RECENT data reveals there has been an 11% increase from the previous year in young people mentioning coming out as a major concern.
Around 305 Childline counselling sessions have taken place to educate the youth on gender identity and sexuality but in more than 170 sessions, fears about sexuality have been mentioned.
The data has been released to mark Pride Month but Childline speculates that the increase is due to the Coronavirus pandemic cutting off the support networks many depend on.
An anonymous 12-year old girl said: “I want to tell somebody that I’m gay, but I just can’t find the courage to. Some people really hate gay people and I’m scared of what will happen if I tell someone.”
Childline currently has around 370 volunteers in place across Glasgow and Aberdeen bases and wants to encourage under 18’s to reach out to them.
Lauren Burke, Childline Glasgow team manager said: “At Childline, we know that coming out or speaking about sexuality and gender identity can be really challenging.
“No matter what a young person’s experience is with coming out or speaking about their gender identity or sexuality, at Childline we believe every young person has a right to be listened to and speak about any worries or questions they may have without feeling judged.
“Many children and young people who have spoken to our trained volunteer counsellors have described their time under lockdown as a period of reflection, a chance to think about important issues in their lives, both recent and historic.”
If a child wants to phone Childline they can call 0800 1111 or if an adult is concerned for a child they can call 0808 800 5000 for the NSPCC helpline.