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To Sam

Moving out at 16

Hi Sam, I am a 16 year old girl and last year I came out and told my mum I had a girlfriend. My girlfriend lives a few hours away from me but I visit her often, her family are loving and caring and only want me to be happy. However, my mum is extremely homophobic and she is against my relationship. She has made my life extremely difficult up to the point where I have shut myself into my room every day to avoid her and I have been diagnosed with depression and mild anxiety. I am in Year 11 and I told my mum that I had been thinking about going to stay with my girlfriend for the summer, and then staying there to do my A Levels. I have a job there and my dad would pay me £200 a month for my living costs etc. I am a straight A student so I think I am perfectly capable of doing the same A levels just in a healthier environment. My mum did not like this idea. I came home from school and her and my gran emotionally blackmailed me and told me that if I go to my girlfriends house to do my A levels they will drive there behind me and drag me back home, and they don't care if they get arrested doing it. I know I can legally move out at 16, and I don't want to be in this horrible toxic environment. I know my rights, but frankly I'm scared of my mum and I don't want to stay here with her for the next two years of A levels. She makes my life hell. What do I do? This is a huge decision for me to make on my own.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Living around people who have negative views about your sexuality can be very hard. It’s understandable for you to feel that you’d be happier somewhere that feels loving and caring. Being LGBT doesn’t change who you are, and no one has the right to make you feel like this.

You asked about your rights. From the age of 16 you can leave home without your parents’ consent. However, this is quite a big decision and it’s important that you think about it carefully. It seems like you have a clear idea of what you would like to do and that’s very important so you don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position when leaving home.

You’re right that making a big decision like this is usually made easier if it’s not done on your own. Try to think about who you can talk to who knows the situation who may be able to give you some good advice. If your dad’s aware of what is going on for you, maybe you could discuss things with him. He could support you in making that decision.

No one has the right to judge you or make you feel bad about your sexuality. There are lot of organisations around that focus on providing support and advice for people who identify as LGBT. Young Stonewall is an organisation that exists to support young LGBT people and give information you need to come out.

The Albert Kennedy Trust helps LGBT people aged 16 to 25 who are struggling to find somewhere to live where they are safe from being bullied and abused because of their sexuality. Although you already have a place in mind where you want to live, you may want to get in touch with them to see what they think.

You can also talk to a counsellor at ChildLine if you’re looking for someone to help you make this decision yourself, as well as talking to other people on our message boards. There may be others who have already taken the step you are thinking of taking.

Hope you find this helpful,

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