People can often feel pressured to fit in with society's conventional ideas of being male or female. Those who don't fit the mould can be subjected to ridicule, intimidation and even physical abuse.
Even though there is an increasing acceptance of gay, lesbian, bi, trans1 and intersex (GLBTI) people in society and greater visibility in the media and public life, many GLBTI people still experience discrimination, harassment and violence at work, school and in social situations.
Discrimination can take the form of:
- obvious acts of prejudice and discrimination (e.g. someone who is open about being transgender being refused employment or promotion)
- more subtle, but no less harmful, discrimination that reinforces negative stereotypes and feelings of difference (e.g. use of the word 'gay' as a derogatory term).
The impact of discrimination
Many GLBTI people report to dealing surprisingly well with systemic discrimination, and most do not experience depression or any other mental health condition. However, experiences with discrimination and stigmatisation can lead to a higher likelihood of emotional distress, depression and anxiety.
beyondblue is committed to raising awareness about these issues and helping to reduce the discrimination faced by GLBTI communities.