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Gay people in South West of England ‘living in daily fear’

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  1. Again it is the militant terrorist Christians and Catholics that are threatening and harassing LGBT people to stop being gay. Force never really works and always comes back around sooner or later to destroy the ones who destroy. Force will never stop gays the same way you can not stop freedom with force. People will always find a way to be free to love no matter how evil the oppressors are and how much evil force they use to try and destroy their real or imagined enemies. But people who are for freedom need to stop the mad men before they destroy everyone and everything in their rage as a solution to their problems which are mainly in their heads.

    1. I’ll turn that back in you, it is the militant homosexuals threatening, byllying and harassing normal eveyday people into accepting them.

      Force never really works and always comes back around sooner or later to destroy the ones who destroy.

      Force will never stop Christians, nor will it make people accept homosexuals or gay marriage.

      Acceptance starts at home, show you can be accepted and behave accordinly and who knows society may welcome you.

      1. Its Christians and their like who are being rejected by normal everyday people. Fir the first time they can be seen for the religious bigots that they are. Why do you think Christianity is dying out in this country? People are hardly flocking to the churches are they?

      2. “militant homosexuals threatening, byllying and harassing normal eveyday people into accepting them.”

        Examples please.

      3. Why not take a trip to the rural heartlands of central Nigeria? This will serve two important functions:

        1. You can explain how badly you are being persecuted to all the local christians out there. I’m sure your harrowing tales of not getting your own way all the time and being called out as a hateful bigot will chill their blood. After all, the worst they have to put up with by way of religious persecution is raids, bombings, pogroms, abduction, torture, mutilation and death. I’m sure their muslim antagonists would be similarly receptive to your horrific persecution stories.
        2. You will then be thousands of miles away and unable to bother the nice people of this website.

      4. You, Sir, need to open your eyes and realise that you do not live in the 14th Century.

        I suspect you have other prejudices against groups within society that don’t fit your narrow expectations.

        1. If he did live in the fourteenth century he’d also be able to see what some real religious persecution looked like…

  2. Dangermouse 1 Apr 2012, 5:38pm

    I and my Partner live in cornwall and are very happy with the area and people. We dont get any harassment or abuse. Quite the reverse, everyone is very friendly in and out of work. the thing with this sort of survey is that the people who tend to respond are those that have been abused and harassed and not many other people like us do. In fact I’ve never heard of the survey or Equality south West. Hopefully the next time they do a survey they will publise it and themselves a bit more.

    1. GingerlyColors 2 Apr 2012, 8:24am

      People are more likely to comment on negative things than they are on positive ones. Take service in a shop, hotel or restaurant for example, on a customer relations course at work I learnt that people are nine times more likely to comment on bad service than they would regarding good service.
      By that reckoning people are far more likely to complain about a town being homophobic than they are to praise a town for being gay friendly.

  3. I couldn’t feel like myself in school when I was down there cause there will always be some idiot being homophobic as soon as anything involving me and a guy crops up. I liked some straight guy back there and these pricks destroyed any chances of us remaining as friends because they hurled abuse at him even though he was completely straight. The school didn’t do anything that actually helped, all they told me to do is to stay away from him, which just makes everything worse, I only want us to sit down and have a little chat about it. They just didn’t do the right things.
    My point being, it’s not exactly the most tolerable thing down there, but I hope that will change.

    1. Good point Kev. You don’t even hve to BE gayto suffer homophobic abuse? That’s how stupid it all gets!

  4. I completely disagree with this survey. As someone who currently lives in the South West and has lived in London (a so called tolerant city) I’ve always felt much safer as a gay person in my hometown. The problem with this survey is its self selecting, which with such a small sample size won’t give a true representative result.

    1. But by the same token I think it’s a mistake to refer to London, a city of some 8m people and covering over 600 square miles, as a single entity when it comes to issues like tolerance. Parts of it are, parts of it aren’t, parts of it are indifferent.

  5. I live in central Somerset, and while I do tend to keep my sexuality very much to myself it’s not because I feel threatened (I don’t) but because I am a very introverted and socially awkward person in general.

    Nevertheless, I would not want to assume that there must be something wrong with this survey simply because its findings do not chime with my personal experiences. There might well be something wrong with the methodology of the surveyors (more often than not there is), but I can’t tell that just from this article.

