Position paper
Policy brief
Published on
May 22, 2024

FRA LGBTQI Survey III Report: IGLYO's Initial Analysis

A preliminary analysis

IGLYO welcomes the release of the Third LGBTQI Survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the largest EU-wide survey of LGBTQI people. This survey is essential for understanding the state of LGBTQI people in Europe, providing crucial data to policymakers and civil society to track progress and identify emerging challenges. 

For the second time, the survey includes responses from people who are 15 and older, which allows us to understand the needs of LGBTQI young people, in comparison to their older counterparts. 

Key Findings

1. School bullying and harassment

Bullying and harassment of LGBTQI students remain significant issues: 

  • One of the most striking figures of the report is that two-thirds of LGBTQI students reported being bullied at school, an increase from 46% in 2019 to 67% in 2023. 
  • Additionally, 46% of respondents never openly discuss being LGBTQI at school, and 64% hide or disguise their LGBTQI identity. A significant proportion of gay men and trans women (both 59%), lesbian (42%), and bisexual (40%) respondents hide or disguise being LGBTQI at school. The shares for non-binary and gender-diverse respondents are 32% and 45%, respectively.
  • In education, both as students and parents, the highest proportions of respondents experiencing discrimination in the EU are observed in Lithuania (34%), Bulgaria (31%), and Cyprus and Romania (both 30%). 
  • Conversely, the lowest proportions are in Finland (6%), the Netherlands (7%), and Sweden (9%). Similar patterns are observed for discrimination experiences in the health system.

2. Young people’s mental health

  • Alarmingly, about one-third of respondents aged 15-17 reported often or always thinking of suicide in the year before the survey, with trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse individuals being the most likely to have suicidal thoughts. 

3. Comfort and Safety concerns

  • The proportion of respondents who often or always avoid certain places or locations for fear of being assaulted, threatened, or harassed because of being LGBTQI remained similar in 2023 (30%) compared to 2019 (33%). 

However, there has been a positive shift in attitudes towards expressing LGBTQI identities: 

  • In 2023, 52% of respondents aged 15 and older felt comfortable openly identifying as LGBTQI, compared to 46% in 2019. 
  • Additionally, there's been a decrease in the number of people avoiding public displays of affection with same-sex partners – dropping from 61% in 2019 to 54% in 2023. 

This shows that there is a growing acceptance and reduction in stigma surrounding LGBTQI relationships and identities.

4. Bodily Integrity and other harmful practices

  • Non-consensual, non-vital interventions: Over half (57%) of intersex respondents underwent unnecessary surgery or hormonal treatments without informed consent.
  • Conversion practices: One in four respondents experienced harmful conversion practices, with interventions by family members (11%) and religious counselling (5%) being the most common.

5. Discrimination

  • The youngest respondents (15-17 years old) are at the highest risk of hate-motivated harassment (70%) and feel discriminated against more than older respondents (45% compared to 26% for those 55 and older).
  • Particularly, those identifying with multiple minority groups such as those with disabilities, religious minorities, ethnic or migrant backgrounds, or experiencing financial difficulties, face a heightened risk of hate-motivated harassment compared to other respondents.

6. Equality Bodies

  • Young respondents are less aware of national equality bodies than older respondents (42% for 15-17-year-olds, against 76% for those aged 55 and over).

7. Positive Trends in Education 

There has been progress in addressing LGBTQI issues in schools:

  • In 2019, 47% of respondents aged 15-17 reported that their school never addressed LGBTQI issues, compared to 35% in 2023. 
  • The percentage of 15-17-year-olds respondents who said their education addressed these issues positively increased from 13% in 2019 to 17% in 2023.

FRA Recommendations

IGLYO fully supports and aligns with FRA's recommendations, advocating for the following measures:

  • The Council of the European Union should adopt the proposed equal treatment directive. This directive would extend protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and other grounds, encompassing areas such as social protection, education, and access to goods and services.
  • Member States should enact legislation to ban 'conversion therapies' and safeguard LGBTQI youth and children from cruel and inhuman treatment. Furthermore, non-vital surgeries on intersex infants and adolescents should be prohibited without informed consent.
  • Member States must ensure that schools provide safe and supportive environments, free from harassment, bullying, and violence. National educational authorities should establish robust mechanisms to report incidents of bullying and implement appropriate penalties.
  • Educational materials should be revised to include accurate and inclusive information on LGBTQI issues. Collaboration with human rights institutions and civil society organisations is essential in developing these materials.
  • Member States should guarantee equal access to quality healthcare for LGBTQI individuals. Medical professionals must receive training on the specific health needs of LGBTQI people to ensure competent and inclusive care delivery.

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