A new survey conducted by the British LGBT Awards reveals that LGBT+ young people are facing greater challenges than ever before with almost 70% (68.5%) admitting they are fearful of  coming out to their family and 33% of trans young people saying they have encountered physical bullying.

The LGBT<25 Youth Survey, which engaged 3,795 young people between the ages of 17 and 25, saw many respondents also expressing concern about online homophobic abuse and the lack of provision for LGBT+ sex education in schools.

The survey results have banished the common misconception that the current generation of LGBT+ youth face fewer challenges and are born into a more accepting and ‘equal’ society than previous generations, with respondents expressing their fear of coming out as LGBT+ to their immediate family. With one respondent saying:


“Something that would definitely help me would be having my parents support. I’m not out to them yet, and I think I won’t ever tell them due to them being extremely not accepting of the LGBT+ community. I honestly envy those who have supportive families.”


Family support plays an integral role in the progression of young LGBT+ people with those who feel able to come out to their immediate family experiencing better outcomes in both school and the workplace; respondents who were comfortable being open about their sexual orientation to their immediate family experienced a 7.8% higher likelihood of being currently employed or having a job.

Alongside family support, school support is fundamental to LGBT+ young people. With school being where under 18’s spend the majority of their time (outside of the home) a lack of support or recognition of LGBT+ identities can have a significant detrimental effect. 81.5% of student respondents had heard negative language about LGBT+ people at school while almost half (48.87%) reporting hearing negative comments directly related to their sexuality or gender identity.

The survey shows that despite strides being made in workplace inclusivity, existing evidence from organisations such as Stonewall, suggests that LGBT+ people still continue to face multiple barriers and discrimination. Although 74% of young LGBT+ people stating ensuring their employer was LGBT+ friendly was important to them, only half said they would feel comfortable including LGBT+ content on their CV.


“I would find it very comforting to know that the job I am entering would accept me for who I am as a person and an individual.”


The results also shine a light on internet impact and demonstrates that although social media has been beneficial in creating an online space for LGBT+ people to connect with other members of the LGBT+ community, it has also opened the door to new ways of bullying, with 28.72% stating they had been in direct receipt of cyberbullying. Despite its negativity, social media still presents an anonymous security blanket with multiple respondents saying they only reveal their sexuality or gender to strangers on the internet and 49.17% admitting to using online dating apps.

Commenting on the survey, British LGBT Awards founder, Sarah Garrett MBE, said:

“As we know, the current generation of young people are vastly different to those before them. Their input into this important survey has revealed some startling results and shows that young LGBT+ people in Britain today face new and greater challenges than before.

Although great strides have been made, there are still many barriers that the LGBT+ community face, which have been highlighted by these results.

We have an opportunity to use this research to change culture, whether that be through entertainment and media, in the workplace, through advertising and marketing, or in schools. All children should be able to grow up in a society where they can be their authentic selves without any fear.”


Nicholas Crapp, Chief Audit Executive for British LGBT Awards Founding partner, NatWest said:

“As keen supporters of LGBT+ inclusion within NatWest, we support the launch of this survey into the views and feelings of young LGBT+ people. As a society, we have come a long way with LGBT+ inclusion, but surveys like this will ensure that we continue to understand the impact of this changing culture on our young people. These results will help us to further understand how we support young people entering the workplace and how we ensure we’re inclusive of their needs at work.”