More than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual teenagers in the UK are bullied at school, a study published today (3July) reveals.
According to The School Report by gay rights organization Stonewall, 55% of British youngsters aged between 11 and 18 experience homophobic bullying at school.
While 95% say they anti-gay words such as ‘poof’ or ‘lezza used and 99% claim to hear the phrases ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so gay’, The Guardian reported.
Most shocking is that 56% of those surveyed in the survey of more than 1,600 gay pupils have tried to deliberately harm themselves, including cutting and burning themselves.
Despite the figures being down on the last report in 2007, which saw 65% of gay teens admitting to being victims of homophobic bullying, there has been little improvement in occurances of anti-gay language.
‘I think some teachers – particularly those who were trained a while ago – think, mistakenly, that it is unlawful to teach children about homosexuality. Others dismiss homophobic bullying as banter,’ said Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill.
‘When a child is bullied for having ginger hair or being black, at least parents or carers can provide support at home, but many young people who suffer homophobic bullying don't have that. Many feel so isolated they withdraw from education.’
Gay Star News will publish an in-depth report of the study later this week.