A recent report by the LGBT Foundation has focused on the needs of black and minority ethnic (BME) individuals. The report concluded that the needs of these people within the LGBT community are being severely neglected.
Many of these individuals face difficulties as a result of being a minority within a minority.
Research has found that BME LGBT people can often feel isolated from either the BME or LGBT community. They find that they simply cannot fit into both, often facing discrimination from one of the two.
Another issue that has come to light is the lack of health equality for ethnic minority LGBT individuals.
The findings have prompted a call for more service provider training and a better understanding of ethnicity and sexual orientation. There will also be more of an investigation into racism within the LGBT community and how this can be tackled.
This research is set to be delved into further, looking at the needs of trans individuals and asylum seekers.
Chief Executive of the LGBT Foundation – Paul Martin – has explained what he thinks needs to be done differently:
“The report highlights the collective responsibility we all have to challenge perceptions of what it means to be BME, to be LGBT, and to experience multiple identities.
“Some groups and organisations promote discrimination against minorities, and we must challenge this rather than excusing it as cultural differences.”
The research was undertaken in partnership with Manchester City Council. Deputy Leader Councillor Sue Murphy has spoken of what the report now means:
“Manchester is a diverse, welcoming and inclusive city and this valuable evidence based research can now be used by the city’s service providers to help develop more effective ways to engage with, and provide support for our BME LGB community”.
Recognising the specific needs of BME LGBT individuals is the first step in helping them to overcome their difficulties.