By Michael Briggs, Antonia Blackwell

Back in July 2017, recognising that LGBT people face barriers to full participation in public life, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) launched the largest national survey of LGBT people ever conducted. The aim of the survey was to strip away the barriers that LGBT people face so that everyone can go as far as their hard work and talent can take them, regardless of sexual orientation or identity. The survey asked a number of questions about LGBT people’s experiences of living in the UK, including in the areas of personal safety, healthcare, education and employment.

While the results of the survey confirmed a number of positive responses, particularly regarding the United Kingdom’s own good record on progressing LGBT rights, there were still a number of concerning findings, including:

  • more than two thirds of LGBT respondents said they had avoided holding hands with a same-sex partner for fear of a negative reaction
  • approximately two in five respondents had experienced an incident because they were LGBT, such as verbal harassment or physical violence
  • discrimination, harassment and bullying disproportionately affects LGBT people when compared to heterosexuals and continues to be an issue in the workplace
  • 11%of LGBT people had experienced a negative reaction in the workplace due to someone else disclosing that they were LGBT, without their permission. 9% had received a negative reaction in the workplace as a result of inappropriate comments or conduct and
  • that where a serious incident had been experienced at work, 77% of the respondents involved had chosen not to report it, largely because they thought nothing would happen or change