Positive Futures: Just Like Us report finds support is key to LGBT+ young people’s success as adults
LGBT+ people who weren’t supported at school and home are half as likely to be happy in early adulthood and three times more likely to not be confident they’ll have a career they enjoy, a new landmark report by charity Just Like Us has found.
The Positive Futures report surveyed 3,695 people aged 18 to 25, including 1,736 LGBT+ young adults, from across the UK and identified a link between lack of LGBT+ inclusive support in childhood and poorer outcomes for mental health, wellbeing and career prospects in early adulthood.
Positive Futures report: key findings
LGBT+ young adults from unsupportive school and home backgrounds were:
- Four times as likely to feel ashamed of being LGBT+ (41% vs 9%)
- More than twice as likely to have experienced panic attacks (60% vs 28%) and nearly twice as likely to have experienced depression in the past year (82% vs 42%)
- More than three times as likely to ‘never or rarely’ feel optimistic about their future (42% vs 12%)
- Three times more likely to not be confident they’ll have a career they enjoy (48% vs 17%)
- Half as as likely to feel good about themselves (41% vs 89%)
- More than four times as likely to ‘rarely or never’ feel close to other people (49% vs 11%)
- Half as likely to be confident that they will find a life partner (34% vs 70%) and have children (25% vs 49%), even though they want to
- Nearly half as likely to say they are happy in adulthood (43% vs 85%)
- More than twice as likely to have had suicidal thoughts and feelings (85% vs 39%)
- More than twice as likely to have self-harmed (71% vs 33%)
The research was independently conducted by Cibyl and sponsored by Deloitte, an official national charity partner of Just Like Us since 2021.
LGBT+ young people deserve to feel safe and supported
Amy Ashenden, interim CEO of Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity, said: “LGBT+ young people deserve to feel safe and supported both at home and at school, and it’s heartbreaking to see the prolonged, devastating impact in early adulthood when this is not the case. I’d like to thank Deloitte for sponsoring Just Like Us to produce this landmark report, with research independently conducted by Cibyl.
“From their mental health, hopes for the future and career prospects to their relationships with themselves and others, our Positive Futures report clearly shows that supporting LGBT+ children is absolutely vital for their chances of happiness and success as adults.
“Young people desperately need to hear that the adults in their lives unequivocally believe that being LGBT+ does not make you lesser than.”
– Amy Ashenden, interim CEO
“We invite everyone who works with or cares for a LGBT+ young person to read the report and be vocal about their support. Young people desperately need to hear that the adults in their lives unequivocally believe that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans does not make you lesser than but is in fact something to be celebrated – otherwise we will see another generation facing the heart-wrenching outcomes detailed in the report.
“I’d like to particularly call upon teachers to join us in taking part in School Diversity Week this 26-30 June, and show young people that being LGBT+ is nothing to be ashamed of – a message that young people still desperately need to hear in their everyday lives.”