CHILDLINE: In the last year there were almost 3,400 counselling sessions where gender identity and sexuality were a child’s main worry
That’s because June is Pride month across the UK, where the country shows solidarity with the country’s LGBTQ+ community and its allies.
The NSPCC’s Childline counsellors know that this spirit of support and togetherness is not the case for thousands of children and young people across the country.
Over the last year, Childline delivered almost 3,400 counselling sessions where gender identity and sexuality were a child’s main worry.
The most frequently mentioned concerns by these young people were worries about coming out, questioning their sexuality and/or gender identity, gender dysphoria and discrimination.
Many young people will approach Childline to speak to a trained counsellor if they are finding it difficult to reach out to a trusted friend or adult to discuss these topics.
Concerns around bullying due to gender and sexuality issues are also regularly being addressed by counsellors - Childline gave more than 400 counselling sessions in the past year where young people mentioned this type of bullying.
Many LGBTQ+ young people have the support of their friends, but others said they had experienced face-to-face bullying.
It can be a confusing and difficult topic and might take some time for young people to work out their sexuality or gender identity. Childline encourages young people to remember there's no such thing as normal, and has resources available online for parents and children.
I want to remind young people across the North East that Childline is here for anyone who needs a safe and confidential place to turn. Our counsellors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and offer free, impartial, and non-judgemental counselling to everyone no matter the worry or issue.
Children can also visit the website to find more advice on any concerns or questions they may have on gender identity and sexuality, or phone 0800 1111 to speak to us directly. Alternatively, they can also use the service’s monitored message boards to get support from people their own age and find out how they may have dealt with similar situations.