The following outlines two key research projects related to education that GLEN was involved in.

Supporting LGBT Lives: A Study of the Mental Health and Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People

Supporting LGBT Lives (Mayock et al, 2009) is the most comprehensive study of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Ireland. The study which was funded by the HSE's National Office for Suicide Prevention had a special emphasis on young people. Over 1,110 people participated in the research, of these almost 40% were 25 years or under and therefore were either in school or had left school within the recent past. The majority of participants perceived schools to be unsupportive and hostile places for those who identify as LGBT. The facts presented below come from this research.

  • 50% were called abusive names related to their sexual orientation or gender identity by fellow students
  • 40% were verbally threatened by fellow students
  • 25% were physically threatened by their peers
  • 34% heard homophobic comments by teachers or other staff members
  • 20% of LGBT students admitted to missing school because they felt threatened or were afraid of getting hurt at school
  •  5% left school without completing their leaving certificate because of the treatment they experienced as a consequence of their LGBT identity.

‘Valuing Visibility: An Exploration of How Issues of Sexual Orientation Arise and Are Addressed in Post-Primary Schools'

The Valuing Visibility research project was funded by the Department of Education and Science and undertaken by the Education Department, NUI Maynooth in partnership with GLEN - Gay and Lesbian Equality Network. The research gathered the views and experiences of senior management in schools throughout Ireland and senior officers in school management bodies, the national parents council (post-primary) and the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals.

The research led to a consensus amongst the education partners that Guidelines from the Department would be necessary. The following year the Department and GLEN published Guidance for Principals and School Leaders.