Many people fear a negative reaction to coming out because of perceived stigma towards members of the LGBTQ community. However Stonewall's website's advice page suggest that by individuals coming out and being open, they may help others around them reevaluate their views on LGBTQ people. "Where people feel safe being visible and honest about being gay, they may challenge the stereotypes and prejudice others might have about homosexuality. It may help them to revise their attitudes towards lesbians, gay men and bisexuals and in the long term it will help to tackle homophobia".
However many young LGBTQ people still suffer from discrimination and prejudice because of their sexuality. The LGBTQ support charity Metro launched a survey titled Youth Chances, which questioned 7000 LGBTQ 16-25 year olds over a five-year period. According to the survey, 53% of respondent knew they were LGBTQ by the age of 13. Young people want emotional support to help them through their coming out stage and they also want the chance to meet other LGBTQ people, but aren't getting those opportunities.
For those young people coming out, being safe in their communities is a priority because of the discrimination LGBTQ people still face. In the Youth Chances study, 73% agree that discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals is still common and 90% agree that discrimination against transgender people is common.
A 22 year old gay man from London told the survey, "In year 11, before I had come to terms with things myself, I was tricked into coming out to someone and was severely bullied, it meant that I had lots of time off school and avoided contact with other students at breaks."
With regards to hate crime in England and Wales, there were 4,267 sexual orientation hate crimes recorded according the figures from the Home Office. Only 361 hate crimes were recorded involving transgender. However according the Stonewall's Hate Crime Report for 2013, the amount of hate crimes directed towards LGBTQ people may be much higher. More than two thirds of those who have experienced hate crime do not report it to the police and 68% don't report it to anyone. This suggests that the issue is being hidden because the official statistics are implying that there is a low level of hate crime towards LGBTQ, but there could be a darker undercurrent to the issue.
The Albert Kennedy Trust is a charity that helps homeless LGBT youths between the ages of 16-25 and has recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. It has bases in London, Manchester and Newcastle. They help LGBTQ youths who have been thrown out by their families or have come under financial difficulty that has led them to being homeless. The Trust reported that in the financial year of 2012/13, they provided accommodation for a night off the street on up to four thousand occasions. However in 2013/14 that doubled, nearing almost eight thousand and they are predicting it will rise again to twelve thousand in 2014/15. Tony Butchart-Kelly, a communications officer for the Trust believes this is down to a few conditions, including the fact that the charity is becoming well known and how the recession is affecting young people. But he believes that the use of social media among the LGBTQ youth is a modern issue because individuals are coming out to their families without realising it. He said, "People go to private events and think they are all safe. Then a friend tags them in a picture and then the family sees it and they end up coming out without realising it."
Many people may not regret coming out because of the relief from hiding who they were from those they love. However there are issues like crime and homelessness facing them if they are faced with difficulties like their families rejecting them and throwing them out onto the streets. There is support offered to them from charities and there is legislation in place to combat crime, but still many LGBTQ face problems unique to them.