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School environment

  • School is an important environment in which participants spend the majority of their time
  • In some ways school is a positive experience for participants because:
    • They have formed strong friendship bonds with like-minded individuals, and their friends are a very important contributor to their wellbeing and happiness, and their feeling of belonging
    • Most teachers are supportive and available to talk to
    • Secondary school provides a bigger pool of LGBTQ+ role models
  • In other ways school is a negative experience because of:
    • Micro-aggressions/bullying from other pupils
    • A lack of understanding/knowledge from some teachers
    • Not being called by their preferred pronouns or their preferred first name
    • A lack of opportunity to celebrate their lifestyle or LGBT history/culture in school

Home environment

  • Like school, the home environment is positive for many, but for others it is an area of conflict
  • Often, young people have one supportive family member but others may not be, leading to arguments and isolation. Some have not yet ‘come out’ at home
  • There seems to be a strong feeling of family matters being private, not to be discussed with outsiders

Friendship/discrimination

  • Young people have rich online lives with a mix of real world and virtual friends
  • They are comfortable talking about most topics with their friends such as popular culture, relationships, hopes and dreams, gaming. Topics they might steer clear of are sex and intimacy, politics and mental health, although most do lean on each other for informal wellbeing support
  • In the wider world (outside of school or friendship circles) older ones are sometimes encountering discrimination in the form of offensive comments, harassment, people staring, and occasional violence or aggression