The number of lesbian, gay and bisexual people who have reported hate crimes has soared by 78% over the past four years.
New research by Stonewall, based on YouGov polling of over 5,000 LGBT people, has revealed that people suffering hate crimes and incidents has risen from nine per cent in 2013 to 16 per cent in 2017.
The research also found that fear abuse or worse has left LGBT people afraid to go about their daily lives.
More than a third (36%) say they don’t feel comfortable walking down the street while holding their partner’s hand. This increases to three in five gay men (58%).
Four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes and incidents went unreported, with younger LGBT people particularly reluctant to go to the police.
One in six LGBT people (17%) also reported being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity while visiting a cafe, restaurant, bar or nightclub in the last 12 months. Many also experienced the same thing at places of worship or at sporting events.
One respondent, Rachel, said: “I had one incident where girls did not want to enter the bathroom stall I had used despite a large queue, like as if I was infected.
“Straight people don’t know how privileged they are to not have their love questioned, or to have romantic days out and not think about who is around you or how safe you are.”
Another, Freya, said she had experienced physical assault because of her sexuality.
She explained: “I was assaulted by a man whilst I was holding hands with my lesbian partner. He grabbed me from behind and thrust himself into me, then verbally attacked me.”
The findings have prompted Stonewall to launch their first new campaign in 10 years, entitled Come Out For LGBT.
The campaign aims to galvanise LGBT allies, no matter what their sexuality, to get off the sidelines and demonstrate their support.
A wave of people have already declared their support, tweeting on the hashtag #ComeOutForLGBT...
As part of the campaign, Stonewall has published a range of tips on how the public can help support and stand up for LGBT people.