Supporting people with learning disabilities who identify as LGBT to express their sexual and gender identities
evidence and practice    

Supporting people with learning disabilities who identify as LGBT to express their sexual and gender identities

Zoe Marie Robinson Learning Disability Nurse, Learning Disability Team, intensive support team, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Reading, England
Daniel Marsden Senior Lecturer in Learning Disability Nursing, Kingston University and St George’s, University of London joint facility, London, England
Sam Abdulla Field Leader in Learning Disability Nursing, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland
Florence Dowling Learning Disability Nurse, Shirley House Respite, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, Coventry, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To improve your knowledge of the stigma affecting people with learning disabilities and a lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) identity

  • To understand the barriers to sexual relationships experienced by people with learning disabilities and a LGBT identity

  • To familiarise yourself with the concept of intersectionality and its effect on the sexuality of people with a learning disability

People with learning disabilities experience many barriers that prevent them from expressing their sexuality and developing loving and sexual relationships, particularly if they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT). This article explores the challenges faced by people with learning disabilities who identify as LGBT in expressing their sexual identities and having sexual relationships, as well as the challenges faced by support workers and health and social care staff in supporting clients in those aspects of their lives. The method used consisted of combining the lived experiences of participants in a Twitter chat with an exploration of the recent literature.

The themes that emerged from these combined sources included the importance of love and sexual relationships, the policy context, legal framework, barriers in practice and the concept of intersectionality. This article discusses these themes and outlines implications for practice and research, including the training needs of staff.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2020.e2094

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

@zoeeuk

Correspondence

zoe.robinson@berkshire.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Robinson ZM, Marsden D, Abdulla S et al (2020) Supporting people with learning disabilities who identify as LGBT to express their sexual and gender identities. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2020.e2094

Published online: 08 October 2020

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