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Shocking number of LGBTI students suffer hate during PE

Shocking number of LGBTI students suffer hate during PE

A shocking number of LGBTI students suffer discrimination during PE at school, a new report has found.

Four out of five pupils have said they experience casual homophobia in physical education lessons.

A quarter also said they had been physically abused by classmates during school sporting activities, according to the new findings.

Researchers at Melbourne’s Victoria University asked almost 400 openly gay and gender-diverse young people into their experiences of homophobia and transphobia.

More than 80% said they heard phrases like ‘you’re so gay’, and nearly 60% had been the subject of homophobic remarks like ‘faggot’ or ‘dyke’.

It left the LGBT students reporting moderate levels of depression and moderate to severe levels of anxiety.

Research leader Dr Caroline Symons said direct and indirect homophobia caused distress to many young people who took part in sport.

T’his homophobia and transphobia tells them “you are not welcome here”, which can prevent them from enjoying the physical, mental and social benefits of participation for years to come,’ she said.

Beyondblue’s chief executive Georgie Harmon, whose mental health charity helped to fund the project with the Victorian government, said sport is often used to isolate LGBT kids.

‘Sport and teamwork can help bind people together,’ she said.

‘Homophobia in the schoolyard or on the sports field is unacceptable and can have a lasting impact.’