New Research Reveals Difficulties Faced by Black Gay People

A new report from Stonewall and the Runnymede Trust reveals serious failings in public services to meet the needs of Britain’s 400,000 Black and minority ethnic lesbian, gay and bisexual people. One Minority at a Time, based on detailed interviews with Black and gay people, exposes widespread assumptions that Black people are heterosexual, with little effort made to correct this view. Many participants said this perception often leads to inappropriate and poor-quality responses from public services. Respondents also expressed frustration with near invisibility of Black gay people in public life.

One participant in the research said: ‘I think that I can either be gay or I can be South Asian, or I can be a Hindu. The fact that I can be all three becomes very difficult for people to comprehend.’

Today Stonewall also publishes a detailed briefing on the health of Black gay people in Britain, building on the charity’s ground-breaking research into lesbian, gay and bisexual people’s health. The briefing reveals serious concerns about mental health and attempted suicide among Black gay people, and low uptake of health services such as cervical screening. Both reports are available online

Stonewall Chief Executive, Ben Summerskill, said: “These reports show the concern and isolation felt by many Black and minority ethnic lesbian, gay and bisexual people, particularly when public services have not been tailored for them. Gay Black people contribute more than £4.5 bn in taxes to fund public services, but are systematically failed by service providers. It’s clear that celebrations such as this week’s UK Black Pride, which Stonewall is proud to support as principal sponsor, remain vital to celebrate diversity and showcase role models for young people.”

UK Black Pride’s Executive Director, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, said: “In seven years of supporting Black LGBT people, we have been alarmed by the variable experiences reported back to us about the availability and delivery of public services. This research is important in documenting such experiences and statutory bodies must use this opportunity to review how they meet the needs of Black and LGBT people. UK Black Pride is determined to help promote effective access to essential support.”

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