Policy and Research

Improving the Lives of LGBTI Young people in Scotland: LGBT Youth Scotland's Manifesto 2016-2021

This manifesto has been written based on research and consultation with LGBTI young people across Scotland. With 20 actions to achieve by the year 2021, the manifesto outlines the steps that would lead to a more inclusive Scotland.

Each action will contribute to achieving the following priorities:

 1. LGBTI young people have the services and support they need to thrive and their rights are fully realised

2. LGBTI young people feel safe, supported and included in their education, across all settings

3 All transgender and intersex young people are recognised and included in Scottish legislation and policy

4. LGBTI young people feel safe growing up in Scotland, with their specific needs recognised and addressed by Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

5. LGBTI young people have improved mental, sexual and physical health

The manifesto provides evidence and context for each of the 20 actions and can be downloaded here


Throughout their daily lives, young people encounter messages regarding sex and sexuality.

These messages range from companies using sexually explicit images or phrases to sell products, to pressures from peers to post images on social media and engage in communications such as ‘sexting’.

These pressures reflect the contemporary challenges and expectations that are often put upon young people. Through conversations with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people, LGBT Youth Scotland recognised that these sexual messages and representations affect LGBT young people.

You can download the full report here.

Life in Scotland For LGBT Young People: Safety

This week, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service releases statistics on the reports and charges raised for hate crimes in the past year across Scotland.

Today, LGBT Youth Scotland is launching a new report on Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People: Safety. 

The report is based on a survey with LGBT young people, ages 13-25 across Scotland and focuses on their awareness of rights under hate crime legislation, confidence in the police and criminal justice system, and their feelings of safety in the community.

The survey results show that LGBT young people in Scotland still experience homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in public spaces. 

While progress has been made in regards to raising awareness of hate crime, not all LGBT young people are aware of which actions may be classified as criminal or how to report.

· Half (50.2%) of LGBT young people said that they were aware of what their rights are under hate crime legislation.
· 53.8% of all LGBT respondents said they would feel confident in reporting a crime they experienced to the police and 48.2% of transgender young people were confident to report.
·  Bisexual women were the least likely to feel confident reporting a hate crime (46.3%) yet also the second most likely group to feel supported by the police (67.9%).
· Only half (51.8%) of transgender young people felt safe using public transportation.

‘When people often couldn't decide if they thought I was male or female I felt very unsafe. I still do occasionally because my gender expression isn't stereotypically male so I'm often read as gay.’

LGBT young people were also uncertain how reports are dealt with by the police. Many felt that it would improve their confidence to not only see posters raising awareness of hate crime, but to receive information on what happens after a report is taken.

‘If there were more public examples of how the police dealt with hate crime and set an example that it is not acceptable.’

Encouragingly, there seems to be a causal relationship between feeling safe and supported by the police and feeling confident to report hate crime. This shows the importance of strong community engagement in building trust and understanding of the reporting process.

· 71% of those who say they feel safe and supported by the police say they would feel confident in reporting a hate crime they experienced, much higher than the overall rate of 53.8%.

‘In Scotland, we are fortunate to have strong hate crime legislation that is inclusive of transgender identities yet the safety report shows a gap in knowledge and confidence for transgender young people in particular. When young people know about their rights, and have confidence in the process, they are more likely to be willing to report. An increase in reported crimes since the introduction of the legislation is certainly positive, yet more must be done to ensure that LGBT young people feel safe in their communities, understand their rights and how to report discrimination and harassment, and have the confidence to report’ (Fergus McMillan, Chief Executive).

Click here to download the full report.

Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People: Community and Identity Research

In 2012, LGBT Youth Scotland undertook a survey on life in Scotland for LGBT young people, aged 13-25. This report presents the key findings of the survey in respect of community and identity and complements the others on education, health, and safety. The questions in the survey relating to community and identity explored LGBT young people's experiences of feeling accepted and included in their families and communities and how safe they felt in Scotland on the whole.


Women, bisexual people and transgender people were particularly likely to identify negative perceptions or experiences, as were those from rural areas.

LGBT young people who felt accepted in the community were significantly more likely to be; employed, in education, and confident reporting hate crime to the police. They were also less likely to consider themselves to have a mental health problem.

88.2% thought homophobia was a problem for Scotland and 76.8% thought it was a problem in their local area.

83.9% thought transphobia was a problem for Scotland and 80.7% thought it was a problem in their local area.

67.3% though biphobia was a problem for Scotland and 62% thought it was a problem for their local area.

Responses to the questions covered in this report differed significantly across gender, sexual orientation, whether respondents identified as transgender, and location.

Click on the image to download the full report