The Need for Diversity and Equality in Society
16 June 2015 by Marketing Team
We live in a society where “55% of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) young people suffer HBT (homophobic, biphobic & transphobic) bullying in school.” – Clearly a very worrying statistic. But is it an anomaly or is it a sign that there is still a widespread problem in today’s society? Josh Price from our Wills & Probate team set out to take a more in-depth look at the topic, the statistics and what is being done for the future….
A survey carried out by the “LGBT” support charity Metro of 7,000 16-24 year olds found the following:
- 42% of young LGBT people have sought medical help for anxiety or depression
- 52% of young LGBT people report self-harm either now or in the past
- 44% of young LGBT people have considered suicide
Compare this to a survey of young people of all sexualities and the figures are as follows:
4.4% or about 195,000 young people have an anxiety disorder.
1.4% or about 62,000 aged 11-16 year-olds are seriously depressed.
It is worrying that any young person suffers with any of the above, however the larger percentages seen by those who consider themselves LGB or T shows this is not a small issue.
It is for this reason that charities such as Diversity Role Models and others are working to make changes. Diversity Role Models take “role models” of all sexualities and genders who, through their own experiences and/or the experiences of people close to them feel passionately about this subject. Together with a trained facilitator they carry out workshops throughout the country which aim to inform young people about sexuality and genders of all natures so that they have the tools, to not only evaluate and develop their own views but also help to develop the views of their peers. This is done through the frank and honest stories of the “role models” lives, together with group discussions and anonymous Q&A sessions.
The focus of the workshops are to consider the effect which our words can have on those around us, and in particular the effect of homophobic language (both real and perceived) on those around us and in particular those who may be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or questioning.
It is hoped that by developing the views of the next generation by providing them with age appropriate information, they can challenge the views that they may have grown up with or, may have developed during their time in school through their class mates. They can then help those around them, both family and friends to also challenge their views and ultimately creating an environment in schools and society where young people are not afraid to be themselves and are not disadvantaged in their schooling as a result.
Most worrying of all is that suicide rates within LGBT youth is at an all time high, with 1 in 5 Lesbians having attempted suicide and 57% of Gay and Bisexual boys have considered it. When you realise that based on a survey by the Office of National Statistics found only 1.5% of the UK population consider themselves LGB or T which equates to about 960 thousand people out of the 64.1 million population in the UK that is a high proportion of young people who have either attempted to end their life or seriously thought about it as an option. No young person should feel they are pushed to ending their own life, and especially for such a little thing such as the gender this heart falls in love with.
The signs of equality are there, it is no longer the taboo subject it once was, it is because another part of the colourful canvas which makes up our modern society. However let’s not get complacent there is still much work to be done.
Josh Price is a paralegal in the Private Client team at Fisher Jones Greenwood.