Pride and prejudice: LGBT+ people and optometry

30 July 2020
Summer 2020

Jo Waters asks what optometrists need to consider when seeing LGBT+ patients, and how to make your practice more welcoming.

The proportion of the UK population who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual increased from 1.5% to 2% between 2012 and 2017: around 1.1 million people (Office for National Statistics, 2019). In addition, it is estimated that up to 500,000 people identify as transgender (Government Equalities Office, 2018). The LGBT+ community is growing fast. The term LGBT+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, plus a number of gender- and sexuality-based identities: for example queer, pansexual and intersex (see Glossary of some LGBT+ terms, below).

Although there is now wide acceptance of the LGBT+ community in the UK, and the Equality Act 2010 protects most people from discrimination, homophobia and barriers to healthcare access remain disappointingly common (Stonewall, 2018).

Sign in to continue

Forgotten password?
Register

Not already a member of The College?

Start enjoying the benefits of College membership today. Take a look at what the College can offer you and view our membership categories and rates.

Related further reading

Incredible side-by-side photos show the true impact common eye conditions, such as cataracts and short-sightedness, have on obstructing drivers’ vision

This article provides practical tips for assessing and managing eye health in people with varying degrees of hearing loss.

As our Editor in Chief steps into a new role, we look at how hospital clinics and practices coped with the pressures of the pandemic, and how we can provide services tailored to patients' needs.