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YOUNG LESBIAN, GAY & BISEXUAL PEOPLE FIRST CONSIDER COMING OUT AT 13 YEARS

15th February 2013

The latest interim findings from METRO's Youth Chances project show the ages at which young people are coming out, who they tell and what support they are looking for. On average respondents who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning first considered their sexuality at an average age of 13.6 but don't tell anyone else until they are on average two years older at 15.8. Four out five young people tell their friends first and three quarters say that they needed emotional support to come out.

These results come direct from the live national survey of 16-25 year olds that will close on March 21st 2013. The charity is calling on all young people to get involved and make their voices heard in this groundbreaking research project.

METRO's Youth Chances is the biggest social research and influencing project of its kind, and is surveying LGBTQ 16-25 year olds aiming to find out about their experiences of education, employment, health services, their community and relationships. This will provide the biggest evidence base of data ever to campaign for better services and policies for LGBTQ youth across England.

Based on a sample of 6,005 young people from up and down the country, Youth Chances has so far found:

- The average age that respondents to the Youth Chances survey who identified as lesbian or gay, bisexual or questioning said they first thought they were LGB was 13.6 years old.

- The average age that respondents to the Youth Chances survey who identified as lesbian or gay, bisexual or questioning said they first told someone they were LGBQ was 15.8 years old.

- The great majority (80%) of respondents to the Youth Chances survey who identified as lesbian or gay, bisexual or questioning said they first person they told they were LGBQ was a friend.

- Nearly 3 quarters (70%) of respondents to the Youth Chances survey who identified as lesbian or gay, bisexual or questioning said they needed emotional support from someone when they came out.


Dan Baker, METRO Youth Chances Project Manager said:

"These findings reveal some key milestones for young people coming out in the 21st Century. It is a measure of the progress of LGBT visibility and equality that over half of young people in this generation have come out by the age of 16. All the more important is that parents and the wider family, friends, schools, colleges, youth organisations and health services recognise that the majority of young people coming out are saying they need emotional support at this time. METRO's Youth Chances will continue collecting responses right up until March 21st when we will begin in depth analysis of what support is most effective for young people. Youth Chances is all about hearing directly from young peoples themselves in order to make recommendations for change and a real difference to young people's lives."

The survey remains open for young people to complete up until March 21st 2013. Anyone aged 16-25 years old can complete the survey (including heterosexual young people) at www.youthchances.org/survey Everyone submitting their answers will be entered into a prize draw to win £500.

In order to support as many young people to complete the Youth Chances survey METRO are sharing resources to run a 'Surveyathon'- an event to get as many surveys completed and shared. The 'Surveyathon' allows organisations to bring young people together face-to-face and on-line in order to empower their contribution to the largest evidence base of LGBTQ young peoples' needs and interests ever.

Contact:
Patricia Durr patricia@metrocentreonline.org
020 8305 5000 x 136 or 07912515397

Notes to Editors:
1. Youth Chances is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and is led by METRO in partnership with the University of Greenwich and Ergo Consulting. It is a five year social research project working directly with individuals, providers and commissioners to influence service provision and policy for 16-25 year old LGBTQ youth. www.youthchances.org
2. Statistics are based on a sample of 6,005 respondents collected up to 24th December 2012 and they represent interim findings.
3. The sample is a fair representation of nationally estimated LGBT regional populations and of ethnicity

4. A full briefing and statistical breakdown is available.

5. Organisations can find details of how to Start planning your Surveyathon!

6. METRO is a leading equality & diversity charity, providing health, community & youth services across London & the South East & national and international projects. www.metrocentreonline.org

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