This past weekend I was reading a brief article on Instinct Magazine’s website which said a survey of 5,000 LGBT British people told The Stonewall Organization that more than 50% of gay men are uncomfortable with holding their significant other’s hand when in public. Moreover, the organization reported that 20% of respondents had been the victim of a hate crime in the past year. Perhaps the most disturbing finding was that more than 80% of victims said they did not contact the police afterwards.
Perhaps all those signs exclaiming “Love is Love” should come with an asterisk indicating that loving your partner comes with an inherent risk and therefore isn’t really welcome. We all have friends who have faced violence or been subjected to it ourselves so this isn’t exactly a surprise even if it is disheartening to read.
While these results are based on a survey of LGBT British men, I think the findings would be mirrored here in the US with different parts of the country showing more or less hesitation to share public displays of affection. You can download the full report here: LGBT in Britain – Hate Crime & Discrimination.