LGBT wellbeing

We have a long history of work on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) equality, inclusion and wellbeing using a range of qualitative, quantitative and online research techniques.

Our expertise

Specific areas of expertise include

  • the life experiences of LGBT young people, including issues related to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and cyber prejudice, and young LGBT people's learning about sex and sexualities
  • LGBT sexual health and broader health inequalities
  • LGBT understandings and experiences of a (shared) sense of community, whether virtual, spatial or imagined (the subject of a forthcoming book by Eleanor Formby

Our work in this field has attracted a lot of media and policy interest.

Example outputs, impact and public engagement

  • CEIR research launched at the European Parliament

At the end of January, Eleanor Formby's report on the impact of homophobic and transphobic bullying on education and employment in Europe was launched at the European Parliament in Brussels. Eleanor presented her findings at the event which was co-hosted by the Intergroup on Youth and the Intergroup on LGBT Rights in partnership with the International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO) and the NGO who commissioned the work.

Michael Cashman MEP who chaired the session said, 'This important report proves that discrimination kills, literally and spiritually. It is a timely reminder ahead of European elections that we need to do more, not less, when it comes to ending the bullying, defamation, and discrimination which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face on a daily basis.'

  • Publisher marks World Sexual Health Day 2013

World Sexual Health Day was celebrated on 4 September 2013 to promote a greater social awareness of sexual health across the globe. In honour of this, Taylor and Francis gave free online access (until the end of October) to over 40 articles on sexual health from across a range of subjects. This included Eleanor Formby's work 'Lesbian and bisexual women's human rights, sexual rights and sexual citizenship: Negotiating sexual health in England'

  • Sense of community 'important' to LGBT people

In the only known UK study to directly investigate what the word 'community' means to LGBT people, participants said that feeling part of an LGBT community is particularly important when 'coming out' and that feeling part of a lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) community has a positive impact on mental health, emotional wellbeing and quality of life.

The research, carried out by Eleanor Formby, was funded by the prestigious Arts and Humanities Research Council and the findings of the study were presented at the conference 'Solidarity but not similarity? LGBT communities in the 21st century' at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield on 9 November 2012. Eleanor said 'I'm delighted to have secured funding to conduct this exciting piece of work, which has the potential to make an important contribution to understanding LGBT people's sense of community, and hopefully support improvements to LGBT people's lives.' The reports from the project are available on our publications page.

  • Young and warm and wild and free? New work on young people's sexualities: spotlight on Eleanor Formby

Eleanor Formby has been making waves with her work on young people's sexualities. Having recently secured Higher Education Innovation Funding to explore homophobia and transphobia in schools and youth work settings, she has also had three peer reviewed papers published in the field. The articles all deal with sex and relationships education and sexual health or personal, social, health and economic education more broadly. Two in particular focus on the experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people.

Eleanor's work is being recognised internationally. She has joined the editorial board of Pastoral Care in Education and presented her research at both the European Sociological Association and the World Congress of Sexual Health. Locally, she has presented research findings to a variety of voluntary and statutory sector agencies and across South Yorkshire. At a national level, she will be delivering papers at the University of Greenwich and at a British Educational Research Association conference later in 2014.

Find out more

Email Eleanor Formby at e.formby@shu.ac.uk or phone 0114 225 6060.

Search our work


(Trans)gender identity awareness and support in Rotherham (2013–14)

This research on gender identity awareness and related support needs was commissioned by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to inform service development.Methods employed during the research consisted of online surveys,...


The impact of homophobic and transphobic bullying on education and employment: A European survey (2013–14)

The international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth and student organisation (IGLYO) commissioned this research on the impact of homophobic and


Understandings and experiences of 'community' among LGBT people (2012)

This study funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council examined understandings and experiences of LGBT communities and assessed implications for health and wellbeing, employing a literature review, online survey, and in-depth interviews...


Tackling homophobia and transphobia in settings supporting young people: What are the barriers and facilitators? (2011)

This project explored homophobia, transphobia and issues about related identity-based bullying and emotional/mental health in a number of youth settings, including schools and statutory youth services, and a...


Life and health: An evidence review and synthesis for the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Triennial Review 2010

This piece of work was an evidence review and synthesis on LGBT life and health to inform the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Triennial Review 2010.


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