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photography Hunter Abrams
The Voices4 march at NYC Pride for those who cannotPhotography Hunter Abrams

Stonewall says the LGBT community has a problem with racism

This damning investigation lifts the lid on the community’s racism, ableism, and more

It’s always important to remember that even minority communities hold their own prejudices. A part of what made Channel 4’s recent Genderquake season so explosive was that it showed how different identities actually identified with each other. New research by Stonewall, the UK’s leading LGBT equality charity, put the community under the microscope to its most prevalent discriminations.

The report, based on YouGov polling of over 5,000 LGBT people, investigated the experiences of different groups of LGBT people and the results are damning. 51 per cent queer and trans people of colour said they have faced discrimination from the wider LGBT community. Especially black people, with three in five attesting to having experienced poor treatment and cruel comments while also feeling unwelcome or uncomfortable in LGBT specific spaces.

“This research gives a worrying insight into just how serious a problem prejudice is within our community, and we need to talk about it. Users of dating apps will be familiar with phrases like ‘No blacks, no Asians’ and ‘No chocolate, no curry, no rice, no spice’ becoming the modern-day versions of ‘No blacks, no dogs, no Gypsies’,” said Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive, Stonewall UK. “Both online and in their daily lives, LGBT people of colour are excluded and face stereotyping from their white peers. This leaves BAME LGBT people feeling unwelcome within the wider community.”

There are also other vulnerable communities facing “double discrimination”. More than a third of trans people have experienced discrimination or poor treatment – some interviewees saying they felt uncomfortable in Manchester’s famous gay village having been “groped to 'see if I had the parts'”. While others questioned why so few LGBT spaces have gender neutral toilets.

A quarter of disabled people had similar feelings of discrimination and for those who practice religion there are also large risks of exclusion. One testimonial from a 21-year-old named Asha described how invisible you can feel when your sexual orientation intersects with being a mintority. “Remember that it's not just white cis abled people who are LGBT+,” she said. “I am an Arab, ex Muslim, autistic, mentally ill, poor brown girl who is also bi. No LGBT+ supports me or accommodates, I am invisible.”

The report makes several suggestions for improvement of LGBT organisations, such as ensuring more diversity in decision-making groups, anti-discrimination training, partnering with BAME and disability groups, as well as listening to and giving a platform to others.

“It’s only by working together that we can create a world where all LGBT people are accepted without exception,” Hunt added.

You can read the full LGBT in Britain Home and Communities report here