A minority within a minority: SEND & LGBT+

The prejudice facing SEND students who are LGBT+ can be severe, says Anna Feuchtwang

Being a disabled child or having SEN can make school life difficult. But these difficulties can be significantly amplified for those children who also identify as LGBT+ (where the + denotes other gender or sexual identities such as intersex and asexual).

For this minority within a minority school can be a lonely and alienating experience – as one young person put it: “People think you can be disabled or LGBT but not both.” Simply being themselves can attract incredulity, prejudice or bullying.

More than half of children who identify as LGBT+ have been bullied because of their gender or sexuality. For SEND children there is an even greater risk. A UK survey of LGBT+ young people found that 66 per cent of SEND young people had experienced homophobic bullying compared to 55 per cent across the sample as a whole.

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