Childline supports thousands of young people on gender and sexuality

As we celebrate Pride Month, we’re also reminding children and young people in the UK that Childline is here for them. We offer free, impartial and non-judgemental support, no matter the topic.

Over the past 12 months Childline (an NSPCC service) has delivered 2,419 counselling sessions related to gender and sexuality.1
Where gender was known, 62% of these counselling sessions were with young people who identified as trans or non-binary.2

Top five concerns

The top five concerns discussed around sexuality and gender identity were:
  • Coming out 
  • Questioning sexuality/gender identity
  • Gender dysphoria (where young people feel there is a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity)
  • Bullying based on gender or sexuality3
  • Discrimination and/or prejudice.
Young people also contacted the service to talk about homophobia and transphobia they felt they had experienced or witnessed, either first-hand, online or through the media. Other concerns discussed included waiting lists for services, such as gender identity services.

Talk Relationships

Through our Talk Relationships service, we are also supporting secondary school teachers to feel more confident when delivering sessions around healthy relationships and leading inclusive discussions.
Childline is encouraging adults to be understanding and respectful when young people are exploring their sexuality and gender identity, as well as being there for any young person who wishes to discuss these topics. 
Childline is also a safe space for young people to explore this subject and there are resources available online for both children and parents.

One young person, aged 15, told Childline: “I’m struggling to let my parents know I’m gay. I’ve told my sister, and that went well, but I know my parents will be dismissive and just say I’m too young to know for sure.

"I don’t want them to change everything about how they see me because of my identity, but at the same time I want them to accept and love me for who I really am.”4

Shaun Friel, Childline Director, said: “Young people may worry about judgement or a lack of acceptance when expressing their thoughts and concerns around sexuality and gender identity.
“That is why it’s crucial that there are confidential and non-judgemental spaces such as Childline where children can share freely and feel supported. This Pride Month, the service remains as committed as ever to helping young people with these concerns.” 

Pride events

For the second year, Lidl GB is sponsoring the NSPCC’s presence at Pride events in Great Britain, helping us demonstrate that we’re here for all children and young people.

Help and resources for adults and children

For children and young people

For parents and carers

Note: The photograph on this page was posed by a model.


  1. 1) Between April 2023 and March 2024, Childline delivered 2,419 counselling sessions with children and young people about sexuality and gender identity.

  2. 2) Where a child’s gender was known in counselling sessions about gender identity and sexuality, more than half (62%) of counselling sessions were with children who identified as trans or non-binary.

  3. 3) Childline provided 330 counselling sessions in the past year where young people mentioned bullying based on sexuality and gender identity.

  4. 4) Snapshots are based on real Childline service users but are not necessarily direct quotes. All names and potentially identifying details have been changed to protect the identity of the child or young person involved.