We are continuing our celebration of LGBT+ History Month across all our social media platforms. Just as being LGBT+ is only part of our identity, there are many different characteristics that make up the whole of who we are – something referred to as intersectionality. This week in particular sees several other observances taking place alongside LGBT+ History Month, and in our blog we’re going to look at how they intersect with the LGBT+ aspect of ourselves and our history.

7th-13th February 2022 is also Children’s Mental Health Week

Children’s Mental Health week was created shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health by the charity Place2Be. This year’s theme is Growing Together. Growing Together is about growing emotionally and finding ways to help each other grow. Challenges and setbacks can help us to grow and adapt and trying new things can help us to move beyond our comfort zone into a new realm of possibility and potential. However, emotional growth is often a gradual process that happens over time, and sometimes we might feel a bit ‘stuck’.

While a growing number of LGBT young people enjoy a positive learning environment at school, for many this isn’t the case. LGBT young people continue to experience unacceptably high rates of poor mental health, with trans young people being at particular risk. Stonewall’s 2017 school report showed that things are improving for LGBT+ students in schools in the UK, but the statistics still paint an alarming picture:

  • Nearly half of LGBT pupils (45 per cent) – including 64 per cent of trans pupils – are bullied for being LGBT in Britain’s schools.This is down from 55 per cent of lesbian, gay and bi pupils who experienced bullying because of their sexual orientation in 2012 and 65 per cent in 2007 
  • Half of LGBT pupils hear homophobic slurs ‘frequently’ or ‘often’ at school, down from seven in 10 in 2012
  • Seven in 10 LGBT pupils report that their school says that homophobic and biphobic bullying is wrong, up from half in 2012 and a quarter in 2007. However, just two in five LGBT pupils report that their schools say that transphobic bullying is wrong
  • Just one in five LGBT pupils have been taught about safe sex in relation to same-sex relationships
  • More than four in five trans young people have self-harmed, as have three in five lesbian, gay and bi young people who aren’t trans
  • More than two in five trans young people have attempted to take their own life, and one in five lesbian, gay and bi students who aren’t trans have done the same

We’re delighted to be working with local schools and their LGBT+ student groups to amplify the voices of LGBT+ young people in our town, as well as creating safe spaces and platforms for them to express their lived experiences, needs and hopes for the future.