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British LGBT+ people still feel the need to lie about their sexuality research reveals

23 June 2016

There will be some road closures during the Parade (Photograph: Lauren Anderson)

Three-quarters of LGBT+ people still feel the need to lie about their sexuality or gender identity, according to new research ahead of Pride in London

Pride in London, in partnership with Quadrangle and Populus, conducted a survey of more than 1,000 LGBT+ people in the UK. The research also discovered that people who are LGBT+ are six times less likely to hold a partner’s hand in public than the rest of the population, and that LGBT+ respondents are five times more likely to have been bullied at work because of their gender.

Pride in London is one of the city’s biggest one-day events, with as many as 1m people coming to the festival to support the UK’s LGBT+ community. It is run entirely by volunteers, with more than 800 volunteers helping on the day.

Chair of Pride in London, Michael Salter-Church said: “Great progress has been made in the name of LGBT+ equality in recent years, but these figures show the striking reason why Pride is still as important as ever.

“People in Britain who are LGBT+ still face the need to filter their true selves, and hide affection to their loved ones. At its heart, Pride in London is a community led movement that recognises the struggles and successes of everyone in our community.”

Marketing Director of Pride in London, and Deputy Chair at Quadrangle Research, Alison Camps said: “As well as changing laws we need to change hearts and minds. Pride in London gives us an incredible day to celebrate who we are, and give people the confidence to be proud.

“This is what this year’s campaign #nofilter is all about. We will recognise those people who must live life under a filter, fight for them, and celebrate a day of #nofilter.”

David Ames, who plays Dominic Copeland in Holby City, and appears in the #nofilter campaign said: “My chosen career asks of me to wear a mask, to tell someone else's story and to put myself in someone else shoes. Well, that's all very well when it's work and I'm being paid.

“In my personal life, however, I don't want to have to wear a mask. I want to be the narrator of my own story and I certainly don't want to wear someone else's grotty shoes.

“So, I fully support and applaud this year’s Pride in London for its #nofilter campaign.

“Showing others that you're proud, encouraging those who need it to stand tall and making sure those most vulnerable know at all times that, as a community, we'll do all we can to support you.

“Leave your filters for your Instagram and go and celebrate being you.”

The research finds:

  • 74% of LGBT+ respondents still feel the need to lie about their sexuality or gender identity
  • 2% of the population has been bullied at work because of their gender, compared to 10% of LGBT+ respondents in our survey
  • 77% of LGBT+ respondents felt uncomfortable being their true self in public, compared to just 23% in the general population
  • 21% of LGBT+ respondents felt completely comfortable being themselves in all situations, compared with 41% of straight respondents
  • 75% of LGBT+ respondents were out to all their friends, but only 50% were out to all their colleagues
  • Friends are by far the most common group to be out to, and men are much more likely to be out in the workplace (89% of our male survey respondents) than women (76% of our female survey respondents)
  • 59% of LGBT+ respondents had felt threatened by other people's attitudes and behaviours towards them, compared with 16% of the wider population
  • While only 5% of people think twice about holding a partner's hand in public, 30% of LGBT+ respondents were uncomfortable with this, rising to 41% of gay men
    • Notes for editors

      Data sets are available on request.

      The Quadrangle executive summary is attached >

      Pride in London partnered with Populus and Quadrangle to run two pieces of research, one on a representative sample of the UK population and the second on those who are signed up to the Pride in London mailing list. Responses for LGBT+ people come from the latter survey. Whilst it is not possible to run a fully representative survey of the LGBT+ population, we believe that the contrasting figures for the broader population and the LGBT+ population we have surveyed make for a striking comparison which demonstrates that even for LGBT+ people who are out (to the extent that they are able to be on Pride in London's mailing list) there remains a huge difference in the lived experience around bullying and comfort being themselves. It is this difference which is driving our #nofilter campaign in 2016.

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