Many young people said that they had experienced negative reactions from parents in response to this issue, and teachers were seen as one of the most influential groups of adults for this group. Despite this, the majority of the respondents said that they didn’t think teachers were well-prepared to deal with LGBT students; teachers also faced criticism for failing to challenge homophobia and not ensuring LGBT issues were on the curriculum. Young people who did not find support from adults often looked for it on the internet.
The report also highlighted 19 practical actions that would support LGBT young people. These included: being supportive, listening to what [they] have to say, being prepared, challenging discrimination and realising you’re being trusted with something important.
Amelia Lee, LGBT Youth North West’s director said: ‘Coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans is really tough for a lot of young people; having adults around that young people can trust and go to for support can make a world of difference. Emotional wellbeing is complex and intricately involved in all sorts of internal and external factors. So as an adult who wants to help support a young person who is LGB or T, it’s important to realise that their needs may change depending on other factors, such as what’s happening in their family life or at school, or if there are any other factors which are contributing to stress or unhappiness.’