Nearly half of transgender schoolchildren have attempted suicide, figures show

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

More than four in every five transgender schoolchildren have self-harmed, according to new statistics released today.

And nearly half of trans kids have attempted suicide.

School Report 2017, Stonewall’s study of more than 3,700 LGBT pupils across the UK, also found that around two-thirds of trans kids are bullied.

One in ten have received death threats at school.

schoolkids stonewall

There is positive news to be drawn from the report, with more than two-thirds of LGBT pupils saying their schools tell students that homophobic and biphobic bullying is wrong, up from half in 2012 and a quarter in 2007.

And for the first time since Stonewall started releasing this research, less than half of LGBT students at secondary schools or colleges have been bullied for being LGBT.

In another first, more than half of the students reported having been taught about LGBT issues in school, up from 30 percent in 2007.

After decreasing just three percentage points between 2007 and 2012, homophobic language has also rapidly declined, by a quarter.

However, more than half of LGBT pupils still report hearing homophobic remarks such as ‘faggot’ or ‘lezza’ frequently or often in school.

Megan, an 18-year-old student at a single-sex secondary school in the south-east, said: “I frequently hear people using the word ‘gay’ as an insult, but I rarely see people being called out on saying it.

“I don’t think people realise what they’re saying a lot of the time and that it’s really homophobic.

“I think it’s because saying something is ‘so gay’ is seen as normal for a lot of people.”

And in terms of teachers who children can talk to about LGBT issues, the numbers show there is a huge amount of progress still to be made.

schoolkids stonewall

More than half of LGBT students say there isn’t an adult at school they can talk to about being LGBT.

Nearly half of the kids report that their staff don’t know what the term ‘trans’ means, which has led to one in three not being able to use their preferred name.

More than half of LGBT children are not allowed to use the toilets they feel comfortable in, an issue which has received much attention in the US, but which has happened behind closed doors in the UK.

schoolkids stonewall

Max, 17, goes to a sixth form college in the south-east. He said that “for the first few months after I came out, entire classes would chant ‘chick with a dick’ at me”.

He added that “in PE, people would pull down my shorts and pants. Groups petitioned to ban me from using the toilets and changing rooms, and joining PE lessons.”

A 13-year-old student called Elliott told Stonewall that “after coming out to the people around me, I was taunted a lot with people using my preferred name like it was a curse word”.

He said that since that “did not make me feel accepted, I soon went back to using my given name.”