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UK lesbian mothers face homophobia from other parents

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UK lesbian mothers face homophobia from other parents

An online survey conducted by research firm Kantar has discovered that one in three UK lesbian mothers experienced homophobia from other parents.

The survey, which covered more than 1,400 LGBTQ women and non-binary people, also revealed that one in three have children who have been bullied for having two mothers.

Survey on UK lesbian mothers

The survey, which was one of the largest of its kind, was commissioned by Diva Magazine to mark Lesbian Visibility Week in the UK.

It showed that 37 percent of lesbian mothers had experienced discrimination from other parents. Likewise, 36 percent of them had children that suffered from discrimination.

“I’m actually surprised it wasn’t higher. I’ve got twins and they were bullied at around 10 by a group of other children,” said Linda Riley, the publisher of Diva magazine, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Riley further said that other parents did not allow their children to attend a birthday party of her twins, now 13.

She also explained “gay at the gate” in which “you’re waiting for the children at the (school) gate” and “you get passive homophobia.”

“You might not get people shouting at you, but you’ll get everybody whispering and pointing at you,” she said.

Status of UK lesbian mothers

Since same-sex marriage was legalized in UK in 2013, reported homophobic hate crimes have gone up threefold.

Meanwhile, the number of female same-sex couples in Britain choosing in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) rose by 12% in 2017 to 4,463 treatment cycles.

For straight couples, this had only gone up 2 percent for around 68,000 cycles.

In the US, a 2013 paper by the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study related that 41 percent of children around the age 17 had experienced discrimination for having lesbian mothers.

The Kantar survey asked women about issues in their work, family life, and health. One issue raised was the way children and parents from rainbow families were being bullied in the playground.

More visibility for LGBTQ women

Diva Magazine is pushing for more visibility for LGBTQ women, given that 79 percent feel that their male counterparts are more visible under the LGBTQ umbrella.

Meanwhile, 86 percent said they’re concerned with the transphobic attitudes linked to the lesbian community as a whole.

Riley expressed hope that Lesbian Visibility Week becomes an integral part of the LGBTQ calendar while ensuring LGBTQ women remain a visible part of the LGBTQ community.

Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, agreed and said: “Today, the visibility of lesbian women, both transgender and cisgender, still remains strikingly low.”

Ellis added that it’s “important to celebrate the beautiful diversity of the LGBTQ community, and to applaud all lesbian women who inspire young women to be proud of themselves and rise up together as women.”

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