30% of LGBT school kids in Japan have considered committing suicide as a result of the bullying they have been subjected to, a Japan Times survey has revealed. The news comes after similar research in the United Kingdom found that 80% of British students are harassed and abused because of their sexual persuasion.
609 schoolchildren across Japan were interviewed by LGBT advocacy group Inochi Risupekuto Howaito Kyanpen (IRHRK) (translation: “Respect for the White Ribbon”).
70% of LGBTs had suffered at the hands of bullies, with almost a third of that number claiming that they had seriously thought about killing themselves. 53% of those who had been bullied said that they had endured verbal taunts, while 20% had been physically abused. 22% had self-harmed.
A shocking 11% reported that they had been sexually abused. One student revealed that their classmates had stripped them naked.
The anti-LGBT abuse is not limited to schoolchildren. Perhaps the most depressing finding of this survey is that 12% of the Japanese pupils had been bullied by teachers, for periods up to a year. Transgender students appear to have had the worst time of all: 43% of them have been victimised for five years or longer.
The co-leader of the IRHRK initiative, Mameta Endo, believes that the Japanese education system has to learn vital lessons from this study: ‘More teachers need to know the issues LGBT (pupils) are facing. As most bullying starts at elementary schools, I want teachers to provide children correct information about sexual minorities.
‘Schools need to find ways to teach students about LGBT (pupils) to prevent those who don’t match stereotypical ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ gender types from being bullied.’