Secret Loves, Hidden Lives?
Exploring Issues for People with Learning Difficulties Who Are Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual
Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol
About this report
Background to the research
2. Being gay, lesbian or bisexual and having a learning difficulty
Accounts of first feelings and coming out
Reflections on being gay, lesbian or bisexual
Homophobia and discrimination
Abuse and mental health issues
3. Finding a place in the world: belonging, love, sex and dreams
Sarah and Angelique: a love story
Meeting and knowing other gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Love, sex and relationships
What did people want from relationships?
What did people want from staff and services?
Hopes and dreams for the future
4. How do staff and services approach work on relationships, sex and sexuality?
Approaches to work on sex, sexuality and relationships
Taking the lead from women and men with learning difficulties?
Barriers for staff in doing work around sexuality and relationships
Concerns about the reactions of others
5. Professionals' experiences and views of same-sex relationships for people with learning difficulties
People with learning difficulties feeling ashamed about wanting to have a same-sex relationship
A lack of privacy and space to have relationships
The hidden nature of women's relationships with women
Staff attitudes to same-sex relationships
Difficulties in accessing a gay, lesbian and bisexual scene and culture
Supporting and sustaining same-sex relationships and sexual identity
Homophobia and heterosexism
Being and belonging: being gay, lesbian or bisexual and having learning difficulties
Surviving and surpassing: stories of success
Love, actually: what do women and men with learning difficulties want from relationships?
Implications for policy, staff and services
Secret loves, hidden lives?
Approaching work on sex, sexuality and relationships
Supporting same-sex relationships
Tackling homophobia and heterosexism
Appendix: Resources and further reading