Tuesday, 12 January 2016 10:18

1 in 5 Admit Making Offensive LGBT Remarks

Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, releases new research by YouGov today that shows offensive comments are frequently made about lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, but that very few people step in to challenge these slurs. The research comes ahead of Anti-Bullying Week.

In the past year, one in five (19 per cent) admitted to making offensive remarks about LGBT people. Almost a third (30 per cent) have heard offensive comments, or language like ‘poof’ or ‘dyke’, in the past month and half (49 per cent) have heard this sort of abuse in the past year.

Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of those who witnessed this abuse didn’t intervene, almost a third (31 per cent) said they did intervene but just three per cent said they offered support or assistance to the person targeted. The research also shows that women are twice as likely to confront someone they hear making offensive comments (27 per cent of women compared to 13 per cent of men).

Stonewall is asking people to sign up to its No Bystander pledge, and commit to calling out abuse when they hear it and to be brave, be heard and be kind. So far more than 16,500 people have signed up.

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s Chief Executive, said: ‘These shocking statistics show we have a lot to do before we live in a society where everyone is treated equally.

‘To change this, we need people to step in and stand up. We need people to be brave, be heard and be kind.  Challenging bullying requires courage but it does make a difference. We’re not asking people to step into situations that are dangerous or to put themselves at risk – not being a bystander can be simply offering support to someone who has been bullied.

‘Every one of us has the power to make change and if we each commit to call out abuse and bullying, together we can create a world where everyone is accepted without exception.’