Almost half of LGBT+ adults are estranged from family, shock research finds

Trans and non-binary people were also far less likely to be confident their family would accept their identity

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Shocking new research has found that almost half of LGBT+ young adults are estranged from family members. The research also found that 31% of LGBT+ young people are ‘not confident’ that their parent or guardian will accept them.

The study saw LGBT+ young people’s charity Just Like Us commission a survey over 3,000 adults aged 18-25. According to the survey, LGBT+ people are more than twice as likely to say they are not close to their immediate family members than non-LGBT+ people. Around a fifth of trans and non-binary people also say they are not close to immediate family.

Trans and non-binary people were also far less likely to be confident their family would accept their identity. Almost half of trans and non-binary young people said they were ‘not confident’ their family would accept them.

Amy Ashenden, interim CEO of Just Like Us, said: “As LGBT+ people, many of us know the anguish that the breakdown of family relationships causes us when we’re not accepted for who we are. 

“It’s sadly a common myth that being LGBT+ is easier today, when in fact many LGBT+ young adults remain fearful of their parents not accepting them, with almost half estranged from at least one family member.

“It is heartbreaking to see that so many LGBT+ young adults spending their formative years in fear that their parents won’t love them because they’re lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans. 

“LGBT+ young people should know that their identities are valid and deserve to be celebrated, and we hope more parents and teachers will show them that this is the case.

“When there is silence, there is shame, so we must talk about these topics in school and at home to ensure LGBT+ young people no longer live in fear of rejection.”

This research will form part of a bigger report from Just Like Us looking at the experiences of young LGBT+ adults in the UK which is set to be published in June.

Just Like Us’ research comes at a time of heightened hostility towards LGBT+ people in the British media and politics. According to reports, the UK government is planning to force schools to out trans and non-binary students to their parents.

LGBT+ rights campaigners have argued the research from Just Like Us highlights why that policy is damaging. Green Party Councillor Benali Hamdache said: “I’m estranged from a parent. If school had outed me I’d have faced violence and harm sooner. Schools can’t be allowed to out trans students. It’s deeply unjust”.

The study for Just Like Us was carried out by market research firm Cibyl.

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

Image credit: Quinn Dombrowski – Creative Commons

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