Reported by The National – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

WHAT age were you when you had your first real crush? Was it before or after the first time you had a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” for two weeks after your friend went across the playground to ask them if they’d go out with you?

When did you notice that fancying someone was no longer just thinking they were cool and wanting them to like you; you’d started imagining – really imagining – what it would feel like to kiss and touch the object of your affection?

Did you have those feelings when you announced that you were going to marry someone (probably your cousin) when you were old enough, or did that come later? And what about your first kiss – did you actually like it?

All of us will have memories of some or all of these milestones, but for LGBTQ people these moments can be more fraught. Experiences which are, in some ways, universal have for so long been presented through a purely heterosexual, gender normative lens that anyone who doesn’t fit this mould is likely to meet such youthful rites of passage with dread and anxiety.

While the treatment of (some) LGBTQ people has improved dramatically over time, even the most fortunate and cared-for children in 2020 Scotland will still have good cause to worry about speaking and living their truth in a society where difference is so often met with cruelty or social exclusion.

For example, a 2017 survey by LGBT Youth Scotland found that 71% of LGBT young people experienced bullying in school on the grounds of being LGBT.

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