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LGBTI People of the Commonwealth exhibition

LGBTI People of the Commonwealth‘LGBTI People of the Commonwealth’ highlights the challenges facing LGBTI groups in the 53 Commonwealth countries, and their campaign work. The exhibition runs from 23rd July to 1st August in Pride House Glasgow before beginning a tour of Scotland. [Read more…]

Further Out: Oban

The Equality Network are holding a number of special discussion events in more rural and island communities of Scotland.

There are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in every part of Scotland from our biggest cities to our smallest settlements and islands. While LGBTI equality has progressed considerably in recent years the lived experience of LGBTI communities in urban settings is vastly different to that of LGBTI communities in more rural and island settings.

Our Scottish LGBT Equality Report highlighted that the experiences of LGBT people vary considerably across the country. Those living in rural parts of Scotland report a significantly worse experience than those living in urban areas, including more prejudice, greater isolation, and less access to local services that meet their needs.

  • Almost a quarter of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (24%) described their local area as a ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ place for LGBT people to live, compared to 12% of those living in urban areas.
  • Almost half of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (47%) said they feel isolated where they live because they are LGBT, compared to almost a quarter (23%) of those living in urban areas.
  • A majority of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (55%) said that services in their local area do not meet the specific needs of LGBT people, compared to a third (30%) of those living in urban areas.
  • Six out of ten LGBT respondents living in rural areas (59%) regularly travel outside of their local area to access LGBT services, compared to just over a third (35%) of those living in urban areas.
  • Four out of ten LGBT respondents (43%) have either moved, or considered moving, to live in a different area because of being LGBT.

That’s why we’re holding our biggest conversation yet, and we want you to take part. Why not join us and share your experiences of LGBTI life outside our biggest cities.

The events are also a good opportunity to meet LGBTI people at events in your area and discuss other LGBTI issues you’d like to raise.

Each event will last around two hours and refreshments will be available. You do not need to register but doing so will help us to better plan the event.

For further information:
Email: scott@equality-network.org
Tel: 0131 467 6039

All events are open to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, their friends, family and supporters.

Out for Sport

Out for Sport Logo

Out for Sport is Scotland’s first research into homophobia and transphobia in Scottish Sport. We carried out this research and published our groundbreaking report in 2012. The research was funded by the Awards for All programme from the National Lottery Fund.

Click on the links below to view the results of our research:

Out for Sport was a report into the barriers for LGBT people in sport, we are currently consulting with intersex people about the barriers faced by intersex people across a range of issues.

At the launch of the Out for Sport research at the home of Scottish Rugby, Murrayfield Stadium, politicians from all the main political parties in Scotland sent a message of support. You can see what they said in the video below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-cMZd1ppxfo

 

Equality Organisations Welcome Scottish Government Draft Bill To Reform The Gender Recognition Act

Leading LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex) organisations in Scotland have welcomed the Scottish Government’s draft Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, published today. The draft bill is out for public consultation until 17 March 2020.

According to Scottish Trans Alliance, Equality Network, LGBT Youth Scotland, Stonewall Scotland and LGBT Health and Wellbeing, the draft bill is a step in the right direction towards greater equality for transgender people in Scotland.

The Scottish Government previously ran a four month consultation in 2018 on how the Gender Recognition Act, which dates from 2004, could be improved. They received over 15,500 consultation responses. Two-thirds (65%) of Scottish respondents agreed with the proposed reform to a statutory declaration system.

The Scottish Government draft bill aims to simplify how transgender people change the sex on their birth certificates. The key changes are to:

  • Move to a system whereby a trans person makes a formal legal statutory declaration confirming the sex in which they have been living for at least 3 months and their intention to continue to do so for the rest of their life.
  • Introduce a 3 month ‘reflection’ period before a gender recognition certificate would be issued, meaning a trans person will have had to live in that sex for over 6 months before being able to change their birth certificate.
  • Remove the current requirement to provide a demeaning psychiatric report containing intrusive details such as what toys trans people played with as children, their sexual relationships and how distressed they were before transitioning.
  • Remove the current requirement to provide an invasive medical report describing any hormonal or surgical treatment they are planning or have undergone, or confirming they do not intend to undergo such treatment.
  • Allow 16 and 17 year olds to apply for a gender recognition certificate.

Passports, driving licences, medical records and employment records are already changed by self-declaration when a person starts transitioning. The gender recognition process to change a trans person’s sex on their birth certificate will remain more difficult than changing their sex on other identity documents.

