EU: Transgender, LGBT Youth Face Great Hostility

EU: Transgender, LGBT Youth Face Great Hostility

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11042889774_43b0c8a157The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has further explored the results from its EU-wide survey on violence and discrimination towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. These latest findings, which FRA will present at a high-level conference in Valletta organized by the Maltese and Swedish governments, underline how fear, isolation and discrimination are felt even more acutely by transgender  and young LGBT people.

“We have identified disturbing patterns of violence and discrimination towards LGBT people especially in relation to younger people and those who are transgender,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “However, the Eurovision song contest results reveal a measure of respect and tolerance towards the LGBT community that we hope will continue to grow across Europe.”

FRA’s latest analysis identifies cross-cutting themes, such as:

Large national differences: While experiences of discrimination and hate crime are reported by many LGBT people in all Member States, there were strong national differences. Only in very few exceptional cases were these national differences minimal – in all countries the survey pointed to negative experiences at school and high levels of under-reporting of incidents of hate crime and discrimination.

Higher levels of violence experienced by younger LGBT people: Respondents between 18-25 years old were less open about being LGBT than older respondents – 67 percent hid or disguised their sexual orientation or gender identity when they were at school. Young LGBT people were also more likely to be victims of violence or to be threatened.

Transgender people face more discrimination and violence: The survey results reveal that transgender respondents suffer more discrimination and hate crimes. This shows the need for more attention to the problems transgender people face.

The initial results were published in 2013 and overwhelmingly pointed to widespread levels of violence, bullying at school as well as discrimination. These and other findings are being presented on May 13 at the second international IDAHO Forum, a high-level conference hosted by the Maltese and Swedish governments to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).

Over 93,000 LGBT people aged 18 or above from all across the EU completed the online survey. This summer FRA will publish the main results report from the survey.

FRA has been working on the fundamental rights of LGBT people since 2007. Future publications will focus on the situation of transgender people (November 2014) and the role of policy makers, police, teachers and health workers in tackling the problems faced by LGBT people (2015). An update on FRA’s comparative EU legal report is also expected in 2015.

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