Facts on LGBT


  • One in five lesbian, gay and bisexual employees has experienced verbal bullying from colleagues, customers or service users because of their sexual orientation in the last five years.  
  • One in eight lesbian, gay and bisexual employees would not feel confident reporting homophobic bullying in their workplace. 
  • A quarter of lesbian, gay and bisexual workers are not at all open to colleagues about their sexual orientation.  


  • Stonewall’s 2012 “The School Report” found that more than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people experience homophobic bullying at school and most hear homophobic language on a frequent basis.  
  • Two in five lesbian, gay and bisexual adults expect to experience some discrimination or harassment from fellow learners because of their sexual orientation if they were to pursue a course at a further education college today.  
  • Government estimates suggest that there are now 19,000 children in same-sex parent families yet concerns about bullying in schools remain widespread.  Despite the fact that schools have a clear duty to tackle homophobic bullying, three in five (61%) lesbian, gay and bisexual people expect their child would experience bullying in primary school if it were known that their child has gay parents.  More than four in five (83%) expect the same for a child in secondary school.  
  • Research carried out by the LGBT Foundation’s, “Exceeding Expectations” programme in Manchester schools found that 75% of staff had witnessed homophobic bullying in school.  

Mental & Physical Health

  • LGB people are twice as likely as heterosexual people to have suicidal thoughts or to make suicide attempts.
  • LGB people are two to three times more likely than heterosexual people to suffer from depression. 
  • Across all age groups LGB people could be seven times more likely to take drugs. 

Some General Facts

  • The term LGBT or GLBT or LGBTQ was adopted in the 1990s and refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (and queer or questioning) people. However, the term is not without contention with some groups, such as those who are intersex, who want to be included, and others who don’t want to be included
  • Vladimir Putin once said, “There is no discrimination against gay people in my country”.  In the same sentence he added, “Russians love Tchaikovsky even though the composer was said to have been gay”.
  • Iceland was the first Country to be led by the openly gay prime minster Johanna Sigurdardottir.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom.  

LGBTIQ rights have improved considerably over the last 50 years especially in the UK! Here are just a few interesting facts…

LGBT Rights in the United Kingdom

Same-sex sexual activity legal:

  • 1967 (England and Wales)
  • 1981 (Scotland) 
  • 1982 (Northern Ireland) 

Age of consent equalised:

  • 2001 (England and Wales, Scotland) 
  • 2009 (Northern Ireland)

Gender Identity/Expression: 

  • Right to change legal gender since 2005
Military Service: 
  • Allowed to serve openly since 2000  

Discrimination Protections:

  • All protections since 2010; some existed since 2003 for sexual orientation and 1999 for gender identity.  

Family Rights:

  • Recognition of relationships
  • Same-sex marriage since 2014 (England and Wales; Scotland) 
  • Civil Partnership since 2005 (nationwide)
  • Currently same-sex marriages are not recognised or performed in Northern Ireland however a Bill has been passed and is due to come into force in Autumn 2015.  

Adoption: (Joint and stepchild adoption since)

  • 2005 England and Wales
  • 2009 Scotland
  • 2013 Northern Ireland

Today, LGBT citizens have most of the same legal rights as non-LGBT citizens and the UK provides one of the highest degrees of liberty in the world for its LGBT communities.  In ILGA-Europe’s 2015 review of LGBTI rights, the UK received the highest score in Europe, with 86% progress towards “respect of human rights and full equality” for LGBT people and 92% in Scotland alone. Recent pools have indicated that a majority of British people support same-sex marriage and 76% of the UK viewed that homosexuality should be accepted by society, one of the highest in the world.  Additionally, the UK currently holds the world record for having the most LGBTI people in Parliament with 27 LGBTI MPs elected at the 2015 election.  

Yes, the United Kingdom does appear to be paving the way for many other countries across the world and we have come a long way in the last 50 years, but there is still a lot more to achieve!  

Source: Presented by IRIS. The majority of facts and figures are obtained from Stonewall and the LGBT Foundation 

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