So, the Scottish LGBT Equality Report is fresh off the press. It’s pretty bleak in comparison to my own experience. For example, the section below;-
Coming out and living openly
As a result of societal prejudice too many LGBT people still feel unable to ‘come out’ and live openly, even with those they are closest to.
• More than half of LGBT respondents (52%) ‘never’ or only ‘sometimes’ feel able to be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity with their own family.
• More than six out of ten LGBT respondents ‘never’ or only ‘sometimes’ feel able to be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity at work (60%) or when accessing services (71%). • LGBT respondents said they fear negative reactions, different treatment and discrimination if they do come out.
These figures terrify me and I don’t really recognise this as being true of Scotland. I could of course be wrong. But I can only comment on my own experience. Further in though, things take a turn for the worse.
Transgender respondents were most likely to have experienced prejudice or discrimination in a recent period. One out of seven transgender respondents (14%) had experienced or witnessed an incident within the last 24 hours, almost half (45%) in the last week, and nine out of ten (91%) in the last year.
My experience couldn’t be more different. Mindbogglingly so. Most of the time the world I inhabit meets me halfway. I’m only starting to appreciate how lucky I’ve apparently been. But then I struggle with the why of how I have been so lucky? What has allowed me to buck the trend? I don’t know and if I did I’d write a book, retire on the profits and move somewhere moderately warm.
The fears of coming out, committing to transition and a societal tsunami just never came to pass for me. I’m saddened that for other folk society hasn’t been so accommodating. And I’m exceptionally saddened at the percentages still reporting discrimination and disadvantage in 2015. Simply for being themselves.
The full report is available here http://www.equality-network.org/resources/publications/policy/the-scottish-lgbt-equality-report/ , if you feel like reading it. Rather than let it dishearten me, it makes me all the more appreciative of the friends and colleagues that I have and prouder than ever of Glasgow. Keep flying the (rainbow) flag!