    On the other hand, anything that makes the local authorities sit up and take their equality responsibilities more seriously is a very good thing, however questionable the data. Even if we are considerably more welcoming than the survey intimates, we could always be more so.

    And even if they are only isolated incidents then the anecdotal horror stories are still cause for concern.

  6. I grew up in the south west and have moved back and forth between here and other parts of the country since my late teens. When I started secondary school in Torquay I made the mistake of coming out and was severely bullied. The bullies all lived on the same street as me or in nearby streets. It eventually got so bad that I completely refused to go to school or to even leave the house so my mum decided enough was enough and contacted both the school and the police. The response from the school was that it would cause too much trouble for them to have to suspend/expel the 8 students causing me problems and so advised her to find me another school, and the response from the police was pretty much along the lines of “well boys will be boys” and that she would have to get me back into school or social services would want to get involved.

    In the end I had to move some 240 miles to live with my grandparents to finish my education as all the local schools had no places.

    1. Shocking story. Please, name and shame. The teachers and police officers that refused to help were both seriously neglecting their duty of care towards the community. By refusing to confront they have permitted not just you to be targeted but any future person in the same position.

  7. GingerlyColors 2 Apr 2012, 8:19am

    Unfortunately you will find pockets of homophobia in any part of the country. Reading some of the postings here some people have enjoyed good lives in the South-West after coming out. At the same time gay people do have bad experiences in places like London, Brighton and Manchester.

  8. I grew up in Dartmouth and went to school in Torquay. Dartmouth and the neighboring Totnes are both left wing slices of bohemia where i’d probably get cheered for holding my partner’s hand. As it is most of the community know i’m gay and there are gay pub owners, shop owners, professionals and more in the towns.
    However, travel 5 miles to Torbay (Torquay, Paignton, Brixham) and I wouldn’t feel even remotely comfortable holding hands with my partner, or kissing him, or even letting anyone know i’m gay. There’s a larger uneducated population that are total yobs. By the end of EVERY weekend all 3 towns look like warzones.

    1. Bruno – I share a similar experience. Torbay is such an odd place, such a different culture, and full of fundamentalists who think nothing of racial abuse in broad daylight as well as quite open homophobia. It is a small scene there, and the venue owners do a great job in the midst of a hostile community.
      Give me liberal hippy bohemia or the rough but genuine soul of Plymouth any day of the week. I am proud to be from the West, and am so, so sad that so many good LGBT people move from here to the bright lights -I don’t blame you, but I wish you had stayed as we are stronger together.

      As for ESW – sorry, I just don’t rate them. Unresponsive, aloof and more into equality in-fighting from what I have heard. Let’s be clear. You don’t represent me, or my partner, or our family. Let’s see if you manage to ‘cascade’ this learning and bring LGBT people together? I doubt it, more like a new way to apply for funding… Intercom Trust do more for LGBTQ people, every day of the week. Peace.

  9. This survey does not appear to be well publicised and as already been said, people will always respond in greater numbers with negatives.

    I’ve lived in Devon and Somerset all of 56 years and never had a problem. My partner of 18 years and I live in a very small village, everyone knows us and of our relationship.

  10. Craig Denney 2 Apr 2012, 12:29pm

    I’m surprised Equality South West has done this survey, most of my interactions with them have been negative. ESW work’s with ‘ALL’ of the minority community’s which includes Religion & Belief, so normally they refrain from boat-rocking to keep everyone happy.

    And the reason people don’t report hate crimes is because the police are homophobes. At one time I worked very closely with the Police and I saw how institutional their homophobia truly is. We’ve seen it recently with Chris Jefferies treatment when the Police thought he was gay.

    Equality South West needs to be looking at how the Police needs to fundamentally change, before I give them any respect.

    1. Nicely said Craig.
      Police in the southwest have influenced many sycophants in some LGBT groups, resulting in the exclusion & ostracising of LGBT persons who have experienced 1st hand multiple incidents of protected homophobic attitudes, practises & values within the police. Police are one of the primary homophobic problems (as they are with racism) & no part of a solution as things stand.

  11. Robin Evans 2 Apr 2012, 9:56pm

    Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8772014

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