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LGBTQ people in EU face less discrimination, more violence, survey finds


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people in the European Union face less discrimination but more physical or sexual attacks than three years ago, a vast survey by an EU rights body showed on Tuesday.

The online survey of more than 100,000 people who identify as LGBTQ carried out in June, July and August last year found only slight overall changes compared with the previous such survey three years earlier, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights said in a report on the findings published on Tuesday.

“More LGBTQ people in Europe are now open about who they are. At the same time, they face more violence, harassment, and bullying than before,” the Vienna-based rights agency said in a statement on the report.

The annual pride parade in the streets of Soho in London in 2022. Photo: AFP

Data adjusted to allow comparison between surveys showed the proportion of respondents in the 27 EU member states who said they had experienced a physical or sexual attack in the five years before the survey for being LGBTQ rose to 14 per cent from 11 per cent in the previous survey.

The worst-performing EU countries were Bulgaria (18 per cent and Latvia (17 per cent). Intersex and trans people had the highest rates.

Roughly 36 per cent of respondents in the EU reported feeling discriminated against in at least one area of their lives in the year before the latest survey because they are LGBTQ, down from 42 per cent in the previous one.

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The countries with the highest rates were Bulgaria and Cyprus, both with 48 per cent. The people who reported feeling discriminated against the most were intersex (61 per cent) and trans people (54 per cent), the only categories that were above 50 per cent.

The areas of life referred to included work, education, healthcare, contact with public services, as well as in shops, restaurants, bars and night clubs.

The survey also included EU candidate countries Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia.

“Being openly LGBTQ in Europe should not be a struggle. Even though we see signs of progress, bullying, harassment and violence remain constant threats,” said Sirpa Rautio, chief of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.



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