A report by the LGBT Youth Scotland, published on IDAHOTBIT, shows young people still feel rejected by friends, family and community in education and work, facing homophobia, transphobia and biphobia.
The report is based on a survey with LGBT young people, ages 13-25 across Scotland and focuses on their experiences of socialisation opportunities and of feeling accepted in families and communities.
LGBT young people felt that there were still high rates of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Higher rates still were reported as being felt by youth living in rural areas.
An overwhelming majority (88.2%) of LGBT respondents said that homophobia was a problem in Scotland and 76.8% in their local area. 67.3% said that biphobia was a problem in Scotland and 62% in their local area. While 83.9% thought transphobia was a problem for Scotland and 80.7% in their local area.
While 70.5% of LGBT respondents thought that Scotland was a good place for LGBT young people to live, only 57.4% felt accepted in the wider community. Transgender young people were less likely to feel accepted, at 40.7%.
69% of urban respondents felt included and accepted in the wider community, while only 51.6% of suburban respondents and 45% of rural respondents said the same.
Gay men were most likely to feel included and accepted in their families (77.7%) and the wider community (70.9%).
While bisexual women were least likely to feel included and accepted in their own family (44.4%), transgender respondents were least likely as a group overall to feel included and accepted in the wider community (40.7%).
The report shows that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is still widespread throughtout Scotland, despite the country being rated the best country in Europe for LGBT equality this week by ILGA.
One young person highlighted the gap between legislation, policies and what happens in real life: “Although there is undoubtable homophobia, at least our government and police forces are on our side and don’t stand for hate crimes…
“Yes, Scotland could be better but the fact that our government recognises the LGBT community as part of society is a big step.
“As a transgender person I do feel that a lot more could be done in Scotland to raise awareness of trans issues. I also believe that there isn’t enough services, or visibility of services for trans or gender variant people.”
The report also covers LGBT young people’s experiences of coming out, attendance at youth groups, information on where they feel comfortable socialising, and recommendations for voluntary and statutory community, youth, and children’s services.
Fergus McMillan, Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland said: “As we join others around the world today to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, we welcome, recognise and celebrate Scotland’s legal progress in regards to LGBT people’s rights and protection.
“We also recognise the distance still to be travelled in regards to changing attitudes to LGBT people. Despite positive legislative changes over the past several years, more remains to be done to improve social inclusion.
“Our research shows that many LGBT young people still face high levels of discrimination and experience barriers to feeling included and accepted in their communities.
“To help improve community life, we ask that community-based services are more explicit about being LGBT-inclusive and individuals challenge homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia whenever it is expressed.”