Research shows fears of LGBT people in London

Published: 18 July 2016 at 09:59

A rainbow flag flying

Prejudice, safety and poverty are key issues highlighted by Anglia Ruskin psychologists

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Research published today presents a worrying picture for many LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) individuals accessing services in London.

The study, carried out by Dr Daragh McDermott and Dr Russell Luyt of Anglia Ruskin University’s Psychology Department and funded by the independent charity Trust for London, highlights serious issues around prejudice, safety and poverty.

The research, which surveyed 158 LGBT service users and 60 service providers including the NHS, charities and local authorities, shows that LGBT communities in London face a multitude of issues that require targeted support.

Ensuring their own physical safety is a constant or significant challenge for a third of LGBT people and more than 40% of LGBT people experience some form of prejudice on a regular basis.  Additionally, the majority of those surveyed are reluctant to reveal their sexuality and/or gender identity to mainstream service providers, for fear of the reaction.

The study also found that LGBT people face significant financial hardship and lack sufficient financial resources to maintain a suitable standard of living in the capital, with over a third of respondents reporting to be earning less than £15,000 per year.

Amongst their recommendations, the authors suggest the need to develop specialist service provision alongside more mainstream provision, fostering collaboration in terms of needs and geographical locations, where appropriate.

Dr Daragh McDermott, Deputy Head of Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, said: 

“Our research shows that while there have been many positive legislative steps forward for sexual and gender minorities, many LGBT people living in London face significant issues both in terms of access to services and their own personal health, safety and well-being.

“At a time when public policy seems to be moving towards reducing the public services available for minority communities, we recommend that increased investment should be made in these supports.”

Bharat Mehta, Chief Executive of Trust for London, said:

“The LGBT community in London is a diverse and vibrant one and its importance in London’s social and economic fabric cannot be understated. 

“This study however points to a number of worrying trends amongst those experiencing multiple issues who require key services, particularly around safety, prejudice and poverty.”