James Morton, Scottish Trans Alliance Manager, said:

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s publication of their draft bill to reform the Gender Recognition Act. The current process to change the sex on a trans person’s birth certificate is a humiliating, offensive and expensive red-tape nightmare which requires them to submit intrusive psychiatric evidence to a faceless tribunal panel years after they transitioned.

“What’s written on a trans person’s birth certificate is not the deciding factor for their access to single-sex services or sports competitions. The reasons trans people change the sex on their birth certificate are so that they no longer have the worry of being ‘outed’ by that last piece of paperwork not matching their other ID, and to be sure that, when they die, nobody can erase their hard-won identity and right to be recorded as themselves.

“We are very pleased that the draft bill is based on statutory declaration not psychiatric evidence and that it reduces the age for application from 18 to 16. However, we are disappointed that the Scottish Government has chosen not to include under 16s or non-binary trans people in the draft bill. We urge the Scottish Government to expand the bill so that all trans people can have equal inclusion and acceptance within Scottish society.”  

During the recent UK election campaign, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was asked about reform of the Gender Recognition Act and replied:

“The reform of the Gender Recognition Act is about making the process of legally changing gender less intrusive, less bureaucratic and less traumatic for trans people. It doesn’t change the situation of single sex or women’s only spaces, that is governed by the Equality Act, which we are not proposing to change. You don’t need a gender recognition certificate to access women only spaces right now.

“I am a supporter of trans rights, I’m a supporter of women’s rights and I think it is incumbent on people like me to demonstrate that those things aren’t and needn’t be in tension and in competition. I am a lifelong feminist. I would not be proposing or arguing for something that I thought would be ‘trampling women’s rights’.”

[BBC Radio 5 Live (2 Dec 2019): https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000cqdy at timestamp 33:30]

Dr Mhairi Crawford, Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland, said:

“LGBT Youth Scotland welcomes today’s announcement and are pleased that transgender young people over 16 are included in the draft bill.

“We support the proposed changes to enable 16 and 17 year olds to change their legal paperwork to align with their gender identity, recognising trans young people’s right to privacy and to be protected from discrimination. In Scotland, 16 and 17 year olds are allowed to vote, leave school, get married and have children. They can already change the sex on their passports and education records. It makes little sense to deny them the protections that updating their birth certificate affords them.

“We share young people’s disappointment that there is no inclusion of non-binary people in this draft bill and no process for under 16s who wish to obtain legal recognition of their gender. We do, however, recognise that progress takes time and regard today’s draft bill as a steppingstone to full legal recognition for trans people. LGBT Youth Scotland will strive to bring trans young people’s views and experiences to the fore during this consultation and we will work closely with our Youth Commission on gender recognition as we develop our organisational response.”

Dr Rebecca Crowther, Policy Coordinator at Equality Network, said:

“As a lesbian feminist woman, I know that trans rights are not in contradiction of, nor counter to, the fight for women’s rights and equality, of which I am part. Scotland’s national women’s organisations broadly support the reform of the Gender Recognition Act to a statutory declaration system. Now that the draft bill has been published, it is very clear that it does not make any changes to the Equality Act’s single-sex services provisions, so will have no effect on the way single-sex spaces can choose to operate.

Sophie Bridger, Campaigns, Policy and Research Manager at Stonewall Scotland, said:

“Scotland has a proud history of being a progressive country and this Bill gives us the chance to help trans communities be recognised for who they are. Reforming the Gender Recognition Act to replace the current dehumanising, medicalised process with a process of statutory declaration would be life-changing for many trans people. However, we’d like to see the Bill go further to recognise non-binary identities, so every part of the trans community can benefit from the legislative change.

“Trans people have suffered for too long from inequalities that can be easily removed. So we need everyone who cares about equality to ‘come out’ in support of reforming the Gender Recognition Act and respond to the government’s consultation on the draft Bill.”

Dr Rosie Tyler-Greig, Policy and Influencing Manager at LGBT Health & Wellbeing, said:

“LGBT Health and Wellbeing welcomes the draft bill and the opportunity for trans people and their organisations to re-affirm the importance of a more accessible and respectful gender recognition process. Improving the process will relieve a lot of stress for many trans people, who currently struggle to gather complicated evidence and medical reports just to be recognised as who they are. It is only right that at significant points in the life course, such as accessing pensions or getting married, trans people’s paperwork matches who they are – something the majority of us can take for granted. We remain disappointed that recognition for non-binary people is not included in the proposed changes and we urge Scottish Government to take positive steps towards ensuring everyone can be recognised for who they are.”


