LGBT+ Londoners three times as likely to have been lonely at school
LGBT+ adults in London are disproportionately more likely to report having faced bullying and loneliness at school, new research by Just Like Us has found.
More than a third (36%) of LGBT+ Londoners surveyed said they were bullied at school. This is compared to only 15% of non-LGBT+ adults in the capital.
LGBT+ adults in London are also three times more likely to say they felt lonely at school. A quarter of LGBT+ adults (24%) in London said they had very few/no friends at school. However, only 8% of non-LGBT+ respondents in the city described school as a “very lonely time”.
One fifth of LGBT+ Londoners have blocked school from their memory
LGBT+ Londoners are also twice as likely as their non-LGBT+ peers to say they had such a terrible time at school that they have blocked it from their memory.
A quarter (22%) of LGBT+ Londoners said: “I do not have fond memories of school, I have blocked it out of my memory.” This was double that of non-LGBT+ Londoners surveyed (11%). The national average for LGBT+ adults was 22%.
Alarmingly, half of LGBT+ adults in London (50%) did not feel like they had a role model at school.
“It’s devastating that LGBT+ Londoners are three times more likely to have been lonely at school.”
Dominic Arnall, Chief Executive of Just Like Us
The latest data comes as Just Like Us prepares to launch this year’s Ambassador Programme. Volunteering involves being trained to speak in schools so that the next generation has a more inclusive experience of school.
The research also revealed that LGBT+ Londoners are almost three times as likely to avoid going to school. One fifth (19%) avoided school, compared with 7% of non-LGBT+ people in the city. This was the same as the national average for LGBT+ adults (19%).
‘Terrible relationship’ with teachers
In addition, 14% of LGBT+ adults in London said they had a “terrible relationship” with their teachers at school. This is slightly higher than the national average of 12% of LGBT+ adults. However, only 9% of non-LGBT+ people said the same.
LGBT+ Londoners (65%) are more likely to have enjoyed school than LGBT+ people nationally (58%). However, this was still significantly lower than that of their non-LGBT+ peers in the capital (78%).
The independent research surveyed 3,076 UK adults – 1,001 were LGBT+ and 2,075 were non-LGBT+ – aged 18 to 65+. It was carried out between July and August 2022.
The research suggests that anti-LGBT+ bullying may be on the rise as Just Like Us’ recent Growing up LGBT+ report found 42% of LGBT+ school pupils nationally are bullied today. This is double the number of non-LGBT+ pupils (21%).
Volunteer with Just Like Us
LGBT+ people aged 18-25 and living in the UK can join Just Like Us’ Ambassador Programme.
Dominic Arnall, Chief Executive of Just Like Us, says: “It’s devastating that LGBT+ Londoners are three times more likely to have been lonely at school. 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, struggle with mental health and are much more likely to feel unsafe in school.
“LGBT+ representation is desperately needed in schools. That’s why we’re asking LGBT+ 18 to 25 year olds to volunteer with us.
“We’ll train you to become an ambassador and speak in schools, and you will be helping to bring that much-needed visibility to struggling LGBT+ pupils. Please sign up to volunteer with Just Like Us so that the future can look brighter for LGBT+ young people.”