This topic area covers statistics and information relating to gender identity and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/queer, intersex, asexual/androgynous, pansexual/polyamorous (LGBTQIAP+) communities in Hull including local strategic need and service provision.
- The Census of 2021 showed that 3.8% of Hull’s population identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or another minority sexual orientation (referred to collectively in the Census as LGB+).
- The older a person is the less likely that they are to identify as LGB+. It is unclear why this is the case although one possible explanation is the history of the illegality of homosexuality in Britain, which will be in the living memory of many.
- Before the census of 2021 there was relatively little information on the size of the LGBTQ+ community in Hull, but it is well established that these communities experience discrimination and can have additional issues accessing the services they require.
- Gender dysphoria is when someone experiences discomfort or distress because their gender identity is different from their biological sex. It can start at a young age.
- From the local adult Health and Wellbeing Survey conducted in 2011 involving over 13,000 survey responders, 93.2% stated they were straight/heterosexual, 0.9% bisexual, 1.4% gay or lesbian and 0.1% transgender, and a further 1.5% stated they would rather not say and 2.9% stated their sexuality was none of these.
- Across the UK, in 2019, 93.7% stated they were heterosexual or straight, 1.6% stated they were gay or lesbian, 1.1% stated they were bisexual, and 0.7% stated their sexual orientation was in an ‘other’ category.
The Population Affected – Why Is It Important?
From Your Tango: “Words are important as they are words used to describe the most important aspects of ourselves: our identity. Gender describes who we are, and sexuality describes who we love. If gender matches the sex you were given at birth, then a person is considered to be cisgender. Lesbian is a term used to describe a woman whose gender identity is female, and whose romantic orientation and sexual attraction are to other women who identify as female. Gay is a term used to describe a man whose gender identity is male, and whose romantic orientation and sexual attraction are to other men who identify as male, although it is also used as a catch-all term for anyone who is homosexual. Bisexual refers to people of any gender who are romantically and sexual attracted to people of both binary genders – male and female. Transgender is an umbrella term that can be loosely defined as someone whose gender identity does not match the biological sex they were assigned at birth according to the appearance of their sexual organs. There are distinctions between biological sex, gender orientation or identify and gender expression. Biological sex is determined by the chromosomes, hormones, and sex organs you are born with, generally making you man or woman. The gender identity or orientation refers to how you see yourself, as male, female, other or neither. Gender expression refers to the outward characteristics you present to the world and which cause you to be perceived (gender expression) as any particular gender. People who were designated female at birth but identify as male, would be female to male transgender men or transman, and a person designated male at birth but identify as female might refer to themselves as transwomen. While most people believe that there are only two genders, there is a lot more diversity in the world. Queer means everything on the spectrum of human sexuality that is non-straight and/or non-cisgender, and the umbrella term for the entire acronym, and some people use it to describe themselves if two or more ‘letters’ in the full acronym apply to them. The acronym starts from someone questioning their self-identity. When a baby is born, the doctor generally assigns a biological sex. Approximately 1.7% of the population is born intersex which is an umbrella term that refers to people who have one or more of a range of variations in sex characteristics that fall outside the traditional conceptions of male and female bodies. Someone who is pansexual is attracted to people of every and any gender identity. Asexual literally means “non-sexual” and include people who don’t experience sexual attraction and/or romantic attraction to anyone. Androgynous means you choose to identify or present yourself as neither distinguished masculine nor feminine. The plus sign denotes everything else as our understanding of sexuality and gender is constantly evolving”.
The LGBT Foundation has undertaken research to investigate the stigma, discrimination and disadvantage experienced by LGBT people. They state that LGBT people are likely to encounter stigma throughout their lives and for those who live in adversity and experience severe and multiple disadvantage, the challenges intensify.
