LGBT – Do we have equality Yet?

LGBT – Do We Have Equality Yet?

By Megan Heeks and Lexie Horrocks

Recently, schools have been trying to fight homophobia in the classroom, but is this enough as more LGBT students are being discriminated against every year?

We recently completed a survey in a classroom asking “do you think schools educate students enough about LGBT discrimination?” and the results were staggering.  100% of the students and teachers we asked, answered no and said that even though there are posters that explain that being gay isn’t a bad thing, throughout the school the students feel they aren’t being educated enough about the discrimination taking place or different sexualities. 80% of secondary school teachers have not received any specific training on how to tackle homophobic bullying at school even though 45% of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people have experienced bullying in school.

LGBT students at school

 “I felt like whatever I was doing was worthless. Even if I did well at school, it wouldn’t matter to people because all they would care about is me being gay.” This quote came from a 12 year old student called Zoe who was struggling with bullying at school in America! This means that discrimination towards LGBT students is a global problem and one that we should tackle together.

40% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people are never taught anything about LGBT issues at school. This could be why people are being bullied due to their sexuality, because the bully doesn’t understand what gay, bisexual or transgender means.

If education on LGBT was in the school curriculum, and the students had to learn about it, then the discrimination against students would drop.   Almost 2.8 billion people are living in countries where identifying as gay could lead to imprisonment, corporal punishment or even death. In contrast only 780 million people are living in countries where same sex marriage or civil unions are a legal right. This shows that most countries around the world don’t accept LGBT people. This is because people aren’t educated enough in school so the new generation will grow up with the mind-set that they are wrong and are different from everyone else.

“My biology teacher in my final year would bring in kids who were wearing shorter shorts or strange sweaters and say, “You’d better take that off, you’re going to look gay,” said Bianca, a sixteen year old bisexual girl from North Wales.

The likelihood of bullying in the UK due to sexuality varies throughout the country; the highest rate of bullying was reported in wales where 54% of LGBT pupils are victims of bullying whereas in Greater London the rate is less than 40% that are victims of bullying which is the lowest in the UK. This would not be as high if we had lessons on what LGBT really is.

Challenges that transgender people face

Not many people really know the meaning of transgender as it isn’t talked about a lot. This results in transgender people feeling that others don’t understand them which could then result in a higher depression rate for transgender people. While homophobic abuse has declined in recent years, modern research has shown that 64% of transgender people have been subject to bullying as many schools are found to be “not equipped” to support transgender pupils. A staggering three quarters of transgender young people say they have experienced name-calling and verbal abuse from other students. 28% of transgender people have experienced physical attacks and 32% of young transgender pupils have missed lessons due to fear of discrimination. Because of this, 27% of young transgender people have attempted to commit suicide.

LGBT: moving towards equality…

Reaction if your child told you he/she was gay or lesbian – survey.


Dec 1985

June 2000

March 2004

May 2013

Very upset





Somewhat upset





Not upset





Don’t know






This survey shows us that, over the years, people are starting to accept LGBT and understand what it is. For example, in December 1985, the reaction to very upset was 64%, compared to only 19% in May 2013.

40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT. 68% of those kids were kicked out of their families and homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and 54% reported are survivors of abuse from their families. There were 2,000 incidents of anti-LGBT hate violence in 2012. In the past few months, we’ve seen the murder of Islan Nettles (a transgender woman) and the shooting of Mark Carson ( a gay man). In May, there were at least 7 anti- LGBT attacks in the new York city alone.

92% of LGBT adults saw society becoming accepting towards them, and 45% of Americans believe that engaging in homosexual behaviour is a sin, whilst LGBT adults say it is accepting.  Just 19% say there is ‘a lot’ of social acceptance today and many say they have been victims of discrimination, such as being subject to slurs and jokes, or suffering rejection by a family member.  

Overall, the LGBT community is slowly but surely becoming equal but there are still steps that need to be done in order for everyone to completely understand and accept LGBT people.