In a shock result, a poll has shown that London parents are the most likely in the UK to reject a gay or trans child, with the north of England and Scotland being the most tolerant.
The poll by YouGov and commissioned by Pink News showed that 13% of those polled in London would be least likely to support a gay child, while 20% would be likely to reject a trans child. The north of England proved to be the most tolerant, with only 1% saying they would reject a gay child and 9% not accepting a trans child. Scotland was just behind them, with 2% indicating they would reject a gay child, and 10% being against accepting a trans child.
The result has come as something of a shock, as London being such a cosmopolitan city, has long been considered to be the most tolerant part of the UK, while more rural and tradionalist parts, such as the north of England and Scotland, being considered more parochial and guarded against change.
Listening to a discussion on the matter on LBC Radio, I heard two callers trying to play the Islamophobe / racist card by suggesting that immigration and the large number of Muslims in the English capital was to blame for the apparent homophobia. One gay caller however refuted this, stating that the majority of prejudice he faces comes from white men.
When I heard the claims of religion being responsible, I immediately shook my head, for that does not explain the high amount of tolerance in Scotland, despite bigotry from the Christian churches. Scotland remains the most Presbytarian country in the world, and due to our bloody history, to this day there is sectarian bigotry between Protestants and Roman Catholics. However, one of the few things which unites the Protestant Kirks and the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland is their shared opposition to the LGBTQI community. The Free Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland were two of the most vocal opponents of equal marriage when the Bill was going through the devolved Scottish Parliament.
Consider also that the 1984 Bronski Beat hit Smalltown Boy was based upon Scots lead singer Jimmy Somerville’s own experiences of familial rejection and homophobia in a Scotland with a prejudiced, small town mentality, and why he had to get away from it.
There has obviously been something of a sea change in Scots attitudes to the LGBTQI community since those days. Of course, it’s still 2% and 10% too many (and we’re apparently trailing north England – come on Scotland, let’s show these Geordies), and I would not for one moment suggest that Scotland is by any means a “Rainbow Paradise” – there are certainly areas I simply will not even enter. However I for one cannot help feeling a wee bit rightfully proud.
And come on London, pull your socks up. You’re letting the side down.