The digital lives of young LGBTIQ+ people

Young teenager holding a phone above his head taking a selfie.
This research explores the online experiences of LGBTIQ+ teens and how they negotiate connection, express themselves and deal with harm online.

The report found that young LGBTIQ+ people use the internet to express themselves creatively, access support and connect with other people like themselves. It also highlights how important it is for them to use the internet to learn about the world and communicate with like-minded people.

It shows that LGBTIQ+ teenagers experience name calling, violent threats and harassing messages at a higher rate than the national average – and this can impact their confidence and self-esteem. It also reveals their resourcefulness and resilience in dealing with online harms.

‘Tipping the balance: LGBTIQ+ teens' experiences negotiating connection, self-expression and harm online’ is based on the experiences of 305 young people aged 14 to 17, who identified as LGBTIQ+.

It’s the fourth in a series that draws on the findings of the 2021 Aussie Kids Online survey, which explored the online experiences of over 3,500 children and young people in Australia.


Summary of key findings

LGBTIQ+ teens are:

  • very likely to feel more comfortable being with others online than in person
  • more likely than the national average to engage in risky online behaviours like sharing personal information or sending sexual messages
  • much more likely than the national average to have experienced hurtful and hateful online interactions
  • more likely than the national average to take action when they experience something negative online.