Lgbt Isolation - voices from the sw

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  • The ten dimensions of equality
    Life - including avoiding shortening life expectancy
    Physical security - including freedom from violence and physical and sexual abuse
    Health, well-being - and access to high quality healthcare
    Education - including both being able to be creative, to acquire skills and qualifications and having access to training and life-long learning
    Standard of living - including being able to live with independence and security; and covering nutrition, clothing, housing, warmth, utilities, social services and transport
    Productive and valued activities - including such things as access to employment, a positive experience in the workplace, work/life balance, and being able to care for others individual, family and social life
    Participation, influence and voice - including participation in decision-making and democratic life
    Identity, expression and self-respect
    Legal security - including equality and non-discrimination before the law and equal treatment within criminal justice system.
    Individual, family and social life - Including self-development, having independence and equality in relationships and marriage.
     
  • Housing – South West averages
    Owned 73%
    Private renting 14%
    LA/Social 14%
  • VISIBILITY - 76% wanted routine sexual/gender identity monitoring in schools and other educational institutions
  • Lgbt Isolation - voices from the sw

    1. 1. LGBT isolation: Transforming rural England? Brenda Weston Equality South West
    2. 2. “Health care providers “Edu need to realise that there as ner w and cation o “... my part is more than one way to f he c smear alth prof are refused a live and love. As soon as essi cause she test be on Tran ...” they’ve got that down, s iss als in s a lesbian wa ues. we’ll be fine.” ” rity, a mino ppress sy to o asis of “I wen ry ea t to a r “It is ve ple, on the b ce banter elig so m e offi am memb ious schoo ex ss d for lw igote e rs armle openly in g ly h rity of b homop of the staf here in o eem s f wer hob gam s impac ted on ic and I feel e allowin m to expres nged.” and t my ed a ll e eedo ucatio his negati ople fr c views unch n vely .. pe . phobi homo “Si -I e hol mple n m oint cer p is s ding h thing con to the s es ” wo till se ands like ssu to get hout a imers r al i t pol se se en as in pu ent want ce wi Alzhe “M o t n g. rat itical en a tabo blic o n pende e - e. s d h e oo e lif affe er th xpre a r of d lity of ctio an o ssio qua n n... ne ” of
    3. 3. Why the PP&T survey? Wanted to identify the real issues for LGB and Trans people in the South West of England:  Highlight issues specific to ‘sub-groups’ as well as those common to all  Bring the voices of contributors directly to readers  Assist LGB and Trans ‘equality-proofed’ policy making  Support LGB and Trans groups to influence and challenge local policy-making  Stimulate debate and further research ...
    4. 4. How did we do it?  Joint advisory group: LGB, Trans + ESW  Qs based around ‘ten dimensions of equality’  Anonymous  Emphasis on open-ended questions  Electronic + strategically placed hard copies  Launched through ESW e-bulletin  Open Jan – July 2010
    5. 5. 362 contributors  Gender • 47% female 6% MtF Trans • 43% male 4% FtM Trans  Sexuality: L 34%; G 41%; B 14% (other 11%)  Age range: youngest, 14; oldest 87  Disabilities: 23% self-identified  Race: 21 BME respondents  Religion/belief: 86 identified a religion or belief
    6. 6. 362 contributors  55% live in cities or large towns  ... across 30 local authority areas  Housing: 52% owned; 29% private rent; 6% social 15% no tenure  Relationships:      17% civil partners 34% single 39% in a relationship 28% biological parents or in a parental role 7% married  Income: majority under £25k (largest grp £15-20K)
    7. 7. Health and well-being: key findings  Childhood homo/transphobia - impact on adult health and well-being  Top health concerns: mental and sexual health  Key health care issues  Practitioners lack of knowledge/awareness  Prejudice can lead to unnecessary health risks  Different health/care issues affect sub-groups  Ageing – Anxieties around care and support in heterosexist care environments
    8. 8. Health and well-being: messages  All providers – including voluntary sector - publicise LGB and Trans inclusiveness  All staff and volunteers - awareness training and respect in practice  GPs - attitudes and clinical knowledge key: LGB and Trans surgery-based specialists?  Health & social care & supported housing providers - need to understand complexities of LGB and Trans ageing  Mental health services - more counselling, more timely and more LGB and Trans aware  All providers - monitor sexual/gender identities
    9. 9. Health and well-being: Voices  “It has to start with kids and schools. I've suffered from severe depression since an early age and have contemplated suicide since I was a little boy...”  “...staff not accepting that I should be with my civil partner during discussions with a doctor immediately prior to a procedure...”  “Access to gay friendly GP practice & able to choose woman GP when I need to...”  “...advice based on knowledge, experience and current research, not an antiquated chapter on 'gender dysfunction' read by GP in 1978 ..”  “... it will not be too long before I will need residential/similar care - I do not think the providers are geared up to this.”  “More varied counselling services - particularly more counsellors with a positive attitude to LGBT.”
    10. 10. Safety and security: findings  Experiences of homophobic/transphobic incidents in the past two years - 68% had not reported to anyone  11% in school, college, university or in the workplace  16% in their local area after dark  12% in their local area in day time  Domestic violence – Over 80% had not reported to anyone  19% had experienced violence from parents/ guardians  26% from intimate partners  8% from other family members  2% from own or other children in the household  Ongoing, low-level homophobic abuse creates a climate of fear.
    11. 11. Safety & security: Messages  Responsible bodies (police, employers, unions) must make it easy to report, and address homophobic/transphobic incidents  School, colleges and workplaces must create safe and supportive (zero tolerance) environments for LGB and Trans people, with clear reporting and enforcement procedures  Victim support agencies need to publicise their services better, and publicly welcome LGB and Trans people, especially in relation to abuse in the home  Housing providers need to understand the effects of persistent neighbour abuse and enforce tenancy conditions  Mass media outlets should help raise public awareness through fair media representation of LGB and Trans people
