European Union lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans survey launched

// 2 April 2012

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Via Juris Lavrikovs, Communications Manager at ILGA-Europe:

EU LGBT Survey logoToday, the first ever EU-wide (including Croatia) online LGBT Survey is launched. ILGA-Europe encourages all individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans to take part in this important Survey. This is a historical opportunity to gather more details of the lived experiences, to get a clearer picture of the discrimination LGBT people face and therefore build a stronger and evidence-based case for improvement of the European Union’s legislation and policies.

The LGBT Survey is commissioned by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) and is conducted by GALLUP, one of the leading agencies on opinion polls.

The aim of the LGBT Survey is to gather more details and evidence about the experiences of LGBT people in the European Union in order to support equal treatment legislation and policy making.

The European Union made significant progress towards equality and human rights of LGBT people already, but there are still many areas of live in which the EU does not have any legislation and/or policies. Consequently, while in some EU Member States LGBT people might enjoy equality and protection from discrimination, in other EU Member States they do not even have an opportunity to redress discrimination.

Currently in the European Union,

  • LGBT people are not protected from discrimination in such areas as access to goods and services, and housing;
  • homo-, bi- and transphobic bullying is an acute occurrence throughout the EU which in some extreme cases leads to tragic instances of teenage suicides;
  • homo-, bi- and transphobic motivation in hate crimes are not recognised in half of the EU Member States.

Therefore this Survey is of great importance towards improving the EU standards when it comes to equality and human rights of LGBT people, particularly because some opponents are claiming LGBT people are not subjected to discrimination or it is insignificant.

The LGBT Survey asks a range of questions including:

  • Personal circumstances
  • Public perceptions and responses to homophobia, biphobia and/or transphobia
  • Discrimination
  • Rights awareness
  • Safe environment
  • Violence and harassment
  • The social context of being an LGBT person

The LGBT Survey is fully anonymous and is available in all EU languages plus Catalan, Croatian, Russian and Turkish.

To find out more about the LGBT Survey and to take part, please go to:

www.lgbtsurvey.eu

Comments From You

Morag Eyrie // Posted 2 April 2012 at 3:35 pm

What is up with this survey? It wouldn’t let me finish it after I’d added in my details. Rather than identifying at a lesbian or bisexual, I stated in the “Other” form that I am a Bisexual lesbian (Bi-dyke). How does that disqualify me from the survey?

Helen G // Posted 2 April 2012 at 3:44 pm

Morag: I’m trying to find out what the problem is with the survey, that it would do that, and will get back to you as soon as I have an answer.

Apologies for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience.

Helen

Morag Eyrie // Posted 2 April 2012 at 3:53 pm

Thanks Helen, have emailed them separately as well, but your prompting might give it weight. There is also a problem that they ask what sex you were assigned at birth but never get round to asking your current sex or gender. Of course that question might come up in the bit of the survey I wasn’t able to access!

Lisa // Posted 2 April 2012 at 3:59 pm

homo- and transphobic bullying

homo- and transphobic motivation in hate crimes

Public perceptions and responses to homophobia and/or transphobia

One aspect of monosexism is the complete erasure of biphobia in discussions like this. There can also be biphobic bullying, biphobic motivation in hate crimes and biphobia is a public issue.

Helen G // Posted 2 April 2012 at 4:16 pm

Morag: I’ve received this reply from Silvan Agius at ILGA-Europe:

Dear Helen,

Yes, this is a risk in the survey. We did not design it, we are just promoting it as we know how important it is to have as many respond to it. In your case, the sad truth is that you will have to chose between bisexual or lesbian. If you do not agree with this, you are then free to write at the end of the survey indicating your specific take of your identity and the experience of discrimination related to it.

Morag and Lisa: In the light of both your comments, I have written again to ILGA-Europe and asked them to pass on these very valid concerns to the survey-makers, and I hope they are able to address these issues. It would be disappointing if this important survey excluded those whose views it seeks to canvas.

Thank you both for your feedback, and I apologise again for the inconvenience.

Helen

Lisa // Posted 2 April 2012 at 4:39 pm

@Helen,

I’m not referring to the structure of the survey, as I don’t know whether the survey itself erases biphobia – I’m lesbian so never ended up taking that part of it. I’m also not referring to any requirement to “choose” between bisexual and lesbian identity when completing the survey.

I mean that the text above, which is posted as part of this article, suggests that homophobia and transphobia are the only issues faced by LGBT people in the EU, which isn’t true, as bisexual people face biphobia, which is not mentioned above. I’m not sure where that text came from – perhaps it was written by Juris Lavrikovs? If so, can we ask that person to change it so that it doesn’t erase biphobia?

Helen G // Posted 2 April 2012 at 4:49 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Lisa, I appreciate it.

I’m passing all these comments back to ILGA-Europe and really hope they can get the survey-makers to address these issues as a matter of urgency.

Helen

Lisa // Posted 2 April 2012 at 5:12 pm

@Helen: I think we might be talking at cross-purposes. I mean that the words in this article posted here on the F-Word (just scroll up) are monosexist (erasing biphobia). So I’m not making any comment at all about the survey. Presumably an F-Word admin can just edit the words above so that they’re not biphobic any more, without needing to wait for any changes to be made to the survey. Here are my suggestions:

* Homo-, bi- and transphobic bullying is an acute occurrence throughout the EU which in some extreme cases leads to tragic instances of teenage suicides;

* homo-, bi- and transphobic motivation in hate crimes are not recognised in half of the EU Member States.

and, later:

* Public perceptions and responses to homophobia, biphobia and/or transphobia

SexierThanThou // Posted 2 April 2012 at 5:24 pm

Can someone define “Bisexual lesbian (Bi-dyke)” for me please? Maybe by what it’s not as well as what it is?

Google just takes me to Urban Dictionary (great site, but wholly fruitless here).

Helen G // Posted 2 April 2012 at 6:12 pm

Lisa: Post now amended. Thank you for your patience and clarity.

Helen G // Posted 2 April 2012 at 6:19 pm

SexierThanThou: I’m not ignoring you! – I’d just rather leave such definitions to someone who identifies as Bisexual lesbian (Bi-dyke). I’m not bi and have no wish to make appropriative and possibly incorrect statements.

Lisa // Posted 3 April 2012 at 12:21 am

@Helen: No worries. :) Thanks for staying engaged.

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