13 August 2012

New research reveals difficulties faced by black and minority ethnic gay people

Stonewall and Runnymede report explores black gay people’s experiences

A new report from Stonewall and the Runnymede Trust reveals serious failings in public services to meet the needs of Britain’s 400,000 black and minority ethnic lesbian, gay and bisexual people. One Minority at a Time, based on detailed interviews with black and minority ethnic gay people, exposes widespread assumptions that black people are heterosexual, with little effort being made to correct this view. Many participants said this perception often leads to inappropriate and poor-quality responses from public services. Respondents also expressed frustration with the near invisibility of black gay people in public life.

One participant in the research said: ‘I think that I can either be gay or I can be South Asian, or I can be a Hindu. The fact that I can be all three becomes very difficult for people to comprehend.’

Today Stonewall also publishes a detailed briefing on the health of black and minority ethnic gay people in Britain, building on the charity’s ground-breaking research into lesbian, gay and bisexual people’s health. The briefing reveals serious concerns about mental health and attempted suicide among black gay people, and low uptake of health services such as cervical screening. Both reports are available online at www.stonewall.org.uk/ethnicity

Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘These reports show the concern and isolation felt by many black and minority ethnic lesbian, gay and bisexual people, particularly when public services have not been tailored for them. Gay black people contribute more than £4.5 billion in taxes to fund public services, but are systematically failed by service providers. It’s clear that celebrations such as this week’s UK Black Pride, which Stonewall is proud to support as principal sponsor, remain vital to celebrate diversity and showcase role models for young people.’

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