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Discrimination (older group at MAKE)

  • They often encounter discriminatory behaviour or micro-aggressions, based both on their disabilities and their sexual/gender orientation. This takes the form of people staring, making offensive comments and occasionally aggression
  • Out and about in the city they can feel awkward holding hands with their partner and other people pointing or looking
  • They distrust the police and don’t think they take hate crime seriously. They feel belittled and humiliated

Key quotes from participants

“Don’t want to sit anywhere near him” (man on bus reacting to a disabled person wearing a self-designed LGBT slogan t-shirt)

“They bully me” (participant talking about schoolgirls abusing him as he walks past their school)

Outside influences

  • These participants are very light users of social media and the internet in general. Some use WhatsApp and YouTube, but it is too complex an arena for them to participate in broader social media and they are not all smartphone-savvy


  • Friends are important to participants and they talk about groups such as MAKE, Ready to Shine, and their school (Redwood Park) being a source of friendship
  • The older participants talk about friends they meet in the park, or at drinking/entertainment venues such as the Phoenix pub, Hampshire Boulevard and the Vinyl Lounge. They see these venues as welcoming and inclusive but are naïve to their vulnerabilities. Some have disabilities that preclude enjoyment of these types of places (too noisy, too busy)


  • Family is a source of support for some participants, but others have encountered conflict with close family members
  • Most feel safe ‘at home’ whether that is in their own bedroom, a supported living house or with their family
  • Redwood Park School provides a very secure environment for school-aged children
  • One older participant feels unsupported by their support worker in terms of their sexual orientation