LGBTQ+ young people’s charity Just Like Us has launched an incredible new campaign raising awareness of the issues faced by LGBTQ+ teens in winter.
Stars and influencers such as Divina De Campo, Char Bailey, Cairo Leon, Dom&Ink, Benjy Kusi, Maxine Heron and Ian Watkins have backed the campaign, calling for donations to make sure LGBTQ+ youth have safer school environments to return to next year.
Matthew, a 14-year-old student from Coventry, told the charity: “I’ve had panic attacks. If you don’t have a home life where people are accepting of being LGBT+, you need it to be accepted at school so you know it’s OK.” “The bullying at home affects me a lot,” said a year 10 pupil from the North West, while another year 9 pupil is afraid to come out as school or at home: “I haven’t told anyone because I’m scared to.” According to Just Like Us, LGBTQ+ teens are twice as likely to face bullying as their straight peers.
42% have been bullied in the past year, while 91% have heard harmful and negative language about being their sexuality and/or gender identity. “I shunned away my sexuality and hid it from most I knew, but by having a Pride Group at school, I became much more open about it and less alone,” said Grace, a teenager from Essex. “I constantly hear negative things about being LGBT+, slurs and saying it’s stupid.