In the UK, there is generally widespread acceptance of people who are LGBTQ, with legal equality and protection, as well as a strong LGBTQ presence in the media.
However, some LGBTQ people still experience stigma, prejudice and discrimination, simply because their sexual orientation and/or gender identity is seen as different. This can involve being socially excluded, negative stereotyping, not getting a job due to sexual orientation, verbal aggression/harassment, sexual bullying, and physical violence/aggression (hate crime).
Stigma and discrimination can have many negative effects, including lowered self-esteem, social isolation, feelings of fear, shame and hopelessness, depression, self-harm, drug/alcohol misuse, and relationship difficulties.
If you are suffering from discrimination because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, please tell someone and seek support.
If you have experienced a hate crime due to your sexual orientation or gender identity, you should contact a LAGLO (Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officer) or the Bedfordshire Hate Crimes Unit even if you don’t want to press charges.