A majority of people in the UK would step in to stop homophobic abuse, a survey has found.
The new study was commissioned by men’s grooming band Harry’s in conjunction with Ipsos MORI, and seeks to examine the attitudes of straight people towards the LGBTQ community in the United Kingdom in 2018.
It found that 79% of straight people would do something if they saw a member of the LGBTQ community being verbally abused in the street. 52% said they would intervene directly if they felt it was safe to do so, while others said they would phone the police or offer support.
Londoners were most likely to alert the police, but were the least likely to directly intervene. People living in Northern Ireland, Wales and the North East said they were most likely to intervene directly.
The survey also found that 73% of LGBTQ people think more companies should have ‘straight ally’ schemes to help tackle homophobia in the workplace, while 55% of straight women and 41% of straight men agree.
“We hope this study can be a springboard for a deeper conversation about inclusivity, and we very much look forward to being part of that discussion and help drive progress,” said Matt Hiscock, general manager of Harry’s UK.
When it comes to general attitudes, 82% said they were comfortable around lesbians, 81% said they were comfortable around gay men, 76% said they were comfortable around bisexuals, and 62% said they were comfortable around trans individuals.
77% of straight respondents said they know an out LGBTQ individual, while 30% have at least one LGBTQ person as a close friend or family member.
Journalist Lee Kynaston, who partnered with Harry’s on the survey, says the study shows that having contact with someone from the LGBTQ community “drastically increases” the likelihood of being supportive of them.
“Familiarity breeds acceptance and understanding. The truth is, the two communities have more that connects them than divides them and it’s rewarding for both when they come together,” they said.
“Yes, there’s still work to be done around equality, inclusiveness and homophobia but what the Harry’s survey shows is that in Britain 2018, straight people are becoming far more likely to be allies to the LGBTQ+ community than enemies.
“We hope through the work that brands like Harry’s are doing, starting conversations around these issues and through commissioning this survey, that we see this build in 2019 and beyond.”