A new report, released by Stonewall and the Runnymede Trust, has revealed that 400,000 black and minority ethnic people from the lesbian, gay and bisexual community feel that the public services fail to meet their needs.
The interviews, collectively entitled One Minority at a Time, brought to light the assumption that many black people are heterosexual, with no real effort being made for society to correct this idea. Most participants believed this view lead to inappropriate responses from public services, and the near invisibility of gay black people in the public eye.[pullquote_right]‘I think that I can either be gay, or I can be South Asian, or I can be a Hindu. The fact that I can be all three becomes very difficult for people to comprehend.’- a study participant.[/pullquote_right]
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall’s Chief Executive, said ‘These reports show the concern and isolation felt by many black and minority ethnic lesbian, gay and bisexual people, particularly when public services have not been tailored for them. Gay black people contribute more than £4.5 billion in taxes to fund public services, but are systematically failed by service providers. It’s clear that celebrations such as this week’s UK Black Pride, which Stonewall is proud to support as principal sponsor, remain vital to celebrate diversity and showcase role models for young people.’
The study also took a look at the health of black and minority gay people in Britain. It found serious concerns over mental health issues, including attempted suicides, as well as the low uptake of health services, like cervical screening.
You can view the full reports at www.stonewall.org.uk/ethnicity.