LGBTQ people in the E.U. face less discrimination but more violence, survey finds

May 14, 2024
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) 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 LGBTIQ carried out in June, July and August of 2023 found only slight overall changes compared with the previous such survey three years earlier, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) said in a report on the findings published on Tuesday.

“More LGBTIQ 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 FRA said in a statement on the report.

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 LGBTIQ rose to 14% from 11% in the previous survey.

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

Roughly 36% 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 LGBTIQ, down from 42% in the previous one.

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

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 LGBTIQ in Europe should not be a struggle. Even though we see signs of progress, bullying, harassment and violence remain constant threats,” FRA chief Sirpa Rautio said in the statement.

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