48%) of LGBT+ adults in Manchester surveyed said they had enjoyed school. This was compared to 72% of their non-LGBT+ Mancunians. It is also considerably fewer than the national average of 58% of LGBT+ adults.
LGBT+ students more likely to skip school
The research further revealed that LGBT+ respondents in Manchester were also nearly three times as likely to do everything they could to get out of going to school. More than a quarter (26%) said this was the case, compared with 9% of non-LGBT+ people surveyed in the city. This was notably higher than the national average for LGBT+ adults (19%).
Three times as many LGBT+ adults in Manchester (15%) said they had a “terrible relationship” with their teachers than their non-LGBT+ counterparts (5%). This compares with 12% of LGBT+ adults and 5% of non-LGBT+ adults nationally.
The new research comprises an online survey of 3,076 UK adults – 1,001 were LGBT+ and 2,075 were non-LGBT+ – aged 18 to 65+. The independent survey was carried out between July and August 2022.
‘LGBT+ representation is desperately needed in schools’
Dominic Arnall, Chief Executive of Just Like Us, says: “It’s devastating that so many LGBT+ people had such an awful experience at school. We’re particularly saddened to see that LGBT+ Mancunians were three times more likely to have faced bullying. The fact that our young people are still having this experience in 2022 is outrageous.
“Sadly things haven’t really changed as much as we might like to think. LGBT+ school pupils are still twice as likely to be bullied and struggle with mental health.
“LGBT+ representation is desperately needed in schools. That’s why we’re asking LGBT+ 18 to 25 year olds to come forward and volunteer with us.
“We’ll train you to become an ambassador and speak in schools. You will be helping to bring that much-needed visibility to struggling LGBT+ pupils. Please volunteer with Just Like Us so that the future can look brighter for LGBT+ young people.”
Volunteer with Just Like Us
LGBT+ people aged 18-25 and living in the UK can sign up now to Just Like Us’ Ambassador Programme.