LGB&T people and public services

A good practice guide from Stonewall Scotland

Case study three — Afraid to come out

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In the box below you can record your reflections on the issues arising from this scenario. What would you do if faced with this situation in your job, or how might you advise someone you manage? After submitting your reflections, you will be able to print them out for future reference and read Stonewall’s advice and guidance on this topic.

Learning Points

Staff in organisations often think that there is very little that they can do without making big, costly changes. However, there are lots of ways that organisations can send positive messages to their LGB&T service users without having to make them come out. Providing the right messages will mean that service users will feel more confident in the reaction they will get if they do come out.

71% of people, surveyed through Stonewall Scotland research, would feel more comfortable accessing a public service if they knew that the organisation had a public commitment to equality. 61% thought that including images that represent LGB&T people in publications and adverts would make a difference to them and more than half said that organisations should display LGB&T leaflets and information.

Stonewall Scotland has worked in partnership to deliver guidance and assistance to LGB&T people regarding their rights but also with housing associations on how to deal with tenants who are experiencing homophobia.

Housing guidance is available on our website, where there are guides on understanding LGB&T housing needs and dealing with harassment. These have been written in conjunction with the Scottish Housing Regulator. Additionally, Stonewall Scotland, in conjunction with Shelter, has produced a practical guide titled Putting a Roof Over Your Head that deals with housing issues for LGB&T people.

Remember you can also order free posters and flyers which can be displayed in waiting rooms and other public spaces.

Stonewall Scotland’s Good Practice Programme has been providing advice, guidance and support on LGB&T issues to the public sector in Scotland since 2007. The public sector equality duty introduced in April 2011 means that public bodies now have to proactively consider the needs of their LGB&T staff and service users and make sure that no part of their service is discriminatory. Our work and research has shown that the public sector has not made as much progress in this area as other sectors, and the Good Practice Programme provides organisations with tailored advice and guidance, realistic and achievable outcomes, and networking opportunities with other public bodies in order to share learning and good practice around making a difference for LGB&T staff and service users. Click here to find out more

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