Since 2004, May 17 has been marked as the International Day Against Homophobia. The Dutch Government is hosting a three day international conference in The Hague on the subject of homophobia at the moment.
Today, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency published a report on the experience of LGBT people across the EU and in Croatia. It doesn’t make for very comfortable reading. The survey (of 93,000 people) found:
- Some 26% of respondents (and 35% of transgender respondents) said they had been attacked or threatened with violence in the past five years
- Most of the hate attacks reported took place in public and were perpetrated by more than one person, with the attackers predominantly being male
- More than half of those who said they had been attacked did not report the incident to the authorities, believing no action would be taken
- Half of respondents said they had felt personally discriminated against in the year before the survey, although 90% did not report the discrimination
- Some 20% of gay or bisexual respondents and 29% of transgender respondents said they had suffered discrimination at work or when looking for a job
- Two-thirds of respondents said they had tried to hide or disguise their sexuality at school.
Yesterday, the Netherlands Institute for Social Research published its own report on the situation of LGBT people in the Netherlands. It makes slightly more comfortable reading than the EU report, but we are also likely to be the target of homophobia from the usual suspects within Dutch society.