For further information, and any press requests, please contact James Morton, Scottish Trans Alliance Manager, on 07554 992626 or james@equality-network.org

Notes to editors:

  1. The Scottish Government draft Gender Recognition (Scotland) Bill can be found at: https://consult.gov.scot/family-law/gender-recognition-reform-scotland-bill/
  2. The Gender Recognition Act 2004 allows trans people to change the sex recorded on their birth certificate. However, the procedure is intrusive and humiliating, and is not available to people under 18 or to non-binary people. In their 2016 Holyrood manifestos, the SNP, Labour, the Greens and LibDems all committed to reforming the Gender Recognition Act, and the Tories committed to review it. The Scottish Government consulted publicly on proposals for reform, from November 2017 to March 2018 and two-thirds of the Scottish respondents supported reform to a statutory declaration system: https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0054/00540424.pdf and https://www.gov.scot/publications/review-gender-recognition-act-2004-analysis-responses-public-consultation-exercise-report/
  3. The national Scottish women’s organisations broadly support the reform of the Gender Recognition Act to a statutory declaration system. Their support statement can be found at: https://www.engender.org.uk/news/blog/statement-in-support-of-the-equal-recognition-campaign-and-reform-of-the-gender-recognitio/
  4. 23 governments already provide legal gender recognition through statutory declaration: Argentina (population 44 million), Belgium (11 million), 5 provinces in Canada (5.5 million), Colombia (49 million), Denmark (5.7 million), Ireland (4.7 million), Malta (0.5 million), Norway (5.2 million), Portugal (10 million), 2 regions in Spain (14 million), Uruguay (3.4 million) and 7 states in the USA (71 million).
  5. Gender recognition reform does not affect sport. Where necessary for fair and safe competition, sports governing bodies will continue to be able to restrict trans people’s participation regardless of whether they have received legal gender recognition.
  6. Gender recognition reform does not create any new rights for trans people to access single-sex services. For example, trans women have never been required to change the sex on their birth certificates in order to use women’s toilets, changing facilities or other women’s services. The Equality Act 2010 will continue to provide single-sex services with the ability to treat a trans person differently from other service users if that is a proportionate response to achieve a legitimate aim (such as ensuring adequate privacy). This Equality Act provision applies regardless of whether the trans person has received legal gender recognition.
  7. Gender recognition reform does not affect criminal justice. A trans person’s gender recognition history and previous identity details are permitted to be shared for the purpose of preventing or investigating crime. Receiving gender recognition does not prevent someone from being prosecuted or convicted for any criminal behaviour, nor does it enable them to hide any previous convictions.
  8. The Scottish Government’s statutory declaration system would still require a trans man or trans woman to be living permanently as a man or woman before they can receive legal gender recognition. It would remain more difficult for a trans person to change the sex on their birth certificate than it is for them to change the sex on their driving licence, medical records, passport, bank accounts and other identity documents. Making a fraudulent statutory declaration is a serious criminal offence of perjury and is punishable by imprisonment.
  9. Scottish Trans Alliance scottishtrans.org is Scotland’s national transgender equality and human rights project and is based within the Equality Network, a national charity working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) equality and human rights in Scotland: www.equality-network.org
  10. LGBT Youth Scotland lgbtyouth.org.uk is Scotland’s largest youth and community based organisation for LGBT young people. We regularly support professionals to meet the needs of gender non-conforming children under the age of 13 and work with a high number of transgender young people under the age of 16 within our services. We run youth groups across Scotland and two national participation projects, including the LGBT Youth Commission on Gender Recognition.
  11. Stonewall Scotland stonewallscotland.org.uk campaign for equality and justice for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people living in Scotland. We work with businesses, the public sector, local authorities, the Scottish Government and Parliament and a range of partners to improve the lived experience of LGBT people in Scotland.
  12. LGBT Health and Wellbeing www.lgbthealth.org.uk works to promote the health, wellbeing and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults in Scotland. We run the LGBT Helpline Scotland and provide a range of community projects, including specialist mental health services and trans-specific social and support programmes.”

LGBTI Human Rights in the Commonwealth Speakers

We are delighted to announce some of our confirmed speakers for the LGBTI Human Rights in the Commonwealth conference. You can register for the event here.

