Young carers more likely to be bullied if they are gay

Web purplefriday leaders (2)

Carers Trust calls for tailored support services as LGBT History Month comes to an end

Paul Cardwell's photo

26th February 2016 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

Young adult carers from the LGBT community are more likely to be bullied than their peers.

Carers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender are three times more likely to be bullied than other young carers and 15% more likely compared to other young LGBT people.

National carers charity, Carers Trust, which carried out the research, is calling for greater awareness of the needs of young LGBT carers and for tailored support services to be created.

Young carers, who Carers Trust spoke to as part of the research, told the charity being LGBT and a young adult carer was like having two lots of judgment and stigma to deal with.

“LGBT young adult carers are being negatively impacted in most areas of their lives because of their caring role, gender identity or sexual orientation,” Paul Traynor, young adult carer policy and campaigns officer for Carers Trust Scotland said.

LGBT young adult carers are being negatively impacted in most areas of their lives because of their caring role, gender identity or sexual orientation

“They can usually access support if they are a LGBT young person or a young carer, but not a dedicated service if they are both. However, the difficulties they face are complex and specific to their situation.”

As well as being more likely to be bullied, Carers Trust’s research found that LGBT young adult carers are more than three times more likely to have a mental health problem and are twice more likely to feel their health is just ‘Okay’ or ‘Poor’ compared to other young adult carers.

Carers Trust revealed the results of its research as LGBT History Month 2016 comes to an end.

It follows Stonewall Scotland describing LGBT bullying in schools as a serious and unacceptable problem and called for teachers to be given extra training in how to spot and handle homophobic bullying as well as teach classes about LGBT issues.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s party leaders will wear purple ribbons in parliament today in support of Purple Friday.

Purple Friday takes place on the last Friday of LGBT History Month and is an opportunity for people to celebrate LGBT culture and recognise the contribution LGBT people have made to the world.

This year more than 80 history month events took place throughout Scotland.

The month was coordinated by LGBT Youth Scotland but events were delivered by local authorities, schools, universities, charities and LGBTI community groups.

Cara Spence, policy director of LGBT Youth Scotland, said: “Based on Spirit Day in the US, and Purple Friday in the Netherlands, this is the second year we have embraced Purple Friday in Scotland.

“The response has been overwhelming, with demand for purple ribbons outstripping supply.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon added: “Continuing to address the barriers that exist for LGBT people in Scotland and ensuring that everyone has the same chances to participate in every aspect of life is, for me, the most effective way of making sure that each and every one of us benefits from the diversity this fantastic country and its people has to offer.”