More and more LGBT people feel able to be open about who they are with their friends, family, in the workplace and in their communities.
This means that many more of us can be ourselves with the people who matter most to us, which is critical for our confidence and sense of well-being.
But we can’t be complacent. Hate crime against LGBT people is on the rise and many LGBT people do not feel confident being open about who they are in their communities. LGBT people who are black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) or disabled are far more likely to feel unable to be open, even with those closest to them.
Making the UK a country where all LGBT people are accepted without exception can only happen when there is a sustainable approach to building acceptance, rejecting attempts to divide us, and tackling hate at a local and national level.
We also need to take steps at a local level to create inclusive communities, reducing the conditions that lead to hate crime taking place. Local LGBT community infrastructure – from Prides to youth support groups – is vital to building united communities that celebrate diversity and ensure all LGBT people are accepted.
We want to see committment from the UK government to:
- Challenge and reject hate in our communities. Stand against any attempt to target of minorities and create division in our country
- Commit to delivering the National LGBT Action Plan, and develop it into a cross-Government strategy on LGBT equality
- Update legislation in England and Wales, so that hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity or disability are treated equally to those based on race and faith. This should include making them aggravated offences, increasing the maximum sentence for judges to apply on conviction
- Make sure that local LGBT groups and Prides have the resources they need to improve inclusion and challenge prejudice in their local communities
- Increase confidence that the criminal justice system will support victims, by updating guidance and delivering targeted compulsory training to all police officers, frontline staff and others in the justice system in England and Wales
- Continue to educate and inform LGBT communities about what constitutes a hate crime, both online and offline, and how it can be reported
- Ensure all social media platforms deal with incidents of online anti-LGBT abuse seriously and swiftly, holding them to account when they fail to do so. This must also include clear communication to all users that anti-LGBT abuse is unacceptable, with privacy, safety and reporting mechanisms made easily available
- Legislate to include voluntary questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in the 2021 census, so that public services can meet the needs of LGBT people in their local area
- Make sure that LGBT people can fully participate in local community events, including grassroots sport. Work with Sport England and other governing bodies to kick homophobia, biphobia and transphobia out of sport
- Take measures to ban the harmful practice of conversion therapy