    12. 12. Safety & security: Voices  “My employer did not feel that the homophobic abuse I was subject to (...homophobic language, exclusion from social activities, open expression of homophobic attitudes etc) was homophobia”.  “Teachers would not take me seriously, and no idea how to report...”  “They just could not imagine or really deal with how I could be feeling as they were uneducated in Trans issues. I felt unheard, pacified and patronised.” (following an assault)  (Attacked) “a number of years ago. Did not tell police ... as did not trust them... things have changed and I would tell them now.”  “I was hospitalised following a severe assault, which included sexual assault, in a park on my way home from work.”  “By tackling homophobia more - it would be great to think that it was ok to hug my partner in public like other couples can.”
    13. 13. Visibility, dignity, self-expression: findings  Family reactions are fundamental and crucial  Schools, colleges have a key exemplary/supportive role  LGB and T people want to be a visible part of society  The media distort perceptions of LGB and Trans people’s lives: do not reflect the ‘ordinariness’  Depression and other mental health effects from prejudice is a multiagency concern  Poor workplace equality practices can cost us all  Some ‘gay’ venues and LGB and Trans organisations are less welcoming than ‘mainstream’ ones  Things have improved, including (many of) the police ...
    14. 14. Visibility, dignity, self-expression: Messages  Better information, support and advice for families and LGB and Trans children  All public bodies to actively promote LGB and Trans equality and eliminate discrimination  Consulting and involving LGB and Trans people key  Media to take responsibility for the attitudes they foster – and their consequences  Schools to ensure all staff are LGB and Trans aware, willing & equipped to deal with incidents  Health staff to ensure patients feel safe to discuss LGB and Trans identity-related issues
    15. 15. Visibility, dignity, self-expression: Voices  “...The worst prejudice has come from religious friends and relatives.”  “The biggest problem I face is assumption of heterosexuality.”  “I was continually called names at work and physically assaulted, but was not backed up by the management, leading to a mental breakdown and ill-health retirement.”  “the police have been great...friendly reassuring helpful”  “… schools/colleges/universities etc. need to have training on equality and diversity.”  “The people who most need to change are the media.”
    16. 16. Knowledge, voice, influence: Findings  30% ‘Very aware’ of equality protections; 22% had ‘Very little knowledge’  63% did not know where to get advice on rights  Mixed views on whether/how identity affects opportunities to influence local decision making  Anticipated prejudice affects civic and voluntary activity  Diversity of methods, anonymity, and trust are key to effective consultation and complaints feedback  More active voters than general population: voting strongly influenced by party attitudes to diversity.
    17. 17. Knowledge, voice, influence: Messages  Schools: homophobic/transphobic bullying policies clearly explained and effectively enforced  Councils and other public bodies:  Properly implement PSED (including through grant giving to VCS organisations)  Make consultations/complaints accessible/targeted/responsive  Include sexual/gender identity question in surveys/consultations  Involve LGB&T people directly at policy formulation stage  Publicise diversity/LGB and Trans friendly culture and policies  VCS: ensure staff/volunteers understand/fulfil PSED  Employers: act on business case for inclusive workplaces
    18. 18. Knowledge, voice, influence: Voices  “Schools need far more openness and tools to address ... homophobic bullying, abuse and discrimination.”  “I feel happier writing an email (complaint), a computer feels less judgemental.”  “Ask me about my sexual identity...not just my gender.”  “You’re gay – you’re suspect. This is deep in the psyche. The facts should be made paramount to allay prejudice.”  “When sending through information they could do more to say that homophobia will not be tolerated...”  “I want to be a teacher and I am worried that my homosexuality may be something that holds me back...”  “I do feel restricted in what form of voluntary work I seek to undertake particularly where it involves children, older people or religious groups
    19. 19. Opportunities and standard of living: Findings  Three main factors were associated with a good quality of life: choice in housing; ability to be themselves on holiday; ability to be open about relationships.  22% believe their sexual/gender identity negatively affects their earning power; 8% believe the reverse.  13% were self-employed (this mirrors the % overall for the SW)  Slightly more felt their LGB or Trans identity has a positive than a negative effect on intellectual, skills and creative development  Myths about LGB and Trans people, and fear of prejudice deter involvement in paid and unpaid work with children, limiting the pool of volunteers and professionals available to contribute.  Trans people’s opportunities are particularly restricted in all key areas
    20. 20. Opportunities and standard of living: Messages  Leisure and tourism businesses: would benefit from declaring themselves LGB and Trans inclusive  Police: Need to take seriously homophobic/transphobic incidents which undermine LGB and Trans people’s human rights  Social housing staff: Need to understand the impact of homophobic neighbour harassment on LGB and Trans tenants and take firm action  Government, public bodies and media: need to work to dispel the myth linking LGB and Trans identity with abuse of children.
    21. 21. Opportunities and standard of living: Voices  “I am in the closet at work and in the community at large as I fear negative reactions.”  “I myself know of many closeted primary school teachers who fear the impact disclosing their sexuality will have on parents of children in their care.”  “How you are perceived (outwardly) affects where you live, where you go, choices you make.”  “Being trans can attract unwanted attention and make your life more difficult. You can be seen as a threat ... or simply mocked.”  “Simple things like holding hands in public is still seen as taboo or worse seen as a political expression rather than one of affection.”  “Being in rental accommodation often means I don't feel able to be fully open about my sexuality e.g. having my partner staying over occasionally...”

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