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Over half of Irish students believe coming out as LGBTI+ will lead to bullying.

Monday November 16th 2020

Second-level schools take a stand against LGBTI+ related bullying during Stand Up Awareness Week


A poll from BeLonG To Youth Services, the national LGBTI+ youth organisation shows students correlate coming out as LGBTI+. with bullying.  Some 52% of students believe that if someone in their school comes out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans, that they will be bullied1.

The data come from research conducted ahead of Stand Up Awareness Week, Ireland’s largest anti LGBTI+ bullying campaign in Ireland, with 58% of second-level schools participating in last year’s event.

For 11 years now, Stand Up Awareness Week has been a time for second-level schools to take a stand against the anti-LGBTI+ bullying, harassment, and name-calling that silences many students and can result in serious mental health challenges2. As part of Stand Up Awareness Week, running from November 16th-20th, every second-level school in Ireland has been given a free resource pack with information, activities and advice to create an LGBTI+ friendly school environment.

This finding compounds the 2019 School Climate Survey which revealed that an alarming 73% of LGBTI+ students feel unsafe at school. Some 77% of LGBTI+ students experience verbal harassment (name-calling or being threatened), 38% experience physical harassment (being shoved or pushed), and 11% experience physical assault (punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) based on their sexual orientation, gender or gender expression.


Moninne Griffith, CEO BeLonG To Youth Services said: “The results of our 2019 School Climate Survey set off alarm bells as schools across Ireland realised the extent of bullying that LGBTI+ students experience and the sometimes tragic toll this can have on young lives.

Stand Up Awareness Week is a time for all schools to take action against homophobic, transphobic, and biphobic bullying and show they welcome, value, and support LGBTI+ students. Supportive schools improve academic performance, attendance, and mental health outcomes. We saw a huge increase in the number of schools joining us for Stand Up Awareness Week last year, and hope that more schools will join the campaign this year to and priortise creating safe school environments for LGBTI+ youth.”



Notes to editors


  • BeLonG To CEO, Moninne Griffith is available for interview. To arrange an interview, please contact: Sinead Keane, Communications Manager. Mobile: 087 768 0389   Email:




  • Stand Up Awareness Week runs from November 16th-20th BeLonG To Youth Services has distributed Stand Up Awareness Week Resource Packs and Posters to all second-level schools in Ireland. To access these free resources including curricular based activity ideas, visit


  • BeLonG To Youth Services is a national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex young people. Since 2003, BeLonG To has worked with LGBTI+ young people to create a world where they are equal, safe, and valued in the diversity of their identities and experiences. The organisation advocates and campaigns on behalf of young LGBTI+ people and offers a specialised LGBTI+ youth service including crisis counselling, information, and the provision of LGBTI+ youth groups across Ireland. BeLonG To supports educators and schools across Ireland. Stand Up Awareness Week is an opportunity for educators and schools across Ireland to avail of teacher training and second level school resources. BeLonG To’s Safe and Supportive Schools initiative supports second-level schools by helping them create environments that are fully inclusive of LGBTI+ identities.



1 Research was conducted by Empathy through an online survey of 278 secondary school students between November 20th and December 16th 2019. Research was conducted amongst members of Empathy Research’s proprietary research panel. Secondary school students under the age of 16 were recruited with their parent’s consent.


2 LGBTIreland Report  BeLonG To Youth Services, HSE, National Office of Suicide Prevention, Trinity College Dublin, GLEN. (2016). Dublin – Download