Quarter of LGBT young people have no adults to confide in, according to new research

“Listen to me – this isn’t just a phase”, is just one of the pieces of advice for adults from young LGBT people in the North West, identified in a new report.

The research, led by LGBT Youth North West and supported by BBC Children in Need, found that the majority of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in the North West felt adults were failing to support them with regard to issues around identity and mental health.

The teenagers said that their experiences as LGBT people were made more difficult by adults who were judgmental, critical, and negative. Making jokes, being dismissive and ignoring the issue were also highlighted as being very unhelpful behaviours.

The report How you can help us – how adults can help lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans youth’ also identified 19 practical actions which adults could take to better support young LGBT people. These range from treating young people as individuals and asking what they can to do help, to staying calm, and being honest about their own lack of knowledge if necessary.

128 LGBT people aged 15 – 19 in the North West region were surveyed for the study. The teenagers were asked to discuss their relationships with significant adults in their lives, such as teachers, parents, other family members and care workers. For each relationship, the young people were asked to discuss how comfortable they would feel discussing issues around their gender, sexuality, identity, sexual health and mental health.

33 of the 128 young people surveyed – 25% – said that they would not feel comfortable talking to any adult about issues which were causing problems for them.

Many of the young people who have had negative experiences with parents with regard to LGBT issues said that it also stopped them going to their parents for support with other issues, such as education, finance or relationships. Young people who said they couldn’t go to their parents for support said that they were most likely to seek support from the internet.

Teachers were identified as one of the most influential groups of adults for LGBT young people, but the majority of the young people surveyed said they didn’t think teachers were prepared enough to deal with LGBT students on a one-to-one basis. Teachers were also criticised for not challenging homophobia in the classroom enough, and for not ensuring that LGBT issues were visible on the curriculum.

“Coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans is really tough for a lot of young people,” says LGBT Youth North West Strategic Director, Amelia Lee. “Having adults around that young people can trust and go to for support can make a world of difference.”

“But from talking to young people we know that a lot of them don’t feel that they’re getting the support they need from the adults around them, and for some adults that’s because they just don’t know what to do. So for that reason LGBT Youth North West have worked with youth groups and young LGBT people in the region to put together a practical guide to help adults help the young LBGT people in their lives.

“Support shouldn’t end after an LGBT young person comes out. Emotional wellbeing is complex and intricately involves all sorts of internal and external factors. So as an adult who wants to help support a young person who is LGB or T, it’s important to realise that their needs may change depending on other factors, such as what’s happening in their family life or at school, or if there are any other factors which are contributing to stress or unhappiness.”

This research for ‘How you can help us – how adults can help lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans youth’ was funded by BBC Children in Need.

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International Womens Day Project

International Womens Day was on the 8th March 2014 and for this, the young people at LGYM were given the great opportunity to celebrate and be reminded of all the positive and influential women both past and present.

This opportunity was unique because we held a weekly spray – painting workshop where young people could come and choose their inspirational woman, print a picture and then go through the spray painting process from stencil to paint.

The activity promoted artistic development and creative expression with a comfortable and easy atmosphere working at their pace to create some amazing peices of art of inspirational women!

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Come to the Schools OUT UK National Conference

You are invited to The Schools OUT UK National Conference.

9.30am to 5pm, 10th May 2014 at the University of Manchester.

We want to hear from all educators past and present, (from primary and  secondary schools, libraries, colleges, youth work and Higher Education), to share practice and make all educational settings safer, more inclusive, and more celebratory of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) diversity for students and staff.

Guest speakers include Peter Tatchell, Elly Barnes and Lena Milosevic, and workshops will include: supporting LGBT students and staff, how to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the classroom, and LGBT history. The day will be facilitated by teachers, youth workers and young people. We hope to celebrate and learn from 40 years of working towards equality, safety and visibility in education for all LGBT people.

Have you got a story about LGBT activism in education? We would like to hear it and record it on the day for our “How We Got Here” project. There is also an opportunity on 11th May to tell your story of LGBT activism in education, contact us for details.

The conference closes in the evening with an exclusive concert by Tom Robinson.

The Conference is sponsored by ATL Teaching Union, and Manchester University’s Education Department.
For questions please email Amelia@lgbtynw.org.uk
Tickets can be purchased from:


Invitation to Schools Out Conference 10th May 2014

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Ellen Page – heralding a new era of possibility models?

As Ellen Page comes out, we ask, is this heralding in a new era for younger celebrities to come out and still have a mainstream career, or will the Ellen effect mirror the Ellen (De Generes) effect when her career stalled after coming out? Time will tell, but what is encouraging is young lesbians have another out possibility model in Hollywood, and that surely must show that a new wind is a-blowing!

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The 2014 Pink Box Competition is Here!

Click on the Pink Box to get involved!

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Hold Hands for Russia- With Love

The Same-Sex Hand-Holding Initiative (#SSHHI) was launched by Pride House International on 14 August 2013. The campaign is simple: Pride House International is calling on everyone present in Sochi – athletes, staff, media, officials, spectators, sponsors, vendors, and fans – to take every opportunity to hold hands with a person of the same sex.To make as many people as possible who’ll be present in Sochi aware of #SSHHI, Pride House International has launched a photo blog at holdhandsinsochi.tumblr.com. There, anyone can post a photo showing them holding hands with a person of the same sex (or not… we don’t discriminate) as a sign of solidarity with the athletes, officials, vendors, media, and spectators who will be holding hands throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi

For more information see http://www.pridehousemcr.com/

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Our You Tube Account – Oh Yeah!

Check out our new youtube account for information, advice and some fun animations too. Just visit https://www.youtube.com/user/LGBTYouthNorthWest

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This is How We Got Here, our new project

Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery, four of our youth groups are going to spend the year training as oral historians and researching LGBT activism in education, for a play, a book, schools resources and a new mural at the LGBT centre. We are looking for a coordinator to lead this project. If you are interested please download the Job Description and Project Plan and then email to strategic@lgbtynw.org.uk a 3 page summary of how you meet the job description by 5pm Tuesday 7th January

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Christmas Cheer or need a Chat?

So with Christmas nearly upon us, it’s always a mixed time for us lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans folk. It can be a time when we re-connect, come out, go back in the closet, have fun with our ‘logical’ or biological families, or feel quite alone. So if you need to talk this Christmas click on Childline or call 0800 1111 for someone to listen, not to judge and to be there for you. We helped train their staff this year so they should be good! Thinking of coming out over the turkey this year? Then before you do, read our top tips page and perhaps look at the advice to adults below, which you might want to print out and give to the person you have chosen to come out to. Most of all, know that we, the LGBT Youth North West community, love you for exactly who you are, and welcome you to come to our groups and activities in the new year (from 6th Jan).

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How you can help us…

Children in Need helped us fund some work looking at how LGBT young people can be supported by adults. Check out this summary of how adults can help young people, written by young people (below), and click here for more advice on coming out.

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