The biggest survey showed the lives of LGBT people

They are mostly liberals but a third of them consider themselves to be Catholics.

Slovakia’s LGBTI community seeks to expand their rights.Slovakia’s LGBTI community seeks to expand their rights. (Source: Kristína Hamárová)

They often suffer from feelings of inferiority and depression because they are rejected by the public. They would like to be free to raise children, but in the current situation, only half of them are willing to hold the hand of his or her partner in public.

This information stems from the historically largest survey on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) in Slovakia published by the Inakosť (otherness) Initiative.

“Only on the basis of such information it is possible to convince the public and the state authorities to handle the (LGBT) situation and understand that they are living the same lives as those of the majority, but at the same time have problems resulting from their unequal status,” reads the survey.

The survey was conducted in the form of an online questionnaire between August and November 2017. Its results represent the views and perceptions of 2088 LGBT people over the age of 15. Most of them were from 18- to 34-years-old (67.6 percent) and almost half came from the Bratislava region. Other regions are represented by approximately equal shares.

Religion is important for many

Several studies have already shown that more than half of the LGBT community do not belong to any church or faith, which may reflect the reluctant or reserved attitudes of many churches in Slovakia towards this community, according to Inakosť.

“But this one, as well as past research, shows that a third of the respondents answer to the Roman Catholic Church and therefore do not conform to the public image of LGBT people as people from a generally unbelieving and non-religious community,” reads the survey.

1,002 of a total 2,088 surveyed people answered the optional question of how important religion is to the respondents’ lives. Of those, 56.5 percent said they consider religion in their lives to be very important (17.1 percent) or important to some extent (39.4 percent).

Liberals and liberal party

Respondents perceive the political developments in the context of LGBT rights in a very sensitive manner. Up to 42.2 percent of respondents think it is very important to give the vote to the political party that supports LGBT people’s rights and that it is partly important for 29.2 percent of respondents.

When it comes to parties, however, they do not show clear support for the Freedom and Solidarity party, which is the biggest party targeting the LGBT community in the election campaign with 21 of 150 seats in parliament.

The SaS has been trying to pass registered partnerships since 2012 in parliament but has not succeeded yet.

On the other hand, its chair Richard Sulík is against the adoption of children by same-sex couples and came second in a 2017 Homophobe of the Year public opinion poll with 29 percent of votes. He claimed that “if only homosexuals lived here we would disappear within one generation”.

Mom is first

The respondents’ mothers mostly know about their LGBT orientation. Among the closest people who know their orientation the respondents mention mothers in 61.9 percent of cases and fathers in 42.3 percent of cases.

Although LGBT people are usually worried about their coming out, in most cases it does not go wrong, according to survey.

“The positive thing is that 86.2 percent mothers and 85 percent of fathers did not change theor relationship with respondents or it became stronger,” reads the survey.

They take partnerships seriously

LGBT people often tend to create new relationships online. More than 31 percent of surveyed people contact their partner through dating software and 23.7 percent used online chat.

The vast majority of respondents (77.6 percent) perceive their relationship with their partner as serious and 13.8 percent as rather serious. This applies even to shorter relationships.

More than 40 percent of the surveyed people consider hiding the relationship from their family as the biggest problem of the relationship.

Discrimination affects health

A large percentage of the respondents suffer from various problems affecting their lives, namely self-confidence, mental or physical health. The results showed that bisexual people and transgender men suffer more than others.

More than 80 percent of respondents consider prejudice, stereotypes, misunderstanding and ignorance as the most serious problem in their lives when it comes to LGBT issues.

Nearly 40 percent of the respondents have experienced discrimination because they are LGBT, 15.2 percent experiencing it in the last year. Transgender people face hate more often since they cannot hide their identity.

Most often, the hate against LGBT people is displayed by threats, name-calling or jokes.

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