Hello, welcome to the LGBTQ+ safeguarding page.
While lots of people in Cornwall accept and connect with LQBTQ+ people no differently from others, some people lack of acceptance and understanding of children and young people who identity as anything other than heterosexual (straight).
This can trigger discrimination, exclusion, bullying and hate crime, which can then lead to being and feeling isolated, vulnerable or experiencing mental health difficulties.
This page aims to support LGBTQ+ young people in Cornwall to be able to know where to go for support, advice and guidance in order to feel safe and address abuse if it happens.
One high risk for LGBTQ+ young people is connecting with people on the internet and then being exploited…
More on Stonewall +
In 2017 an organisation called Stonewall who support and campaign for LGBTQ+ equality and rights found that lots of young people use the internet to seek support, meet people and gain acceptance. Young people in Cornwall said this is because they don't always feel accepted within their family or community or don't know others like them. "In Cornwall there are things there for LGBT but there is still a lot of stigma around our community so we don't always feel safe".
While the internet is great for connecting with people, it can also be very risky too. What Stonewall found some worrying statistics that included....two in five LGBTQ+ young people aged 13-19 stated they have met up with someone they have talked to online, three in ten of those met someone who was older and almost one in five did not tell anyone they were meeting up. They also found that LGBTQ+ young people under the age of 18 have used adult dating apps and more than two in five have sent or received sexual, naked or semi-naked photos to or from a person they were talking to online.
Here is a link to top tips for safely exploring your identity online and safely connecting with others as an LGBTQ+ young person.
Support in Cornwall +
YAY Cornwall (Young and Yourself) is the youth group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Questioning young people up to the age of 25 who live, work or who are visiting, at school or college in Cornwall. YAY offers a safe and supportive place for young people to meet, offer advice and guidance as well as working with schools to develop better understanding and support for LGBTQ+ young people.
"YAY was the first time I met people in person who were like me. Without it I would be alone in my sexuality and gender identity."
"YAY offer one2one support and can refer you to people if you struggle with mental health. The youth workers and + young people are very understanding and welcoming. I met my best friend through YAY and don't know what i'd do without them.!
"It's nice to be around people your age with similar experiences"
More advice and support +
Here are some more websites offering information and support around identity, sexuality and gender diversity....
Mermaids supports children and young people up to 20 years old who are transgender and/or gender diverse, and their families, and professionals involved in their care.
lgbtyouthincare pioneering excellence on behalf of LGBT+ children & young people in care, and strive to develop an ethos of tolerance, understanding and inclusive practice across all agencies working with looked after children nationwide.