Almost half of LGBTQ+ psychiatrists experience hostility due to identity

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Almost half of all LGBTQ+ psychiatrists in the UK have experienced hostility at work because of their identity, according to a survey.

The survey by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which has around 20,000 members, was the first of its kind.

The survey was completed by 2,282 psychiatrists, with 48% of the 572 LGBTQ+ respondents reporting that they experienced hostility in the workplace because of their identity.

This number was even larger for LGBTQ+ psychiatrists from Black, Asian and other minority groups – with 58% saying they had experienced bullying, harassment or microaggressions.

Hostile comments or behaviours, known as microaggressions, were the most common form of workplace hostility reported by LGBTQ+ psychiatrists.

Of those who experienced microaggressions, 31% said they were also bullied and 40% said they were harassed.

Reported microaggressions included co-workers using the wrong pronouns when referring to them or their partner despite being advised otherwise, or making derogatory comments about LGBTQ+ people and other minority groups in their presence.

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Call it out

Just four in 10 LGBTQ+ psychiatrists who said they experienced bullying reported it to their employers. Only one in 10 made a formal complaint.

Dr Pavan Joshi, chair of the College’s Rainbow Special Interest Group, said that no-one should be bullied at work because of their identity.

Joshi said:

Nobody should be bullied, harassed or experience microaggressions at work because of their sexuality or gender identity.

Like racism, LGBTQ+ discrimination can be subtle and disguised. Discrimination against LGBTQ+ people will continue unless we each speak up and call it out.

Joshi emphasised:

Staying silent emboldens perpetrators. Discrimination in all its forms damages mental health. It has no place in our society including the workplace.

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