A shocking number of LGBT people in Scotland still face prejudice

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Almost all LGBT people in Scotland face discrimination, according to a new study.

The Equality Network’s report, published today, found that 97 percent of LGBT people had personally faced prejudice or discrimination in their life.

Shockingly, 79 percent of people said they had faced discrimination in the past year, and 49 percent said they had faced discrimination in the past month.

Incidents reported included homophobic, transphobic or biphobic comments at 82 percent, physical attacks at 16 percent, sexual assault at 7 percent and discriminatory treatment while accessing services, 25 percent, and in employment at 24 percent.

The online survey asked 1,052 respondents from across Scotland of their experiences regarding discrimination and prejudice.

It showed that 89 percent of LGBT people said Scots face inequality linked to sexual orientation or gender identity. 94 percent said they thought more needed to be done to fix the problem.

A majority of people said they felt they could not be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity, with 52 percent saying they could not with their family, 60 percent could not be open at work and 71 percent saying they could not when accessing services.

All noted the fear of the prejudice they might face if they were able to be open.

Nearly half, 43 percent, have said they have moved, or considered moving to a different area or out of Scotland to avoid discrimination, and to live somewhere more accepting.

As expected, those living in rural parts of Scotland having reported a “significantly worse experience” than those living in urban areas.

24 percent of those living in rural areas said their local area was “bad” or “very bad” for LGBT people, compared to just 12 percent in urban areas.

Going on, nearly half, 47 percent of those living in rural areas said they felt isolated, compared to 23 percent of those in urban areas.

The Equality Network has, on the back of the study, made recommendations for the coming decade, in order to change attitudes, tackle prejudice and hate crime and to ensure services are well equipped to meet the needs of LGBT people.