New study reveals LGBT people do not feel safe

Lgbt fear web

Stonewall Scotland has said more needs to be done to help people feel free to be themselves

6th September 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

One in five LGBT people have been subjected to a hate crime over the past year.

New research from charity Stonewall Scotland has revealed that four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes and incidents go unreported, with younger people particularly reluctant to go to the police.

The study - based on a YouGov poll of 1,260 LGBT people in Scotland - also showed that half of trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months.

Colin Macfarlane, director of Stonewall Scotland, said more has to be done to help people from within the community feel safe.

He said: “While we have come a long way in the past 25 years, it is clear there is still a huge amount of work we need to do before all LGBT people can feel safe, included and free to be themselves. 

“This report warns against complacency, and stands as a call to action for everyone who supports equality. We now need to work together, to bring forward the day when no individual faces hatred or discrimination simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The report also highlights LGBT people living in fear, with a quarter of LGBT people (26%) avoiding certain streets because they do not feel safe there. More than a third of LGBT people (36%) don’t feel comfortable walking down the street while holding their partner's hand.

And more than half of trans people (57%) said they avoid certain bars or restaurants due to fear of discrimination.

The launch of the report coincides with a new national awareness campaign from Stonewall Scotland, to encourage people across the country to "Come Out for LGBT" and support equality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people everywhere.

Macfarlane added: “At Stonewall Scotland, we want everyone who feels impacted by reading this report to join our campaign and pledge to come out for LGBT people everywhere, as visible allies. Together we can create a world where LGBT people are accepted without exception.”

Testimonies of hate crimes

Ellie, 20: “I was spat on outside a gay club on Pride 2016.”

Michael, 23: “I was walking to the university library when a group of young people started yelling things like "oh look at this d**e", "You look like a man… wait, is that the point, you tranny" at me as I walked past.”

Ada, 21: “I feel nervous about being openly gay in public as where I live I have heard of there being hate crimes.”

Dylan, 28: “Being kicked out of both the women's and the men's changing rooms in a department store because I was perceived as not male or female enough to use them.”