Community News

LGBT+ Fear Hand-holding in Europe

Paul Wright May 19, 2020

The world`s biggest survey and report of LGBT+ people and hate crime has revealed that the majority of respondents were afraid to hold their partner`s hand in Europe out of fear of reprisals. 62% of those surveyed said they “often” or “always” avoided holding their partner`s hand out of fear of being harassed. 140,000 LGBT+ people across Europe and the UK along with North Macedonia and Serbia were surveyed by the EU`s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). The survey also found that one in five of trans and intersex people experienced assault that was physical or sexual.

UK results from 12,265 surveyed people showed that 24% were rarely open about their identity and 52% felt that the government was lacking when it came to meaningfully combating anti-LGBT+ attitudes. 43% were harassed in the last 12 months. Nine percent reported discrimination when looking for work and 20% encountered discrimination in the workplace. The UK respondents comprised 2,453 lesbians, 3,398 gay men. 2,453 bisexual women, 693 bisexual men, 2,607 trans people and 121 intersex people.

On the plus side, the survey discovered that average life satisfaction for LGBT+ people in the UK hit 75%.

“Too many LGBT+ people continue to live in the shadows, afraid of being ridiculed, discriminated (against) or even attacked. Even though some countries have advanced LGBT+ equality, our survey findings show that overall there has been too little real progress, leaving many LGBT+ people vulnerable. Their job and healthcare difficulties may worsen due to Covid-19” said Michael O`Flaherty, FRA director.

Separately, the French government released data showing that anti-LGBT+ crimes in France have rocketed by 36% in 2019. Verbal attacks accounted for 33% and  approx. 28% of attacks  physical or sexual. Of those attacked or insulted and resulting in a hate crime being reported, men in larger cites were more often the target at 75%. “These figures testify to the deep anchoring of homophobia and transphobia in society” the Interior Ministry said. The French law enforcement authorities reported that there were 1,870 victims of offences. The data suggests a two-pronged change: more attacks on the LGBT+ community coupled with more reporting of attacks.

LGBT+ information and support in France,