The Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender works with local and national networks including, academics, professionals and charities. Our members have founded and developed services and projects that have made a profound difference to the lives of people in diverse communities.
Health4LGBTI is an EU-funded pilot project aimed at reducing health inequalities experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex (LGBTI) people. There is substantial evidence demonstrating that LGBTI people experience significant health inequalities that have impact on their health outcomes. LGBTI people continue to experience stigma and discrimination combined with social isolation and limited understanding of their lives by others, leading to significant barriers in terms of accessing health and social care services. These experiences can translate into a risk of alcohol abuse, depression, suicide and self-harm, violence, substance misuse and HIV infection. Depression, anxiety, alcohol and substance misuse are more common in LGBTI people, with lesbian and bisexual women at particular risk of alcohol abuse.
The project found that health professionals assume that LGBTI people do not face discrimination in accessing healthcare services and some believe that LGBTI people were contributing to their own marginalisation. As well as the lack of knowledge and cultural competence on the part of health professionals, the research found evidence of heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and interphobia creating significant barriers to healthcare, aggravated by systems ill-equipped to deal with the complexities of gender identity along with laws and policies restricting access to healthcare for trans people in particular, with some even being refused appropriate medical services.
An integral focus of this team’s research is to look at how health inequalities of this kind can be reduced, for example by ensuring that health services are attuned through appropriate and mandatory training for staff and students across health systems.
In 2019, the Health4LGBTI team, including Professor Nigel Sheriff (PI), Dr Laetitia Zeeman, Dr Nick McGlynn and Alex Pollard won the University of Brighton Research and Enterprise Excellence Award for Outstanding Project.
This project (2014-2016), led by Dr Richard Harding, and funded by Marie Curie, aimed to improve demand for and supply of palliative care for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans (LGBT) and are in the later stages of a life-limiting illness.
Research has shown that people who identify as LGBT, and their significant others, may not receive the care they need when facing a life-limiting illness, despite an increased risk of certain cancers. Findings from the ACCESSCare study informed the recent Marie Curie publication ''Hiding Who I Am'': the reality of end-of-life care for LGBT people', and the Care Quality Commission Thematic Review (CQC) ‘A different ending – addressing inequalities in end-of-life care’. The main paper from ACCESSCare is freely available online from the Palliative Medicine website and highlights the additional barriers and stressors that LGBT people may experience when facing advanced illness and in bereavement.
A booklet aims to help individuals to think about:
• Why sexual orientation or gender identity may be important in relation to care needs, and preferences
• The care individuals are entitled to receive
• What to do if you think you have been discriminated against, because of your sexuality or gender identity
Our partners and networks
The Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender engages in cross-disciplinary collaborative research at both a national and international level. We create partnerships with academic institutions, industry and professional bodies; bringing together experts to share specialist knowledge.
Queer Research UK
We are part of the national network Queer Research UK. Among others, we work with RMIT Australia, UCD Ireland, University of Lancaster, Kings College London, Tavistock And Portman NHS Trust, Sussex Partnership Trust, Mindout, Brighton, Allsorts Youth Project, Brighton, Trans Pride, Brighton and Gendered Intelligence, London.
MindOut is a mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Based in Brighton and Hove, it provides local services including advice, information, advocacy, a peer support group programme, wellbeing activities and events, as well as a number of national initiatives.
Allsorts is a project based in Brighton to support and empower young people under 26 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or unsure (LGBTU) of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, challenging prejudice and discrimination.
Our collaboration with MindOut and Allsorts enables us to use a participatory-action research approach across a number of projects including Queer Futures 2, which investigates LGBTQ youth and mental health support, where we are working closely with Allsorts.
Previous collaborations with these partners have yielded research on LGBTQ youth and access to Higher Education.