Key Note Speakers

Speakers

Conference speakers:

Silvan Agius – Policy Coordinator (Human Rights), Government of Malta

Bisi Alimi – LGBT/HIV advocate and lecturer, Free University of Berlin (Nigeria).

Barbara Bompani

Dr. Barbara Bompani, Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh.

Morgan Carpenter – Intersex activist and researcher, President of Organisation Intersex International Australia.

Jonathan Cooper – Chief Executive of the Human Dignity Trust. He is a barrister and human rights specialist.

Jermaine Grant – University of Ghana alumni and former lecturer, awarded this year’s Chevening Scholarship for Guyana.

Pauline Kelly – Media and Campaigns Officer, Amnesty International – Scotland.

Pallav Patankar – Director of Humsafar Trust, Mumbai, India.

Shanon Shah

Shanon Shah – singer-songwriter, playwright and journalist from Malaysia.

Alistair Stewart – Assistant Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust

Mayur Suresh – Legal representative, Voices Against 377 (India)

Monica Tabengwa – Human rights defender and an activist from Botswana, now based in Kenya.

Peter Tatchell – Campaigner for human rights, democracy, LGBT freedom and global justice

Dr. Matthew Waites – Senior Lecturer in Sociology, co-editor of Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change (London: School of Advanced Study, 2013)

Full biographies to follow and more speakers to be announced.

Further Out: Galashiels

The Equality Network are holding a number of special discussion events in more rural and island communities of Scotland.

There are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in every part of Scotland from our biggest cities to our smallest settlements and islands. While LGBTI equality has progressed considerably in recent years the lived experience of LGBTI communities in urban settings is vastly different to that of LGBTI communities in more rural and island settings.

Our Scottish LGBT Equality Report highlighted that the experiences of LGBT people vary considerably across the country. Those living in rural parts of Scotland report a significantly worse experience than those living in urban areas, including more prejudice, greater isolation, and less access to local services that meet their needs.

  • Almost a quarter of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (24%) described their local area as a ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ place for LGBT people to live, compared to 12% of those living in urban areas.
  • Almost half of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (47%) said they feel isolated where they live because they are LGBT, compared to almost a quarter (23%) of those living in urban areas.
  • A majority of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (55%) said that services in their local area do not meet the specific needs of LGBT people, compared to a third (30%) of those living in urban areas.
  • Six out of ten LGBT respondents living in rural areas (59%) regularly travel outside of their local area to access LGBT services, compared to just over a third (35%) of those living in urban areas.
  • Four out of ten LGBT respondents (43%) have either moved, or considered moving, to live in a different area because of being LGBT.

That’s why we’re holding our biggest conversation yet, and we want you to take part. Why not join us and share your experiences of LGBTI life outside our biggest cities.

The events are also a good opportunity to meet LGBTI people at events in your area and discuss other LGBTI issues you’d like to raise.

Each event will last around two hours and refreshments will be available. You do not need to register but doing so will help us to better plan the event.

For further information:
Email: scott@equality-network.org
Tel: 0131 467 6039

All events are open to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, their friends, family and supporters.

Commonwealth Secretary-General responds to LGBTI rights petition

Petition Handover

Kamalesh Sharma, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, has responded to our petition calling on Commonwealth institutions and member states to take action on LGBTI rights. The petition was jointly delivered to the Commonwealth headquarters in London earlier this month by representatives of the Equality Network, the Kaleidoscope Trust and the Peter Tatchell Foundation. Priyanka Chauhan, Acting Head of the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Office, received the petition.

The Secretary-General responded to the petition with a letter stating that ‘equality and non-discrimination are important tenents of the Commonwealth Charter’, he also outlined ongoing work to build the capacity of national human rights institutions and parliaments to protect and promote equality and non-discrimination. The full text of Mr Sharma’s letter can be found here.

The petition, signed by 2,500 people, was collected by the Equality Network and LEAP Sports Scotland at Pride House Glasgow, Glasgow Pride, Pride Scotia and online in the run up to and during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The petition was part of wider efforts to highlight LGBTI human rights during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow which included an international conference at the University of Glasgow. The conference gathered human rights activists from across the Commonwealth resulting in a joint declaration on LGBTI rights. LEAP Sports also facilitated a Pride House for LGBT athletes and spectators during the games and the Equality Network curated an exhibition the LGBTI people of the Commonwealth.

The Equality Network would like to thank everyone who took the time to sign the petition and all the partner organisations involved.

