A BBC news report came out expressing that young LGBT people still feel unsafe in public spaces. See full article here.
An online survey for 13-25 year old LGBT people was conducted and showed that “49% of the 273 respondents said they felt safe and supported by the legal system. The figure fell to 40% among those who identified as transgender”.
In the article, the main focus was on young people’s awareness of their rights protected under Scotland’s hate crime legislation. While Scotland’s hate crime legislation includes transgender people, there is still a gap between that coverage and public awareness.
While I recognize that progress is still being made in regard to hate crimes toward LGBT individuals, I think that still more can be done. The LGBT Youth Scotland recommends campaigns, activities and lesson plans be implemented in schools where the youth have more direct access to information about reporting hate crimes, all of which are great ideas.
But the article also quoted something that I found pertinent. Chief executive Fergus McMillian was quoted in this BBC news report saying, “When young people know about their rights, and have confidence in the process, they are more likely to be willing to report”.
When young people have the knowledge and the confidence, they will be more likely to report. Well, I don’t know about you, but when I was a teenager, nothing gave me more confidence than the support group I had–my friends. I think the best way that we can reach youth about these tough issues is by getting them involved and helping each other