There was already a strong evidence base around some health inequalities, but they felt that there were few studies that drew on this evidence together in order to paint a picture of complex needs. Their three domains of severe and multiple disadvantage were experiences of street homelessness, substance use and being an offender/ex-offender. For many who participated in their research, experiences of rejection and homelessness acted as a strong predictor of the instability and uncertainty that these communities would experience throughout their lives. For those who experienced severe and multiple disadvantages as children, coming out was often more challenging due to relationship strain and existing stress factors. Others reported that it was a consequence of coming out which created the conditions in which their own disadvantage could take hold. Traumatic experiences when coming out were often never fully addressed by the participants, and led to a lasting fear of rejection throughout their lives.
Harassment and bullying from colleagues in the workplace could make it difficult to find and maintain employment. Being LGBTQ+ also presented severe and multiple disadvantage which directly impacted on physical and mental health. The ease with which drugs could be found on the commercial gay scene made managing, or quitting substances challenging. Additionally to this many people experienced difficulties or barriers to accessing mainstream health services, often due to a lack of understanding, or outright discrimination based on their sexual orientation or transgender identity, which further compounded any health inequalities they experience.
LGBTQ+ friendship networks were important in coping with crises, especially due to potential isolation from family, which can ordinarily function as a support network. Services had a role in providing advice, advocacy and support, but many of the research participants’ experiences resulted from deep inequalities in society from an early age. As a result, the interventions available were insufficient in addressing the underlying trauma, and therefore would not fundamentally resolve their disadvantage.
Gender dysphoria is when someone experiences discomfort or distress because their gender identity is different from their biological sex. It can start at a young age. This could include things like not wanting to wear masculine or feminine clothing for example. Older children may feel anxious or uncomfortable about the changes that happen during puberty, such as starting periods or things like voice deepening. Some young people who experience gender dysphoria may decide to transition. Transitioning is the journey someone takes from presenting themselves as the gender they were born into, to presenting themselves as the gender they feel they are. Young people or children may choose to do this in different ways and at different stages depending on what they feel comfortable with. Some young people may choose to do this privately or just with close friends and family before coming out more publicly.
Young people are more likely to challenge rigid social norms when it comes to gender identity, and more likely to explore what it means to them and not always settling to the status quo. Social media is a place for young people to connect and get their voices heard. Sometimes young people are targeted and bullied but social platforms can also be a safe space for communities, such as LGBTQ+. They allow young people to explore who they are without being judged.
The Hull Picture
Information from Local Health and Wellbeing Surveys in 2011 and 2019
Before the census of 2021, there was limited recent information available in relation to the size of the local LGBTQ+ communities, although there was a limited amount from Hull’s 2011 and 2019 adult Health and Wellbeing Surveys .
In the 2011 survey, of the 13,029 survey responders who answered the question, 12,143 (93.2%) stated they were straight/heterosexual, 113 (0.9%) bisexual, 65 (0.5%) lesbian / gay women, 116 (0.9%) gay man, and 19 (0.1%) transgender, and a further 192 (1.5%) stated they would rather not say and 381 (2.9%) stated that their sexuality was none of these.
In the 2019 survey, of the 4,134 answering the question, 1,967 (47.6%) stated they were male, 2,149 (52.0%) stated they were female and 18 (0.4%) stated they would prefer to self-describe.
From the Office for National Statistics information is available at the UK level.
- The proportion of the UK population aged 16 years and over identifying as heterosexual or straight decreased from 94.6% in 2018 to 93.7% in 2019.
- An estimated 2.7% of the UK population aged 16 years and over identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) in 2019, an increase from 2.2% in 2018.
- Between 2018 and 2019, the number of men identifying as LGB increased from 2.5% to 2.9% and women identifying as LGB increased from 2.0% to 2.5%.
- Younger people (aged 16 to 24 years) were most likely to identify as LGB in 2019 (6.6% of all 16 to 24 year olds, an increase from 4.4% in 2018); older people (aged 65 years and over) also showed an increase in those identifying as LGB, from 0.7% to 1.0% of this age category.
