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One in five young LGBT people say they still face bullying and harassment

The survey of over 4,000 members of the young LGBT community was part of a national State strategy.

A mural in support of same-sex marriage on the Falls Road, Belfast.
A mural in support of same-sex marriage on the Falls Road, Belfast.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

A FIFTH OF young LGBT members have experienced bullying and harassment in recent years, a government survey has indicated.

The results were collected in an online survey of 4,046 people aged between 16 and 25; 3,710 of the respondents live in Ireland.

The survey is part of preparations for a national LGBT youth strategy commissioned by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone. The strategy is thought to be a world-first.

The initial findings of the consultation, hosted by Spunout.ie, include:

  • A lack of ‘full acceptance’ with discrimination through language, non-inclusive sex education and bathroom provision
  • Reports of bullying and harassment in many spaces – including work and school
  • An increased openness and tolerance leading to acceptance and social responsibility.

Ireland's gay marriage vote A woman cycles past a marriage equality mural in the Liberties area of Dublin. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

A number of recommendations were also made by respondants:

  • Further Law Reform, including hate crime legislation, gender recognition for under-18s and removal of obstacles to adoption and surrogacy
  • Improved sex education to include genders, relationships, sexualities as well as safe sex and consent
  • All healthcare staff to be provided with LGBT awareness training.

The results of the survey have been released to coincide with Pride, the LGBTQ festival.

Responding to the results, Minister Katherine Zappone said the findings were a “a wake-up call” for young people, campaigners and politicians.

“Even with these preliminary results it is clear the National Youth Strategy will require actions across government,” she said.

It will be challenging. However, it is work we must commit to if we are to secure equality, fairness and justice for all.

The Independent Chair of the Strategy, Una Mullally, said that although the research was at an initial stage, a number of themes were emerging.

“There is recognition of the social advances of recent years – however bullying, discrimination and isolation remain a reality for many young people.”

Read: Backpacks banned from Dublin Pride events for security reasons

Read: Why we need to reconsider how we view Gay Pride Festivals

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