LGBTQI+ Disabled People: social care

20 October 2018

More choice and control achieved but fears over prejudice and lack of person-centred care remain.

How LGBTQI+ Disabled People sometimes have to make ‘bad bargains’ with the people who support them.

'The most significant piece of research about LGBTQI+ disabled people's use of social care to be published’.

Until now, not much has been documented about the experiences of using self-directed social care support by LGBTQI+ Disabled People.

LGBTQI+ Disabled People say they have experienced prejudice and social isolation. They also say they are worried that if they come out to PAs / support workers or those that assess and review their support, then that support could be compromised. A new report, along with two films and two At a glance briefings, highlight, for the first time, some of the issues faced by LGBTQI+ Disabled People in England. They say that too often they have to make ‘bad bargains’ with PAs / support workers whereby they (out of necessity) carried on with PA relationships even when there was an element of self-censorship or discrimination.

A man who was not out to his family with whom he lived at the time, said that he had built up enough rapport and confidence with one support worker to come out:

So I thought I would tell him about my sexuality and he went straight downstairs and told my mum. She was crying. She said to me, 'Is this true?' So I had to lie to my mum and say, 'I'm not gay.'

LGBTQI+ Disabled People say there are many benefits to using Self Directed Support, such as having more choice and control over their care. But they say that this can be can be a challenge for a number of reasons. They fear coming out to PAs / support workers because their care might be jeopardised. They say that when care needs are being assessed and reviewed there is a lack of attention to sexual orientation and gender identity. They also say that they can experience social isolation; they have experienced prejudice; and they often feel isolated from the wider LGBTQI+ community.

The report and films have been produced by the University of Bristol, the Social Care Institute for Excellence, Regard and Stonewall.

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