Hate crime in the LGBTI community is still happening and seems to be on the increase. I have many friends within this community and I am disgusted by this. Here are some LGBTI facts and figures taken from the Stonewall Website www/stonewall.org.uk. Taken from Unhealthy Attitudes (2015) and The RaRE Research Report (2015)
One in six lesbian, gay and bi people have experienced a homophobic or biphobic hate crime or incident over the last three years
Two-thirds of those experiencing a hate crime or incident did not report it to anyone
Fewer than one in 10 victims who reported hate crimes and incidents to the police said it led to a conviction
A quarter (26 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bi people alter their behaviour to hide their sexual orientation to avoid being the victim of a hate crime
38 per cent of trans people have experienced physical intimidation and threats and 81 per cent have experienced silent harassment (e.g. being stared at/whispered about)
One in five (19 per cent) lesbian, gay and bi employees have experienced verbal bullying from colleagues, customers or service users because of their sexual orientation in the last five years
One in eight (13 per cent) lesbian, gay and bi employees would not feel confident reporting homophobic bullying in their workplace
A quarter (26 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bi workers are not at all open to colleagues about their sexual orientation
Nearly half (42 per cent) of trans people are not living permanently in their preferred gender role stated they are prevented from doing so because they fear it might threaten their employment status
Over 10 per cent of trans people experienced being verbally abused and six per cent were physically assaulted at work. As a consequence of harassment and bullying, a quarter of trans people will feel obliged to change their jobs
More than half (55 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bi pupils have experienced direct bullying
Almost all (99 per cent) gay young people hear the phrases ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so gay’ in school and 96 per cent of gay pupils hear homophobic language such as ‘poof’ or ‘lezza’
Almost a third of lesbian, gay and bi pupils are ignored or isolated by other people
Two in five (41 per cent) have attempted or thought about taking their own life directly because of bullying and the same number say that they deliberately self-harm directly because of bullying
59 per cent of trans youth said they had deliberately hurt themselves, compared with 8.9 per cent of all 16- to 24-year-olds
Since 1990, 40 countries have decriminalised homosexuality and over 30 have outlawed homophobic hate crimes. As of 2015, over 60 countries legally protect LGBT people at work and 15 recognise same-sex marriage
Sex with someone of the same sex is illegal in 72 countries, and punishable by death in ten. That means 40 per cent of the world’s population live in countries where gay, lesbian and bisexual people can be imprisoned, just for being themselves. Over 400 million people live under laws which punish same-sex sex with the death penalty
Almost half (46 per cent) of the LGBTI people killed in the Americas in 2013-2014 were trans women
Between 2008 and 2014, there were 1,612 trans people were murdered across 62 countries – equivalent to a killing every two days
One in 12 trans people in Europe experience violent hate crime each year
I, Jenny Essex, interviewed some of my friends in the LGBTI community.
Robert Anthony, Founder of LGBT Brighton, says his parents disowned him when he came out as gay.
“My family disowned me when I was 17 – both mother and father died without even knowing me. Because I moved to England they pretended I was dead….this is the kind of thing that has happened to quite a few people and therapists have to pick up the pieces.”
Sophia, a transexual woman from living in Surrey has a lot to say about TERFs. TERF means Trans-exclusionary radical feminism . This radical feminism is characterised by transphobia and transmiisogyny. This group believe that the term “real women” only applies to those who were born with vaginas and XX chromosomes. Unfortunately for Sophia, she experiences online abuse from TERFs on a daily basis because she was born with a penis. She says she has been told that “women are entitled to their own spaces” re changing rooms and toilets. (I find this ridiculous in this day and age!)
Another friend of mine called Sophia who is also a transgender woman has to work dressed as a man or she will not be given work. Sophia’s work is IT based and she works freelance. She told me “Some people think you have to look plain to be able to work. And if I get one homophobic complaint from anyone it would reduce the times I get called. I have no contracts with anyone. Everything I do I’d just email or call. Can you do this date. If they are worried bout complaints they won’t use me. Also it’s mostly a male world. Females are not as strong so not as many. If I looked female and could pass as being female I can work. But I don’t look or sound female and will take a lot of work to change.”
Stephanie Woodcock is a transgender woman and alternative model. She has had lots of online abuse for the fact that she is transgender, in fact she has what she calls a “wall of shame” on her Facebook. She looks online for love, but comes across perverts looking specifically for “chicks with dicks” and constantly gets asked rude and invasive questions about her genitalia. She gets asked to do inappropriate things daily. Stephanie suffers anxiety and panic attacks. (Stephanie has had her gender reassignment surgery since this interview).
Jay Kimiraz inspirational TV personality has suffered the worst kind of hate crime. When Jay was 17 he was beaten by a gang of 7 men and left for dead in a homophobic and unprovoked attack. Jay spent considerable time in hospital with his injuries and underwent life changing surgery to save his life and after being discharged he lived on the streets for fear that he would be targeted and attacked again if he returned to his family home. Jay set up a gospel choir /Entertainment company with the help of the Princes Trust including a singing motivational workshop bringing music to deprived communities and turned his life around. Jay carried the olympic torch and won a Pride of Britain award for his outstanding achievement in changing his life around andnfor his work with Gospel Choirs and his Smile To Sing workshops. His Pride of Britain was Awarded by HRH The Prince of Wales and Pearce Brosnan. He continues to be an ambassador for the Princes Trust and is now successfully persuing a career in TV and Radio including presenting with his partner David Anthony Smith.
Jay also recently became an ambassador for my friend’s LGBTI friendly clinic; Dr Giorgia Ratta Cosmetic Clinic in Harley Street and London Bridge. (Yes some clinics shockingly are not LGBTI friendly and refuse to treat transgender and transsexual people). Giorgia specialises in feminisation and masculinisation.
At home I regularly talk to my children about LGBTI issues in a way that they will understand to curb any ignorance in the future and I think these issues should also be addressed in schools. My children will grow up to be well rounded and empathetic people to be proud of. I tell them that people have their differences, but there’s nothing wrong with that and we are all human beings at the end of the day. It’s a good heart that really matters. It’s very important that we educate the next generation.
Just Jenny from the Blog!
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