It’s time to #ComeOutForLGBT and join Stonewall’s new campaign.
New research from leading LGBT charity Stonewall reveals the alarming reality: one in five LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident in the last year. The figure is even worse for trans people, with two of them having suffered the same. The number of lesbian, gay and bi people in the UK who have experienced hate crime has gone up by 78% in the last five years, rising from 9% in 2013 to 16% in 2017.
Despite these shocking statistics, four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes still go unreported and it’s younger LGBT people who are especially reluctant to go to the police.
In Stonewall’s YouGov survey of 5000 LGBT people, respondent Freya, 21 from Wales said:
“I was assaulted by a man whilst I was holding hands with my lesbian partner. He grabbed me from behind and thrust himself into me, then verbally attacked me.”
53-year-old Leo from the North East commented:
“I had occasion to report that I had been harassed and suffered an injury. I talked, they listened, but it was their attitude and I got the impression that it was not being taken seriously.” Leo, 53 (North East)
There are other factors which can mean you are even more likely to experience hate crime and discrimination. 34% of black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT people have experience hate crime or discrimination in the last year, compared to 20% of white LGBT people. LGBT people of a non-Christian faith and LGBT disabled people were also more likely to have been targeted.
These sobering stats are why Stonewall has launched a brand new national awareness campaign, which encourages everyone to “Come Out for LGBT” and show their support.
Do you want to help tackle anti-LGBT hate crime and discrimination? Here’s what Stonewall recommends you do:
1. Take a stand against LGBT hate crime by joining Stonewall’s #ComeOutForLGBT campaign. Encourage your friends, family and co-workers to join too: stonewall.org.uk/comeoutforLGBT.
2. Call out online anti-abuse, as long as it is safe to do so. Be an ally to those being targeted.
3. Tell local business owners if their staff or customers are involved in an anti-LGBT incident so they can tackle it. Let them know they could risk losing customers if they don’t.
4. Report any incidents of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic discrimination when accessing public services like housing or social services. Tell the service provider or local council so they can do something about it. Stonewall’s Information Service on 08000 50 20 20 can advise you on this.
We’ll leave the last word to Stonewall’s Chief Executive Ruth Hunt, who told us:
“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 in Britain today.
“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.
“At Stonewall, we want everyone across Britain 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.”
Join the #ComeOutForLGBT campaign now at stonewall.org.uk/comeoutforLGBT.