Evidence of inequalities

There is strong epidemiological evidence that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) community face significant health inequalities throughout their lives. These include:

  • Increased risk of suicide and self-harm
  • Increased risk of developing depression and anxiety
  • Increased rates of smoking
  • Increased rates of teenage conception
  • Increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Risk of domestic violence and injury on a par with heterosexual females
  • Less likely to report crimes due to possible negative reaction of services involved
  • Increased rates of eating disorders and substance misuse
  • Experiences of homophobia, aggression and violence.
  • Increased isolation in older age and smaller support networks
  • Increased difficulty during end of life and with bereavement

The evidence base suggests that inequalities are also experienced differently within the LGBT population. Bisexual and trans people experience poorer health outcomes than their lesbian and gay counterparts, and LGBT people who are from ethnic minorities or disabled also experience higher levels of inequalities. However, all four groups face significantly worse physical and mental health than their heterosexual and cis-gender counterparts.

There is also clear evidence that the inequalities are greater for people who are LGB or T and are from ethnic communities or have disabilities, for example rates of depression and anxiety among lesbian and bisexual women from ethnic communities is significantly higher than rates in the overall population of lesbian and bisexual women and higher than women in general, and that almost twice the proportion of disabled gay and bisexual men have thought about taking their own lives in the last year compared gay and bisexual men without a disability, this is also ten times the rate of similar thoughts in the general population of men.

We are committed to increasing the local understanding of these inequalities and improving the monitoring of sexual orientation through our work and the work of partners across the city.

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