14 May 2020

FRA Director talks about LGBTI survey findings

Today, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights launches the second LGBTI survey, mapping the experience of what it is to be LGBTI in the EU.

140,000 people responded to this survey. It's authoritative and it's devastating. It tells us of very little progress over the last decade, of a majority of LGBTI people who don't want to admit it in public, don't want to show who they are in public, of 60 percent of same-sex couples who would not hold hands in public; a story of violence, discrimination and harassment.

Yes, some fractional improvements, including in the schoolroom in some places, but not much.

The situation is worse in some countries than in others. It's worse for some groups such as intersex as opposed to others. There's a lot that we can do and that needs to be done.

Law and policy. Enforce the law we have. Strengthen it. Get the equal treatment directive within the EU. Root out prejudice in our security forces and in policing on the streets. Have our political leaders invest in strong positive messages of inclusion, of respect for everybody in society.

And us. We need to take our own responsibility to build our own society, a society where everyone can live free and equal in full respect for our wonderful diversity.