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Young LGBT people’s fears exposed

This news post is almost 9 years old

​New report shows what life is like for young LGBT people in Scotland

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people still have grave reservations when reporting hate crimes to the police.

A new report from LGBT Youth Scotland, titled Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People, showed that while half of all LGBT young people were aware of their rights, just 54% would feel confident in reporting a crime they experienced to the police.

Bisexual women were the least likely to feel confident reporting a hate crime yet said they felt supported by the police.

And the survey also showed only half (52%) of transgender young people felt safe using public transportation.

LGBT young people were also uncertain how reports are dealt with by the police. Many felt that it would improve their confidence to not only see posters raising awareness of hate crime, but to receive information on what happens after a report is taken.

Some 71% of those who say they feel safe and supported by the police say they would feel confident in reporting a hate crime they experienced, much higher than the overall rate of 54%.

While the charity has welcomed an increase in the reporting of hate crimes, it has recommended that campaigns, activities and lesson plans be developed for use in schools, with specific reference to hate crime.

Fergus McMillan, chief executive of LGBT Youth Scotland, said: “In Scotland, we are fortunate to have strong hate crime legislation that is inclusive of transgender identities yet the safety report shows a gap in knowledge and confidence for transgender young people in particular.

“When young people know about their rights, and have confidence in the process, they are more likely to be willing to report.

“An increase in reported crimes since the introduction of the legislation is certainly positive, yet more must be done to ensure that LGBT young people feel safe in their communities, understand their rights and how to report discrimination and harassment, and have the confidence to report.”