Pride Month: How to Support LGBTQ+ youth in Wales

updated on 12 June 2024

At miFuture we are passionate about understanding and supporting young people, so when research shows that a huge 40% of Gen Z showed a โ€œpattern of attractionโ€ that can be described as queer it's important for us to understand the world as they see it, and the challenges as they experience it. 

We were saddened by the shocking statistics that highlight the challenges facing our Most Queer Generation Ever , so this #PrideMonth we'll amplify the organisations that are tackling two of the LGBTQ+ youth's biggest issues; the mental health and homelessness crisis.

Did you know that almost 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives? rates are even higher among trans people, with 25% having faced homelessness.

LGBTQ+ young people are four times more likely to become homeless than their peers. - 

Homelessness is a serious issue that affects many LGBTQ+ young people in Wales, especially those who face rejection, abuse or violence from their families or partners because of their identity. According to akt, a charity that supports LGBTQ+ young people facing homelessness, 77% of their service users cited family issues as a cause of their homelessness.

Youth Homelessness, a real problem.

Being homeless can have a devastating impact on the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ young people. They may struggle to find safe and supportive accommodation, access health care and education, and establish or maintain relationships. They may also face discrimination or harassment from service providers or other homeless people. Over half of LGBTQ+ young people have faced some form of discrimination or harassment while accessing services.

In Wales, 4.8% of cisgender LGBQ+ people and 9.0% of trans people have been offered conversion practices, a harmful intervention that aims to change or suppress someoneโ€™s sexual orientation or gender identity. Conversion practices can cause severe psychological distress and increase the risk of suicide among LGBTQ+ people.

Stonewall's research paints a picture as to why access to  mental health support is needed, check out these statistics:

๐ŸŒˆ48% of pupils have had little to no positive messaging about being LGBT+ at school

๐ŸŒˆ 40% are never taught anything about LGBT issues at school

๐ŸŒˆ 50% LGBT pupils hear homophobic slurs 'frequently' or 'often' at school

๐ŸŒˆ 64% of LGBTQ+ people had experienced anti-LGBT+ violence or abuse

๐ŸŒˆ 34% of Black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident in the past twelve months, compared to 20% of white LGBT people

๐ŸŒˆ 42% of LGBT students  have hidden their identity at university for fear of discrimination*

๐ŸŒˆ 28% of LGBT students say they were excluded by other students for being LGBT*

*though openness increases from 64% at school to  82% at university or college

Which support services are help LGBTQ+ youth?

This may be the first you are hearing of such issues, but thatโ€™s why itโ€™s vital to raise awareness and support for LGBTQ+ young people who are experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environments. 

The Welsh Government has recently published an ambitious LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales that seeks to tackle the existing structural inequalities experienced by LGBTQ+ communities, to challenge discrimination and to create a society where LGBTQ+ people are safe to live and love authentically, openly and freely as themselves.

๐Ÿ’ช The plan aims to strengthen equality and human rights, ban conversion practices, improve health and social care services, and promote LGBTQ+ inclusion in education and employment.

๐Ÿ“ข There are  great organisations providing safe housing, advice, advocacy and support for LGBTQ+ young people across Wales, such as Llamau, Umbrella Cymru, Stonewall Housing, akt, MindOut and Pride Cymru. Hit the links to find out more about their work and how to get involved or access their services.

Simpsons Pride Month Celebrations
Simpsons Pride Month Celebrations

During this #PrideMonth ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ we will use our social channels to amplify the work of organisations that are tackling the LGBTQ+ youth homelessness and mental health crisis in Wales. to make sure that every young person has access to support, a safe place to call home, and environment to be themselves.

It takes a village ๐ŸŒˆ

Gem Hallett, miFuture Founder. | @miFutureHQ

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