The petition stated:

To the Commonwealth Secretary General

Of the 53 member states of the Commonwealth, 42 continue to criminalise consensual adult same-sex relationships, with maximum penalties in some states of life imprisonment or execution. Across the Commonwealth, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people are denied equal access to rights, education, employment, housing and
healthcare.

We call on Commonwealth member states to:

1. Immediately stop applying laws that criminalise lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex (LGBTI) people and limit their access to human rights.

2. Work with local LGBTI and human rights groups to better understand the struggles they face in accessing their human rights.

We also call on the Commonwealth Secretariat to:

1. Work with member states to uphold the Commonwealth Charter in full, by developing a shared understanding of the required non-discrimination grounds as including sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

2. Work with member states to meaningfully include LGBTI rights into national human rights frameworks.

3. Work with LGBTI groups across the Commonwealth to better understand the struggles they face in accessing their human rights.

The referendum result and LGBTI equality

Referendum FlagsAfter a long debate, the people of Scotland have decided by 55% to 45% that Scotland should remain part of the UK.

Huge numbers of people across the country have taken active part in this debate, in what has been described as the greatest democratic experience in the history of Scotland. The turnout of 85% is a record – the highest turnout ever in a national vote in Scotland. The vote also made history by being the first to include people aged 16 and 17.

The Equality Network has been strictly neutral throughout the independence debate. That’s because we know that there is a very wide range of strongly-held views on independence amongst LGBTI people in Scotland. Many will be happy with this result; many will be deeply disappointed that their hopes have been dashed.

It was always right that this should be decided by a vote of all the people of Scotland, and of course the vote has very wide implications. It is the Equality Network’s job though to work, in whatever the circumstances, for greater equality for all LGBTI people in Scotland. We hope that all LGBTI people, independence supporters or not, are together on that. Taking that rather narrowly focussed perspective on the result then, what now for LGBTI equality in Scotland?

Devolution now

Major areas of law and public services that affect LGBTI people have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament, since 1999. Those include most of marriage, civil partnership and gender recognition law, adoption, hate crime, and sexual offences law, as well as health, education, local government, and police and justice services. In those areas, the Scottish Parliament has made good progress on LGBTI equality, sometimes a little ahead of England and Wales, sometimes a little behind.

What devolution certainly enables is Scotland doing those things differently, and in our view a little better, and more appropriately for Scotland. For example, our equal marriage law took a little longer to finalise, but it does not have the spousal veto and is better in some other ways too. Devolution is about Scotland deciding, democratically, what works best for Scottish circumstances.

But not all areas of law are currently devolved to the Scottish Parliament; instead, some are “reserved” to Westminster. Scotland has no power to legislate to ban discrimination, or to amend the Equality Act 2010. We are stuck with the deficiencies of equality law passed at Westminster, including for example that it only protects some trans people from discrimination (those who fit the “gender reassignment” definition). Good practice around the world is to protect people from all gender identity discrimination, and we would like to see intersex status protected too.

Equality law in Scotland, set by the UK Parliament, can be contrasted with hate crime law, set by the Scottish Parliament, which represents global best practice by explicitly protecting all trans and intersex people.

More devolution?

In the run up to the independence referendum, the union-supporting parties – the Conservatives, Labour and the LibDems – promised that if Scotland voted no to independence, there would be a major package of new devolved powers for the Scottish Parliament. That promise was one of the factors that people will have taken into account when they voted in the referendum.

There is a view in Scotland that the majority of people here, whether they support independence or not, would certainly prefer “devo-max” to the existing devolution arrangements. Devo-max means maximum devolution of powers in Scotland, to Scotland, with only such areas as foreign affairs and defence decided at UK level.

The three union-supporting parties promised before the referendum an agreed and rapid timetable for introducing further devolution in the event of a no vote. But they have not yet agreed what will be devolved.

Our view is that, having made those promises, the UK Government should deliver substantial further devolution for Scotland, through an open and inclusive process of consultation with Scottish people, groups and political parties.

How could greater devolution benefit LGBTI people? Unsurprisingly, devolution of equality law is top of our list. We campaigned for that, unsuccessfully, when the Scottish Parliament was developed in 1998, and, then as now, we did that alongside Scottish equality groups working in other areas of equality.

