Speaking to the mental and emotional challenges faced by young LGBT+ people more generally, Dominic Arnall from Just Like Us said: “This is the biggest risk to the mental health of LGBT+ young people since Section 28.”
Section 28 of the Local Government Act, enacted in May 1988, prohibited “the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities”
“The pandemic has been a difficult period for everyone, but our research clearly demonstrates the impact of coronavirus and lockdown has not fallen evenly,” the chief executive added.
Moreover, the pandemic has particularly impacted the mental health of LGBT+ young people eligible for free school meals, transgender young people, and LGBT+ young people with a disability – 65% of these groups report are worrying on a daily basis for their mental health.
One secondary school pupil, 14-year-old Matthew, is pansexual and from Coventry. He said: “It has been a really scary time for everyone. I definitely feel less motivated and it’s very quiet.
“I also have had some panic attacks and am worried about being forgotten. If you don’t have a home life where people are accepting of being LGBT+, you need it to be accepted at school so you know it’s OK.”
Just Like Us surveyed 2,934 secondary school pupils (including 1,140 LGBT+ young people) in Years 7-13 (ages 11 to 18) across 375 schools and colleges in December 2020 and January 2021.
The data forms part of a larger report into inclusive education and the experiences of LGBT+ young people that charity Just Like Us is due to publish in June 2021.
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