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Dealing with discrimination (LGBT+)

It's important to know the law is on your side.

You shouldn't have to put up with prejudice or intimidation. You can complain or report the incident — this page will explain how. 

Protection against prejudice

No one should ever treat you badly because of your sexual orientation or gender but sadly it’s something many LGBT+ people will experience.

It's not just wrong, it's also against the law. You are protected under The Equality Act 2010, which makes it illegal to discriminate against people based on gender reassignment, sexual orientation and sex.

The Act covers you at work, and when accessing goods and services, including in care homes, health services, shops and hotels. The Act means an organisation can’t refuse you services or treat you worse than others because of your sexual orientation or if you've undergone gender reassignment.

See our LGBT+ rights page for more information.

What do I do if I'm being discriminated against?

If you’re being intimidated or harassed, or if you experience violence, it’s important to seek help. Report this to the police. If you’re unhappy with the police’s response, you can address this by contacting the professional standards department of the relevant police force.

If a crime is motivated by homophobia or transphobia, the police can take this into account and it can be used in sentencing.

If you have a complaint, you must first go through the organisation’s standard complaints process. This could mean, for example, writing to the manager. If you’re unhappy with the response, you might need to seek further advice about how to take your case forward, depending on the organisation.

How do I complain about health and care services?

If you feel you’ve been treated unfairly, you can always complain. You shouldn’t worry that you’re making a fuss or causing more problems because everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.

You have the right to expect good quality services from the NHS. If you’re not happy with the service you receive, or feel you've been treated unfairly, you can make a complaint. All NHS organisations must have a complaints procedure explaining who to contact, and how they investigate and respond to a complaint. If you’re not happy with the way your complaint has been dealt with, in England ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to look into it

Care workers are required to treat you with dignity and respect. If you experience prejudice or intimidation from a care worker you should make a complaint to the service manager. All services should have a complaints procedure. It may feel daunting to make an issue of a prejudiced comment, but it’s worth it for your peace of mind and for others who may use the service in future. 

We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 140 local Age UKs.

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Last updated: May 10 2022

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