There is no reason why equality law should not be devolved to Scotland within the UK – it is fully devolved in Northern Ireland for example (Northern Ireland’s political record of not using its devolved powers for LGBTI equality is a separate issue, that does not apply in Scotland). We see the promise of further devolution as creating an opportunity to make the same kind of progress in Scotland on equality law as we have made on hate crime law, equal marriage and other areas.

So pressing for that will be high on our agenda. It is not the only area though where the devolution arrangements are important for LGBTI equality. To mention just one other: the Scottish Parliament will need to decide on the future of civil partnership in Scotland, since that is already a devolved matter.

But if the Scottish Parliament votes to open civil partnership to mixed-sex couples – something that Scotland’s equal marriage campaign has always called for – then will the UK Government respect that decision, by recognising Scottish mixed-sex civil partnerships for purposes that are not devolved, such as pension regulation? Or will the UK impose the current England and Wales model of civil partnership on Scotland, in those reserved areas of law, regardless of Scotland’s democratic choice about who can register a civil partnership here?

These kind of questions will be an important part of our work, and that of many other groups, in the months ahead.

Further Out: Kilmarnock

The Equality Network are holding a number of special discussion events in more rural and island communities of Scotland.

There are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in every part of Scotland from our biggest cities to our smallest settlements and islands. While LGBTI equality has progressed considerably in recent years the lived experience of LGBTI communities in urban settings is vastly different to that of LGBTI communities in more rural and island settings.

Our Scottish LGBT Equality Report highlighted that the experiences of LGBT people vary considerably across the country. Those living in rural parts of Scotland report a significantly worse experience than those living in urban areas, including more prejudice, greater isolation, and less access to local services that meet their needs.

  • Almost a quarter of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (24%) described their local area as a ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ place for LGBT people to live, compared to 12% of those living in urban areas.
  • Almost half of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (47%) said they feel isolated where they live because they are LGBT, compared to almost a quarter (23%) of those living in urban areas.
  • A majority of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (55%) said that services in their local area do not meet the specific needs of LGBT people, compared to a third (30%) of those living in urban areas.
  • Six out of ten LGBT respondents living in rural areas (59%) regularly travel outside of their local area to access LGBT services, compared to just over a third (35%) of those living in urban areas.
  • Four out of ten LGBT respondents (43%) have either moved, or considered moving, to live in a different area because of being LGBT.

That’s why we’re holding our biggest conversation yet, and we want you to take part. Why not join us and share your experiences of LGBTI life outside our biggest cities.

The events are also a good opportunity to meet LGBTI people at events in your area and discuss other LGBTI issues you’d like to raise.

Each event will last around two hours and refreshments will be available. You do not need to register but doing so will help us to better plan the event.

For further information:
Email: scott@equality-network.org
Tel: 0131 467 6039

All events are open to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, their friends, family and supporters.

Further Out: Thurso

The Equality Network are holding a number of special discussion events in more rural and island communities of Scotland.

There are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in every part of Scotland from our biggest cities to our smallest settlements and islands. While LGBTI equality has progressed considerably in recent years the lived experience of LGBTI communities in urban settings is vastly different to that of LGBTI communities in more rural and island settings.

Our Scottish LGBT Equality Report highlighted that the experiences of LGBT people vary considerably across the country. Those living in rural parts of Scotland report a significantly worse experience than those living in urban areas, including more prejudice, greater isolation, and less access to local services that meet their needs.

  • Almost a quarter of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (24%) described their local area as a ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ place for LGBT people to live, compared to 12% of those living in urban areas.
  • Almost half of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (47%) said they feel isolated where they live because they are LGBT, compared to almost a quarter (23%) of those living in urban areas.
  • A majority of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (55%) said that services in their local area do not meet the specific needs of LGBT people, compared to a third (30%) of those living in urban areas.
  • Six out of ten LGBT respondents living in rural areas (59%) regularly travel outside of their local area to access LGBT services, compared to just over a third (35%) of those living in urban areas.
  • Four out of ten LGBT respondents (43%) have either moved, or considered moving, to live in a different area because of being LGBT.

That’s why we’re holding our biggest conversation yet, and we want you to take part. Why not join us and share your experiences of LGBTI life outside our biggest cities.

The events are also a good opportunity to meet LGBTI people at events in your area and discuss other LGBTI issues you’d like to raise.

Each event will last around two hours and refreshments will be available. You do not need to register but doing so will help us to better plan the event.

For further information:
Email: scott@equality-network.org
Tel: 0131 467 6039

All events are open to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, their friends, family and supporters.