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Majority of LGBT people feel the need to hide their sexuality

Last month, tens of thousands took to the streets of London to take part in the city’s 43rd annual Pride parade. Sadly, this year’s celebrations were paused for a minute’s silence to remember the victims of the fatal shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando. An increased police presence was also deployed to reassure revellers of their safety in the wake of the tragic event.

This brutal attack may be an extreme example of hatred towards the LGBT+ community; however, new research for Pride in London reveals most members of the group are afraid of living a life uncensored.

According to a Populus/Quadrangle poll of more than 1,000, 74% of LGBT+ people have felt the need to lie about their sexuality or gender. 77% also said they feel uncomfortable being their true selves in public.

Lied about sexuality

The poll reveals that people who identify as LGBT+ are five times more likely to be bullied in the work place because of their sexuality.

In fact, 59% of LGBT+ respondents feel threatened by other people’s attitudes and behaviours towards them. Just 16% of straight respondents feel the same.

The chart below shows further striking contrasts between the feelings of the LBGT+ community and straight people.

Personal experiences

This fear of ill-treatment and abuse certainly contributes to a high proportion of the LGBT+ community feeling the need to censor themselves in public.

Gay men in particular feel that they must adjust their behaviour. 42% are reluctant to hold their partners hand in public and 55% think twice before showing affection in public.

Self-censoring

Chair of Pride in London, Michael Salter-Church, said:

“Great progress has been made in the name of LGBT+ equality in recent years, but these figures show the striking reason why Pride is still as important as ever. People in Britain who are LGBT+ still face the need to filter their true selves and hide affection to their loved ones. At its heart, Pride in London is a community led movement that recognises the struggles and successes of everyone in our community.”

This year, Pride in London’s #nofilter campaign was designed to encourage members of the community to be proud of who they are and live life without compromise and censorship.

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