Just Like Us study shows disproportionate LGBT+ school struggles

This December our #YoungerMe campaign is raising awareness of the need for inclusive education.

A new survey by Just Like Us has found that LGBT+ people struggled with bullies and family rejection while at school, whereas straight peers wanted advice on dating and money.

Our research found that LGBT+ people growing up disproportionately needed advice on dealing with judgement, being picked on, bullies, loneliness and family rejection.

Our survey found that British people who identify as straight and cisgender say the top five pieces of advice they would give to their younger selves would be advice on money management (37%), getting career off to a good start (35%), applying to the right university (26%), meeting a partner (23%), and getting through GCSEs (20%).

However, LGBT+ respondents gave very different answers revealing that, while straight peers are focusing on careers, LGBT+ people are struggling to survive the school day.

British people who identify as LGBT+ say the top five pieces of advice they would give to their younger selves would be advice on: being judged (38%), being picked on (33%), tackling loneliness (28%), family rejection (26%), and coping with bullies (24%).

The study, conducted by Research Without Barriers for Just Like Us, surveyed 3,143 UK adults and found stark differences between the experiences of LGBT+ and straight/cisgender people growing up.

This study sadly proves that LGBT+ people are often struggling to survive the school day. While their straight and cisgender counterparts wish they’d had advice on careers and earning, the survey results paint a very different picture for LGBT+ people.

The study found that British LGBT+ adults were clearly having a very tough time at school and we know at Just Like Us that three in four LGBT+ young people still face bullying today.

There have been many positive changes over recent years, such as same-sex marriage, but little of this legislation has changed the realities of young people growing up LGBT+ today.

At Just Like Us we want every young person to know that being LGBT+ is something to be celebrated, and we believe inclusive education is that way to make long-term change.

We have responded to the coronavirus pandemic by taking all of our programmes online, including making our school talks and student-led Pride Groups virtual where needed.

Please join us in taking part in our #YoungerMe campaign on Twitter and Instagram this December, highlighting the need for inclusive education.

As the charity for LGBT+ young people, Just Like Us’ mission is to empower LGBT+ young people to make education more inclusive.

Our inclusive education programmes include school talks, student-led Pride Groups in schools and colleges, providing resources for educators, and an Ambassador Programme for young people – all happening online during coronavirus.

If you’re an educator or work in a school or college, we’d love to hear from you.

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