The participation of adult service users, including older people, in developing social care
Practice - Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) service users
- Attention to the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered service users has been neglected in many mainstream participation initiatives (Carr, 2004).
- It has been suggested that until recently, equality on the basis of sexuality has been given less priority than other equalities issues (Carabine & Monro, 2004).
- The role of 'champions’ within organisations has been identified as crucial to improved levels of participation among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered service users (Davies & River, 2005).
- An important issue for these service users is that worries about homophobia and heterosexism among service providers, or other service users, may mean that they do not want to disclose their sexuality, even when it may have implications for the sort of services they would like.
- For example, in a series of consultations with more than 1800 people aged 50 and over, undertaken on behalf of the Healthcare Commission, it was striking that nobody disclosed being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered in the discussions with generic groups of service users. It was only in individual and group interviews held with service users recruited via groups for lesbian and gay people that participants felt able to comment on how well services were meeting their needs (Moriarty et al., 2006).