For some young queer people, education and especially secondary school can be the worst years of their life.
I think college is a second chance, a redemption. That sounds very intense but that’s the reality for most queer people.
It’s not easy going to college with all the barriers such as a soaring rents that cost on average €800 per month to rent and with the highest student fee’s in Europe after Brexit.
College for everyone can be extremely difficult no matter your age or identity but when you are queer it can be isolating and scary. Colleges are a bastion of learning and expression but for the queer community it is a barrier because yourself expression can be offensive to some people who come from a conservative background. This is a reality for people who feel they must censor themselves in case they are very flamboyant and wear clothes different from their gender assigned at birth.
The youth work LGBT+ organization BelongTo launched a campaign in October of 2018 called ‘Better out than in’ which was established to promote young LGBT+ people to seek help if they are having issues with their mental health but it also outlined that 9 in 10 LGBT young people suffer and will face mental health issues in their lifetime, this is 1 of many barriers I have mentioned that will continue to push young LGBT+ people out of education.
Young people in this country don’t want everything handed to them, they want the barriers to get a degree abolished, we don’t want to have to move home straight after college and we certainly don’t want these barriers to effect the next generation of young queer people.