STUDY: Most Gay Europeans Still Living In Fear


A new report from the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency  found that almost two-thirds of LGBT Europeans are afraid to be open in public and feel discriminated against. The findings were announced today, May 17, to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

The survey, billed as the largest and most comprehensive of its kind, asked around 93,000 LGBT people across the EU and Croatia whether they had experienced discrimination, violence, verbal abuse or hate speech on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Results included:

  • 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.

Some respondents said that it gets worse, not better, even in countries that are traditionally more tolerant. The Netherlands, for instance, was the first country to adopt marriage equality, but almost 20 percent of Dutch participants said they felt discriminated against when going out in public.

Some 300 politicians and experts have gathered at The Hague to discuss the survey’s findings and address the plight of the international LGBT community during today’s observance of IDAHO.

Cover image: Giovanni Dall’Orto/Wikimedia Commons

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #europe #europeanunion #internationaldayagainsthomophobia stories and more


  • tdx3fan

    This study really does not show anything. The methodology is entirely flawed. Relying on self-report surveys is bad enough, but when you rely on self-report surveys that are administered about a topic that is very subjective (entirely in the view of the participant) then it gets even worse. This was a lot of money to waste on a study that is absolutely not generalizable.

  • Deepdow


    Totally incorrect. CDC and public health departments create policy based on people’s surveys all the time. Also, how flawed can this survey actually be when it’s a known fact that homophobia exists? Please don’t make me roll my eyes ever again.

  • 2eo

    @Deepdow: Well said, as usual tdx flies under the point with military precision.

    I can vouch that in my part of the world [Northern England] it is absolutely the case, I’m fearful of getting attacked in more backward parts of my country and Europe. Though in my local area it has been taught through numerous actions that me and my other half are not to be screwed with.

    Including destroying a NF member with allegations of possessing child porn, releasing the name of a BNP member to the press who was accused [convicted for the record] of GBH and [email protected] When you know people all over, it is remarkably easy to ruin a bigot.

  • 2eo

    Also did any of my UK comp[atriots get a good laugh about the christian bigot who got destroyed on Question Time last night, that was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

    He had all the swagger of a typical christian, the panel decimated him and got a standing ovation from the crowd and his ego was destroyed, his name was also released so he can have a little more torment for his bigotry.

    Not that I condone such things, or would distribute his address on various sites [obviously].

  • tdx3fan

    @Deepdow: @2eo: So, your response to my comments about how the study is not generalizable is basically to use your own self-report data. Way to go! You have not actually managed to remotely prove any of my comments wrong! This study ONLY applies to 93,000 people since I am willing to guarantee they did not bother to randomize their participant selection either.

    Look, policy can be based on any study, and often is, but that does not mean that that study really holds water when analyzed by basic research methodology. That is why we have so many inherently flawed policies. Also, it is a LOT easier to side with the study when you believe what it actually says is true. The same kind of crappy research could be used to show a multitude of other things, and if you did not agree with them then you would point out how incredibly flawed they were.

  • Deepdow


    The map corresponds quite realistically to each country’s inherent gay “friendliness.”

    Prove that it is “crappy research” and prove that “crappy research” would end up in The Hague for evaluation.

Comments are closed.