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Homophobia and transphobia is rife in Britain’s schools, with half of LGBT young people facing abuse from peers because of their identity.
Research by the British LGBT Awards found that eight in 10 (81 per cent) LGBT people under the age of 25 have faced abuse in school. 48 per cent of those surveyed reported hearing negative comments directly related to their sexuality or gender identity.
Only four in 10 said they felt able to be out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans at school.
The findings come as the Government looks at reforming sex and relationship education in schools to be LGBT inclusive, following a vote in support of the reforms under Theresa May’s government.
In March last year, MPs voted by 538-21 in favour of the changes for schools in England. Wales has already made such lessons mandatory, while Scotland has its own version.
LGBT young people strongly back the move with nine in 10 calling for it to be part of the national curriculum.
One young person who took part in the research, who wished to remain anonymous, said they had been forced to rely on the internet for information about their sexuality.
“I had to do the research myself, YouTube helped as it had content that normalised wlw [women loving women] relationships,” they said. “I just think if this was cracked open with a little information in high school it would’ve made it 10 times easier for me to accept myself and come out of the closet.”
Many are reluctant to tell their families, too, with two thirds saying they did not feel comfortable to coming out to close family. Among LGBT people from ethnic minority backgrounds that figure rose to three in four.
Sarah Garrett, who founded the awards’ which commissioned the research, said: “As we know, the current generation of young people are vastly different to those before them. Their input into this important survey has revealed some startling results and shows that young LGBT+ people in Britain today face new and greater challenges than before.