LGBT+ Rights. . .
To marry – Same sex marriage was introduced in 2014 which gave the LGBT+ community all the same rights and responsibilities as a heterosexual marriage, however no religious or belief body is compelled to perform same sex marriage
To adopt – a single person to adopt a child in England regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, whereas previously, only married couples could adopt. The law changed in 2005 to allow for unmarried couples, including same sex couples the right to adopt.
To have Fertility treatment – In 2009, it was legal for lesbians and their partners to have a child through fertility treatment, with both being identified as parents on the birth certificate and have the same rights as a heterosexual couple
To have Surrogacy – In 2010, Parental orders for gay men and their partners was introduced through surrogacy arrangement.
To change gender – In 2005, it became possible to change gender and acquire a new birth certificate which grants almost all of the legal rights afforded to that sex. However they must have transitioned 2 years before their gender recognition certificate assessment, presenting evidence to a panel who can refuse to issue the certificate.
For more information on adoption go to https://newfamilysocial.org.uk/
For more information on fertility treatment and surrogacy go to https://www.hfea.gov.uk/
For more information on gender identity go to https://www.gov.uk/apply-gender-recognition-certificate
Some potential barriers you may face. . .
Discrimination - the unjust or prejudice treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex. Being told you cant have that job or that promotion due to your sexual orientation or gender identity.
- The law– The equality act 2010 protects lesbian, gay, bi and trans people from direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in the work place. You can take the employer to a tribunal and making a claim against them for discrimination.
Where you can go for help - https://www.stonewall.org.uk/help-advice/discrimination/discrimination-work
A Hate crime - Is a criminal offence motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone's actual perceived race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. Verbal and physical abuse, physical violence, teasing, bullying, threatening behaviour, online abuse or damage to property because of a persons sexual orientation or gender identity is Homophobia, Transphobia or Biphobia
- The law – First the court must decide on what criminal offence the offender, such as an assault. Then the court must decide if crime was motivated by someone's sexual orientation or gender identity, if so, then Under section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 the court must increase the sentence.
Domestic abuse – The LGBT community are more likely to face domestic violence from a partner or family member, including psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional threats such as. . .
- threats of disclosing your sexual orientation or gender identity (blackmail),
- increased isolation from friends or family, makes you account for time not spent with them
- Controlling your access to Information relevant to coming out, sexuality or gender identity
The law - Under criminal law, being assaulted by someone you know or live with is the same as being assaulted by a stranger. You can apply for a civil court to keep them away from your home, you can also get help with emergency temporary accommodation. Domestic abuse covers both civil and criminal law, civil law is aimed at protection or compensation, criminal law is aimed at prosecuting or punishing the offender.
Where you can go for help - http://www.galop.org.uk/ or https://www.stonewall.org.uk/help-advice/criminal-law/domestic-violence or phone the National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 999 5428
‘Coming out’ Tips and advice
- The term coming out means telling someone something about yourself in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, for example telling others that your lesbian, gay, bi or trans.
- Coming out can be very different for everyone and it may take some time to be comfortable and confident enough to have these conversations with people. Remember, millions of people have gone through this before
- Most people come out because they want to be honest about who they are, hiding it can take a lot of energy and focus away from other important things in your life, for example your career, education or family
How to ‘come out’
- Think about how you will tell people, a text or email gives the other person time to process and respond, Sitting down with someone keeps it private and gives you both a chance to have a personal conversation, using social media means you will only have to come out once
- Think about who you want to tell, ideally this should be someone you trust and someone who is going to support you such as a family member, a friend, a trusted adult such as a youth worker
- Think about where you will tell people, creating a space where you can answer questions they may have, but also a space where you are comfortable
- There is no right or wrong way to come out, it up to you, use critical thinking to highlight potential outcomes then decide the best option for you
- Think about timing, allowing yourself the time to talk things through with the person your coming out to
- Think about if there is anyone you don’t want knowing