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Stigma and discrimination

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 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 our support now.

You can also get support from:

Stonewall UK


LGBT Switchboard

Gendered Intelligence


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.