LGBT-inclusive teaching is always relevant
It’s important to remember that, while you may have pupils in your class who are out as LGBT, you may also be teaching pupils who have not come out yet, or who will only come to realise they’re LGBT later in life. It’s likely you’ll be teaching pupils with LGBT family members, friends or loved ones.
Mental health and wellbeing
LGBT young people experience particularly high rates of poor mental health (Stonewall School Report, 2017). Being LGBT is not a mental health condition, but experiencing homophobic, biphobic or transphobic (HBT) bullying can put pressure on a young person’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Supporting all young people to respect difference is an important part of reducing HBT bullying – LGBT-inclusive RSHE is part of this work.
In schools that make it clear that HBT bullying is wrong, LGBT pupils are:
- Less likely to be bullied at school for being LGBT
- Less likely to worry about experiencing this bullying
- More likely to tell someone if they are being bullied
Supporting vulnerable pupils
Evidence suggests that LGBT young people may be particularly likely to engage in risk-taking behaviour. For example, nearly one in five LGBT under-18s (18 per cent) say they have used adult dating apps such as Tinder, Grindr and Her (Stonewall School Report, 2017).
Often, these behaviours happen because LGBT young people are looking for community, but don’t have access to safe spaces in which to meet LGBT people their own age.
As with all young people, LGBT young people need information – including about consent, online safety, healthy relationships and safe sex – that is relevant to the experiences and relationships they may have, so that they can make safe, informed choices.