Norther Ireland is probably the worst place in the UK to be a gay teenager. The BBC reported on research undertaken by gay support groups about the level of homophobia in schools there, with depressing results.
According to the research, 72% of teachers ignore homophobic comments, with 98% of LGB students hearing such comments on a regular basis. In the video below, a teacher talks about homophobia coming from other teachers, making the issue that bit harder to tackle. Faith schools particularly may have their own agenda on this and, at most, give lip-service to the issue. The video also includes interviews with gay teenagers about their experiences in school.
The Rainbow Project’s Education Equality Officer, Gavin Boyd said: ‘This report shows that when it comes to education, young people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual are left out of the equation. They get severely bullied but frequently don’t tell anyone because they don’t believe their school will do anything about it. They hear homophobic slurs every day but teachers don’t intervene. They aren’t taught that they can have stable and fulfilling relationships. They aren’t taught how to gauge risk and protect themselves from mental and sexual ill-health. They are simply expected to suffer in silence.”