Insight: LGBT+ history month

February is LGBT+ history month and we wanted to share some key stats the Census 2021 collected regarding LGBT+.

Hannah Meek

24 Feb 2023

Person holding LGBTQ+ flag

February is LGBT+ awareness month and celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and non-binary history, including LGBT+ rights and related civil rights movements. In the United Kingdom, it is observed in February each year to mark the repeal of Section 28 in 2003.  Here at Active Gloucestershire, we’ve been considering what the Census 2021 data on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender + (LGBT+) means for our work.  


The census is a survey that is collected every 10 years and provides a detailed understanding on the population and households in England and Wales. For the first time in history, the 2021 census asked a question on sexual orientation and gender identity. Our Insight Officer, and LGBT+ Champion has collated the below insight on the population of the LGBT+ community within Gloucestershire. 


Sexual orientation:





Gender identitiy in Gloucestershire:



Due to small sample sizes, there is no available data on physical activity levels of the LGBT+ population in Gloucestershire. However, the Active Lives Survey indicates that those who identify as LGB+, are more physically active than their heterosexual or straight counterparts (see here). The story is different for those who do not identify with the male and female binaries, with those people being less physically active than those who do. However, this gap is closing- which is fantastic news! 


On the other hand, the Pupil Wellbeing Survey paints a different, and rather worrying picture: 







Doing 6+ hours exercise per week 



Find it easy to be physically active (SF) 



Enjoy PE lessons (PS) 



Would like to do more exercise (SF) 



Don’t exercise because not good at it* 



Don’t exercise because don’t enjoy it* 



Don’t exercise because feel embarrassed* 





This data shows us that Non-heterosexual and Transgender children find accessing physical activity harder; have a higher proportion of negative perceptions toward physical activity and have lower self-esteem.  


Caster Semenya is an example of a courageous LGBT+ athlete who has faced numerous challenges in sports. Caster is a South African middle-distance runner who has two Olympic gold medals and winner of three World Championship in the women's 800m. Caster is a black lesbian woman who identifies with the gender she was assigned to at birth (female). She has faced extreme discrimination and prejudice from sporting bodies, critics and competitors who have challenged her eligibility to compete in women's sport. This is due to a hormone condition that naturally elevates her testosterone levels and places her in the category of intersex, and Differences in Sex Development (DSD). As Joan Steidinger writes, Semenya’s ‘Fighting spirit provides a role model to young, women of colour, lesbian, and intersex female athletes everywhere to shout out for their rights’.  


Please see below for some guidance and resources with supporting the LGBT+ community.  

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Hannah Meek
24 Feb 2023

Senior Insight Officer