YOUNG VOICES

Almost Half Of Transgender Teenagers Have Tried To Kill Themselves, Stonewall Report Reveals

And one in 10 have received death threats at school.

27/06/2017 11:51

Almost half of transgender teenagers have attempted to kill themselves and more than 80% have self-harmed, a new study into the lives of LGBT young people has revealed.

While the research, commissioned by gay rights charity Stonewall, found that homophobic bullying has decreased over the past five years, 45% of LGBT youth still face this kind of harassment at school. 

“The bullying went on for over five consecutive years,” one 17-year-old told researchers.  “I ended up developing severe mental health issues and being sectioned twice.” 

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More than 8 in 10 trans teens have self-harmed 

“I started getting death threats online after I came out,” 18-year-old Amy added.

“I told my head of year, but they just told me to come off the Internet. It carried on for years.” 

Almost one in every ten (9%) trans pupils are subjected to death threats at school and two in five LGBT young people are bullied online, the survey of 3,700 11 to 19 year olds found. 

Researchers also discovered that nearly a quarter (22%) of gay, lesbian and bisexual students have attempted suicide and that three in five have hurt themselves. 

Stonewall chief executive Ruth Hunt said the report must act as a “wake up call” for schools, the government and politicians. 

“Our school years are one of the most formative periods of our lives, and we owe it to young LGBT people to ensure they don’t face discrimination or bullying because of who they are, but are supported to flourish and achieve,” she said.  

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But LGBT bullying has decreased in schools over the last five years 

A lack of sex and relationships education for LGBT school kids must also be “urgently addressed”, she continued. 

Hunt added: “This will not just provide LGBT students with the essential resources and information needed to make safe, informed decisions as they grow up, but will also help create an inclusive and respectful learning environment.” 

But the report did reveal promising signs of progress. Schools and colleges are now much more likely to condemn homophobic bullying than decade ago - 70% of LGBT young people reported that their school says this kind of harassment is wrong, compared to just a quarter in 2007. 

LGBT young people are also less likely to hear homophobic slurs in the classroom.

More than half of those surveyed said they hear this abuse “frequently” at school, down from 68% in 2012. 

Useful websites and helplines:

Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.

Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@getconnected.org.uk 

HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41.

Maytree is a sanctuary for the suicidal in north London in a non-medical setting. For help or to enquire about a stay, call 020 7263 7070. 

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