BeyondBlue have launched a new campaign aimed at stopping homophobia.

Beyondblue, an organization focused on mental health amongst Australians, today released some new findings from a study aimed at garnering attitudes amongst young people towards LGBTI people. The principle find was that homophobia remains to be a rampant problem in this country – particularly amongst the younger demographics.

Which is pretty concerning, considering who’ll be running in the country in a couple of decades time.

As SMH reported:

A new study from mental health charity beyondblue has revealed high levels of homophobia among teenage boys, leading to depression and anxiety among young gay people.

The research presents the following:

  1. 40% surveyed said they felt anxious or uncomfortable around gay people
  2. More than 1/3 wouldn’t be happy having a gay person in their group of friends
  3. 1/4 felt it was totally to use gay as a derogatory term.
  4. 1 in 5 said they find it difficult to treat gay people the same as others
  5. 2/3 had witnessed people being bullied for their sexuality.

There’s no way to look at the above figures as anything other than very fucking scary. Like, genuinely terrifying. That such horrible attitudes are still held, and that discrimination is occurring in the very area where  is still occurring at such a tumultuous time is even worse.

Being a teenager is difficult enough. To be doing so in the face of relentless bullying for something that you have no control over would only infinitely multiply the anxieties that adolescents face as they try to make it to adulthood in one piece.

Following the release of this research, Beyondblue also announced the launch of a new campaign aiming to educate. It’s a follow on from the “Left-handed” campaign launched a few years back. It’s simple but an effective look on how discrimination against things completely out of ones control can be.

You can check it out below:

It’s 2015. Homophobia, like bigotry of any kind, is completely and utterly unacceptable. To employ language and behavior that so strongly contributes to negative mental health is to open that basement door labelled ‘Depression’ and push them right down the stairs.

It’s got to stop.

As someone who left the schoolyard over 5 years ago, it’d be really lovely to think we’d evolved and moved past such disgusting behavior – but the fact remains that there is still a very long way to go.

Change starts from the simplest of places. It’s time to do what this campaign is calling for: Stop. Think. Respect.

If you need someone to talk to, you can contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14. Other great resources include Twenty10, a community-based not-for-profit that provides a safe-space for gender-diverse teens, and the It Gets Better project.

Story via Sydney Morning Herald

Feature Pic: Beyondblue / YouTube



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