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Around 93,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from all across the EU and Croatia completed the survey, making it the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind to date. LGBT people were asked whether they had experienced discrimination, violence, verbal abuse or hate speech on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Participants were also asked to identify where such incidents took place, such as at school, work, when seeking healthcare or in public places.
At a time when the fundamental rights of LGBT persons are being discussed in national parliaments across the EU, initial survey findings reveal that nearly a half of all respondents had felt discriminated against on grounds of sexual orientation in the past year before the survey. These and other findings will be discussed during a panel debate at the conference.
The debate will be opened with a keynote address by Viviane Reding, Vice President of the European Commission. In the panel discussion the results will be discussed by Kinga Göncz (European Parliament), Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz (Polish Secretary of State), Kathleen Lynch (Irish Minister of State), Maria Ochoa- Llidó (Council of Europe), Evelyne Paradis (ILGA Europe).
17 May 2013 - Plenary presentation of the results of the FRA survey on discrimination and victimisation of LGBT people in the EU and Croatia
9.00 - Opening by Seamus Kearney, Euronews
9.05 - Welcome address by Jet Bussemaker, Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands
9.15 - Presentation of the survey results by Morten Kjaerum, Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) [ Read speech ]
9.35 - Key note address by Viviane Reding, Vice President of the European Commission [ Read speech ]
9.45 - Panel discussion with the participation of:
- Kinga Göncz, Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
- Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State with special responsibility for Disability, Equality and Mental Health, Ireland
- Agnieszka Kozlowska-Rajewicz, Secretary of State and Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment, Poland
- Maria Ochoa- Llidó, Acting Director of Human Rights and Anti-discrimination, Directorate General II (Democracy), Council of Europe
- Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director, ILGA Europe
- moderated by Seamus Kearney, Euronews
10.20 - Questions from the audience
10.55 - Summary of the panel discussion by Seamus Kearney
11.00 - Closure of the meeting
This is a recording of the launch of the FRA EU LGBT survey results, which took place in The Hague on Friday 17 May 2013.
This page shows a selection of experiences of discrimination, violence or harassment that respondents shared via the online survey.
“I have experienced humiliation, beatings, and insults from people I know and from people I do not know, but I wanted people in my surroundings to learn that I am a human like any other, and that my sexual orientation does not make me different from them! I am a human.” (29, transgender)
“It is generally easier to hide your true sexual orientation, here in [my country], than to deal with the consequences.” (25 bisexual woman)
“Having experienced sudden violence on the street, I tend to become both cautious and aware of the environment in which I am with my lover when holding hands - which often spoils the fun, and the intimacy of that gesture.” (52, gay)
“I'm seriously considering moving to another EU country to have a feeling of acceptance from the society. I wouldn’t say that society in [my country] is outwardly hostile – people need time to learn and adapt to new paradigms, but sometimes I feel that I don't want to wait that long.” (24, gay)
“I have only a few experiences of discrimination and these are not that important. But I believe that I don't have more experiences because I am not open about being alesbian to all my friends, my family, the society.” (21, lesbian)
“I think the main reason why I did not experience any discrimination is not many people know I'm gay and certainly when walking the streets people just won't know.” (54, gay)
“A couple of facts that make me feel discriminated against: 1) Gay men are prohibited from donating blood. 2) Same-sex couples cannot adopt children. 3) Same-sex couples can enter a registered partnership but do not get any of the tax-benefits a married man and woman receive. This is discrimination, discrimination by law.” (22, gay)
“I worked in a bank for 24 years and I was constantly discriminated against by directors who felt that, being honest about my sexuality, I should not be promoted, because I could not command respect. Once a new employee asked to have his desk placed at "a reasonable distance" from mine, because he feared that I might assault him sexually. His request was considered reasonable and my desk was moved. When I was finally promoted, I was ordered to be secretive about my sexuality.” (53, gay)
“My fear of prejudice stems mainly from having been bullied at school for being perceived as gay before puberty. This has led me to draw a line between my private and my professional life. As a result, my behaviour at work involves a lot of self-censorship and a certain guarded manner. I believe that secondary school is the crucible in which attitudes to diversity and sexual orientation are moulded. If we want to ingrain acceptance and tolerance in our societies, we should start with fostering positive attitudes in schools” (31, gay)
Photos from flickr.com @Circuit Tsunami, @Fayez Closed Account, @.donata