COMMENT: Do not dismiss or explain away the rise in recorded homophobia

Craig Hanlon-Smith October 13, 2020

Please do not dismiss or explain away the rise in recorded homophobia as “more people are now reporting these crimes”. I experienced three serious incidents within the space of just over a year in 2017-2018 and following the public service and legal response to the first, I did not report the other two.

In 2019 there were almost three dozen serious physical assaults on people in Brighton’s gay village late at night within the space of two months. Only one in three of these was reported to the police.

These official statistics are a fraction of the reality for LGBTQ+ people living in the UK post the EU membership referendum.

We have to do more and we have to do it better and it starts in places of education and in the workplace. We need more LGBTQ+ networks in our places of employment and study, and networks that embrace all other diversities within the LGBTQ+ broad community.

There can not be a space for suppressed or explicit racism or misogyny within any aspect of the the LGBTQ+ communities, and we cannot allow space for homophobia within other marginalised groups. It is decisive and ultimately destructive. Call it out.

We are better together, and it starts with me.