Irish Public School System Buckling Under Weight Of Anti-LGBTQ Bullying

A study from Trinity College Dublin on bullying and the effects it has on Irish LGBTQ youth, the largest of its kind to date, shows an alarmingly high number of young people are subject to taunts, both physical and verbal, due to their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Further, attempts at self-harm and/or suicide coupled with much high levers of anxiety and depression among these kids has prompted government officials to take note.

“Some 56 per cent of 14- to 18-year-old LGBT teens in the study said they had self-harmed while 70 per cent of this age group had seriously thought of ending their own life…Overall, the report finds school continues to be a very difficult place for many young LGBT people. Only one-in-five feel they belong completely in their school, while less than half feel they have received positive affirmation of their identity,” reports the Irish Times.

The study, which for the first time includes intersex youth – having physical characteristics that cannot be labelled either male or female, also shows that “one-in-three teen have been threatened with physical violence due to their sexual identity, while one-in-five had had hurtful things written about them on social media.”

Former Irish president, Mary McAleese, is scheduled to release the report today. “The ongoing damage is undeniable. That it involves so many young people is tragic. That it is solvable is the good news,” she said. Ireland’s Health Services (HSE) commissioned the study which involved online responses from some 2,200 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex youth and hopes to help redirected messaging and support for a group of young people at much higher risk of stress-related disorders.