Fifteen-year-old school student committed suicide after experiencing homophobic abuse
THE MOTHER of Chloe Orr, a 15-year-old school student who committed suicide after experiencing homophobic abuse, has said that education about LGBTI+ issues at school could have saved her daughter’s life.
Kelly Moorhead, 36, expressed shock at the degree of abuse her teenage daughter experienced after she came out as a lesbian at the age of 14.
Though Moorhead was supportive of Chloe and her sister Samantha Orr, who also came out as bisexual, she said her daughter would come home from school saying she had been subjected to homophobic taunts and abuse.
Orr committed suicide in May, leaving behind a three-page suicide note which stated she felt she would never be accepted by society because of her sexuality.
Quoted in the Sunday Herald, Moorhead said: “It's shocking with Chloe as she was so confident and she came out, I couldn't have been any prouder of her coming out at that age. She was so secure with it at the time.”
Moorhead, who has become active in her local community raising awareness of the plight often faced by LGBTI+ young people. She said that it was “essential” that education about LGBTI+ people and the exclusion and abuse they face be brought into schools.
“This is why I think it's essential this issue is brought into schools, and made a part of the lessons in class. It can’t be an option, it needs to be part of lessons. You could easily bring it in as part of the PSE class for example. It could have saved her life,” she said.
Her comments come after a year of campaigning by the Time for Inclusive Education (Tie) campaign, for Scottish schools to include education about the range of sexualities and sexual and gender identities.
The campaign was launched after the release of figures which showed that homophobic bullying and abuse is rife in Scottish schools, and that disproportionate numbers of LGBTI+ young people suffer mental ill-health and commit self-harm and suicide.
The Tie campaign will head up this year’s Glasgow Pride celebrations, a move organisers hope will bring a higher profile to the issue.
Pride events take place around the world to combat stigma and shame often experienced by LGBTI+ people, and to create communities where people feel safe to express their identities.
Picture courtesy of torbakhopper
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