New Research on LGBT Young People's Experiences of Community & Identity

To mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, celebrated each year on the 17th of May, LGBT Youth Scotland is launching a new report on Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People: Community and Identity. The report is based on a survey with LGBT young people, ages 13-25 across Scotland and focuses on their experiences of socialisation opportunities and of feeling accepted in families and communities.

While 70.5% of LGBT respondents thought that Scotland was a good place for LGBT young people to live, only 57.4% felt accepted in the wider community. Transgender young people were less likely to feel accepted, at 40.7%. LGBT young people felt that there were still high rates of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Those living in rural areas are more likely to think that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are problems in Scotland and their local area.

• 88.2% of LGBT respondents said that homophobia was a problem in Scotland and 76.8% in their local area.
• 67.3% said that biphobia was a problem in Scotland and 62% in their local area.
• 83.9% thought transphobia was a problem for Scotland and 80.7% in their local area.

This past week, Scotland was rated the best place in Europe for LGBTI equality. LGBT young people’s comments from the report echo this while also highlighting gaps:

‘Although there is undoubtable homophobia, at least our government and police forces are on our side and don’t stand for hate crimes…Yes, Scotland could be better but the fact that our government recognises the LGBT community as part of society is a big step.’

‘As a transgender person I do feel that a lot more could be done in Scotland to raise awareness of trans issues. I also believe that there isn’t enough services, or visibility of services for trans or gender variant people. But I also think that Scotland is a good place to be as a part of the LGBTQ community as there is an acceptance here that is not found in other countries.’

The report also covers LGBT young people’s experiences of coming out, attendance at youth groups, information on where they feel comfortable socialising, and recommendations for voluntary and statutory community, youth, and children’s services.

Fergus McMillan, Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland said:

‘As we join others around the world today to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, we welcome, recognise and celebrate Scotland’s legal progress in regards to LGBT people’s rights and protection. We also recognise the distance still to be travelled in regards to changing attitudes to LGBT people. Despite positive legislative changes over the past several years, more remains to be done to improve social inclusion. Our research shows that many LGBT young people still face high levels of discrimination and experience barriers to feeling included and accepted in their communities. To help improve community life, we ask that community-based services are more explicit about being LGBT-inclusive and individuals challenge homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia whenever it is expressed’.


Notes to Editor:
1/ LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Scotland: www.lgbtyouth.org.uk

2/LGBT Youth Scotland is a company limited by guarantee (No 244805) with charitable
status (SC024047). Registered at 40 Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6J

3/ Download the full report at: https://www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/policy-consultations

4/ Images available upon request.