- Between 2018 and 2019, the proportion of people who identified as LGB increased for England (2.7%, up from 2.3%) and Scotland (2.7%, up from 2.0%), however Wales (2.9%) and Northern Ireland (1.3%) remained stable; among English regions, people in London were most likely to identify as LGB (3.8%, an increase from 2.8%).
ONS also provide more detailed information on trends as follows.
|Heterosexual or straight||95.2||95.0||95.0||94.6||93.7|
|Gay or lesbian||1.2||1.2||1.3||1.4||1.6|
|Do not know or refuse to answer||2.6||2.5||2.3||2.5||3.0|
The percentages identifying themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual in the Yorkshire and Humber was 2.3% which was among the lowest of regions within England.
Information from the 2021 Census
People in Hull aged 16 to 24 years (8.5% or 2,710) were the age group most likely to have identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or another minority sexual orientation (referred to collectively in the Census as LGB+). They were more than twice as likely to have identified as LGB+ than the overall population (3.8% or 8,060 people). The proportion of people who identified as LGB+ was highest among the younger age groups (16 to 25 years, then 25 to 34 years). This proportion then decreased with each successive age group.
Compared to the Yorkshire and the Humber region and England as a whole, a higher proportion of people in Hull aged 16 to 24 years and 25 to 34 years were recorded as being LGB+. In all other age groups the percentages are fairly similar between Hull, the region and England as a whole.
Whilst 14.7% of the Hull population were in the 16 to 24 years age group, 33.6% of the population who identified as LGB+ were in that same group. And whilst 19.1% of the Hull population were in the 25 to 34 years age group, 33.1% of the population who identified as LGB+ were in the same group.
Percentages of people who identified as LGB+ per age group decrease sharply from age 35 years onwards. It is unclear why this is the case, although one possible explanation is the more general acceptability of homosexuality in younger people and the history of homosexuality and the law in the UK. Homosexual acts between two males, in private, aged 21 years or above, became legal in England and Wales only as recently as July 1967. It wasn’t until 2001 that the age of consent was equalised at 16 years of age and, for the first time, an age of consent for lesbian sexual acts was introduced, as previously there had been no legislation concerning this. On 1 May 2004, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 entered into force, which swept away all of the previous sex-specific legislation, including the 1967 Act, and introduced instead neutral offences. The previous conditions relating to privacy were removed and sexual acts were viewed by the law without regard to the sex of the participants.
Among females in Hull, those aged 16 to 24 were the most likely to have identified as LGB+, whilst for males in Hull it was those aged 25 to 34 years. Whilst 39.6% of those females who have identified as LGB+ were aged 16 to 24 years, the percentage of males was lower at 25.0%. 14.2% of the whole female population of Hull are aged 16 to 24, compared with 15.0% of all males. In the 25 to 34 years age group 33.9% of those females who have identified as LGB+ were that age, compared to 31.9% of males. 19.9% of the whole female population of Hull are aged 25 to 34 years, compared with 19.1% of all males.
It is only in the 16 to 24 years age group that the female percentage is greater than that of males – in all other age groups the percentage of male identifying as LGB+ is larger than females.
Strategic Need and Service Provision
Gender identity and being able to be gender-fluid are becoming more acceptable amongst young people, but are less understood by older generations. It is important to be open and promote healthy conversations on gender identity to lead the way for a more inclusive future.
It is important that the health needs of the population are taken in to consideration, and that there are no barriers to access to healthcare. There should also be work to identify the most vulnerable citizens and work with them to address their specific needs so that all services, policies and strategies are the best they can be for all people regardless of who they are.
Your Tango. LGBTQIA+ Terminology: The meaning of each letter. https://www.yourtango.com/2015282102/lgbt-terminology-101
You build your own family, that’s how you get through it. Understanding LGBT people’s experiences of severe and multiple disadvantage. LGBT Foundation. https://lgbt.foundation/downloads/YouBuildYourOwnFamily
Office for National Statistics. Sexual orientation, UK: 2019. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/sexuality
This page was last updated / checked on 20 March 2023.
This page is due to be updated / checked in March 2024.