LGBTIQ with disabilities: high risk of discrimination


LGBTIQ people disability Discrimination

Forty-six percent of LGBTIQ people with a disability experienced discrimination, harassment or abuse in the past year.

A report by academics William Leonard and Dr. Rosemary Mann discusses the impact of discrimination and social exclusion on the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ people with disability.

La Trobe University

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La Trobe University along with advocacy groups GALFA and GLHV published the report.

The report described research in the area as ‘fragmented and under-resourced’. However, it identified higher rates of discrimination, reduced access to services, and a lack of sexual freedom and expression.

As well as local and international studies, the researchers also drew on unpublished Australian data. Of the 3853 respondents to the study, 22.7 percent reported a disability or long-term illness.

Respondents with a disability were 13 percent more likely to experience verbal abuse, written abuse, harassment, or violence in the past 12 months.

“LGBTI people with disability may be at increased risk of family violence and violence from carers and support workers.

“Discrimination from within both LGBTIQ and disability communities [compounds] their sense of social marginality and isolation, contributing to their increased risk of mental health problems.”

Worse for women

The researchers found the risks of violence are higher for women with disabilities and for people with intellectual disabilities and learning difficulties.

Lesbian and bisexual women with a disability also self-reported significantly higher rates of sexual assault.

The researchers also found LGBTI people with disabilities have twice the rates of self-reported anxiety and psychological distress.

And 18.7 percent of respondents reported having no employment.

“Trans and gender diverse people with disability experience even greater discrimination when accessing services than LGB people with disability and, in particular, are less likely to access aged care services due to fear and anticipation of discrimination.”

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