British black and minority ethnic gay people failed by public services

Police, education and health services failing Britain’s lesbian, gay and bisexual ethnic minorities

British black and minority ethnic gay people failed by public services
13 August 2012 Print This Article

Britain’s 400,000 black and minority ethnic people who are also lesbian, gay or bisexual are not having their needs met by public services.

That’s the main finding of a report by leading gay campaign organization Stonewall and the Runnymede Trust – released today (13 August).

Although based on just 50 in-depth interviews, it reveals a consistent picture that black or Asian people are assumed to be straight – and that results in poorer-quality public services, from healthcare to policing.

One interviewee, identified only as ‘Seiki’ aged 47, says in the report: ‘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.’

The survey also found particular problems in education. Black and minority ethnic gay pupils feel they can’t talk about their sexuality and even some gay parents are frightened to come out to their children’s teachers.

One example also highlighted a common problem where people only wanted to tackle ‘one minority at a time’.

‘Jack’, aged 40, says in the report: ‘I was invited into a school last month to give a talk. They said they needed black role models to come in, I thought ok but if I come in to talk about myself I’ve got to talk about my sexuality. They said: “Well, we’re not really sure we want to deal with that yet, so could you not talk about it?”’

The report also says that black and minority ethnic people are less likely to report anti-gay hate crime, even though they are more likely to be a victim of a physical attack.

Many in the report say police use stop and search powers disproportionately against ethnic minorities and that appears to reduce their trust in law enforcement.

And the study highlights the media as underrepresenting lesbian, gay and bisexual black and minority ethnic people.

In healthcare, staff tend to assume ethnic minority people are straight. Because of the poorly-directed services on offer, some back away from using them altogether, potentially damaging their health.

‘Chloe’, 36, said: ‘All the services they offered me were church based because I am black so religion was meant to help me. I wasn’t offered any help for my sexuality. They were trying to get rid of it.’

Meanwhile Stonewall has also released a briefing on the health of black and minority ethnic gay people in Britain today.

It reveals that black and minority ethnic lesbian, gay and bisexual people are far more likely to smoke, drink and take drugs than the general population.

And, shockingly, more than three-quarters of ethnic minority gay young people have thought about committing suicide.

Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘Gay black people contribute more than £4.5billion ($7billion €4.5billion) in taxes to fund public services, but are systematically failed by service providers.’

You can download both reports here.



No thumbnail available

Scotland to shut gay counselling service on New Years Day

Scotland's pioneering and only LGBT dedicated counselling service is to close after 35 years of service due to funding cuts
No thumbnail available

Tennis legend defends her opposition to gay marriage

Margaret Court insists her views do not reflect a hatred of gay people
No thumbnail available

OutSport Toronto: Helping LGBT sports come together

GSN meets one of Canada’s leading LGBT sports organizations
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Guy Benson decries gays 'punishing and purging dissenters' who are political conservatives

Says newly out Fox News contributor: 'I think we should be better than that in this country'
No thumbnail available

Uganda tabloid prints photos of football boss 'sodomising' a 'boy'

Ugandan paper has published graphic photos allegedly of the head of the country's main football team having gay sex with a young team player 
No thumbnail available

'It's a baby' - the truth about intersex

Gay Star News interviews the director of Intersexion, a new film that tells the story of the one in 2,000 newborn babies who don't fit neatly into a pink or blue crib
No thumbnail available

Texas Republicans want to cut funding to schools with pro-gay policies

Lawmakers in Texas introduce two bills which aim to cut funding to educational facilities which have pro LGBT policies
No thumbnail available

UN Human Rights Council passes LGBTI excluding ‘family protection’ resolution

Egypt and Sierra Leone put forward a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council on the ‘protection of the family’ which was passed without language inclusive of LGBTI families with the help of Russia