Here are the results of two surveys, where we invited the public to answer questions – online or on paper – towards the end of 2020. The first about attitudes to LGBTQ+ people held among the general population of Congleton; the second about the experiences and views of LGBTQ+ people themselves. We’d like to thank the many people who gave us their views and experiences. Download complete report as PDF.

LGBTQ+ Attitudes Survey

October-December 2020

The majority of respondents were tolerant and liberal-minded minded overall, but there is evidence of the need for some education

Please tell us if you agree with the following statements regard to LGBTQ+ people. (bar graph)

The ‘LGBTQ+ Friendliness Index’

The 'LGBTQ+ Friendliness Index' (table)

About Congleton and Pride

Do you think having an annual Pride Event is a positive thing for Congleton? (pie chart)
With respect to Congleton Pride 2019, what did you do? (pie chart)
Do you think Congleton is a good place for LGBTQ+ people to live? (pie chart)

Do you think Congleton is a good place for LGBTQ+ people to live? Comments

That’s a hard question to answer. I am not LGBTQ+. There doesn’t seem to be any news reports of people being attacked. I don’t know what discrimination people face. I know one thing, our MP doesn’t like you. So, I suppose her followers don’t like you too. You need to get your act together for the next election to point out that she doesn’t represent all the people in Congleton.

Yes I hope so most people I know are open and accepting but maybe that’s because I have great family and friends.

A lot better than some other places but still has a way to go I think!

But unfortunately, I think there are a lot of small minded people in Congleton who do not welcome people from any minority group.

It is a good place for anyone who values the things on offer in Congleton. Whether a person is LGBTQ+ or otherwise is irrelevant.

I would love it to be; but unfortunately a lot of people do make it an unsafe town at the moment! I wish this would change.

What is the criterion for good? My gay friends want affordable housing, low crime rates and good schools for their children. Just like everyone else.

I think Congleton is perhaps a bit small and parochial to fully accept anyone who is different.

I would like to think so, though in the past I have overheard derogatory remarks in conversation.

I have found many people discriminative and hold old fashioned views in their comments with regards to people’s sexual orientation, and culture in Congleton. I have come from a much more diverse city. I found a couple of questions difficult to answer in the boxes as I felt the need to further expand on my reasoning… ‘X’ for gender… I personally see gender in relation to form filling as biology however needs to be an additional question about ‘identification’. A lifestyle choice, I cannot answer as it depends on what you determine as lifestyle, I would encompass my sexuality, beliefs, choices as part of my lifestyle.

It’s a friendly place.

As I said earlier, it is a warm,friendly and welcoming Town. In all my years I have never seen or heard ANY anti LGBTQ+ comments or behaviour. At least not until the event last year which has provoked some to question it all. Not the desired outcome…

I think that Congleton welcomes all people and it doesn’t need any one group to be prioritised over another. We are all equal.

The existence of Congleton Pride would hopefully reassure me if I were LGBTQ+ that Congleton was accepting to the LGBTQ+ community.

I could equally have answered no here. Congleton is a great place to live but compared to more metropolitan areas many people hold narrow view points.

As in most of the UK there is still a tremendous amount of prejudice and latent homophobia, xenophobia and racism!!

It is impossible to answer this for all those groups – they are not the same.

Overall yes but I imagine things could be better.

I wish could say yes to this. I hear homophobia of varying degrees around Congleton and although I don’t think it is a dangerous place for the LGBTQ+ community I don’t know if it would be the most welcoming place.

Lots of bigots in local churches spreading unhappiness making people unwelcome.

I feel there is a lot more progress needed. It is by no means a bad place to live, but I feel the tolerance levels are still fairly low and there is still a lot of internalised homophobia.

I’ve only been here a couple of months but I really hope so and I’m excited that the town has a pride event.

6 x “I hope so”.

11 x “I don’t know” or “I’m not LGBTQ+ so don’t want to comment”.

LGBTQ+ Community Survey

October-December 2020

Demographics

Do you consider yourself to be (choose all that apply): (pie chart)
What age range are you in? (pie chart)

Living in Congleton

How comfortable do you feel being LGBTQ+ in Congleton? (pie chart)

I never have experienced discrimination or abuse per se, people in Congleton seem liberal of mind and decent. However, they massively vote for Mrs Bruce… so go figure.

I don’t know any support groups I can go to to talk to people like me.

Harassment from people on nights out with friends.

Because gender is a spectrum not binary, respect the whole spectrum.

Congleton is mainly Conservative. Churches are heavily involved in the local community, especially New Life Church.

People are quick to judge.

I’ve not experienced any deliberately transphobic behaviour and usually manage to provoke a welcoming smile from strangers.

Feels like a very conservative town.

As a gay couple we don’t publicly show our affections but most people would identify us as a couple. We have never had any negativity in Congleton. Couldn’t choose ‘very comfortable’ as I personally don’t feel that anywhere unless at a LGBTQ+ venue.

There is concern about openness, especially in pubs

Is there anywhere that you have avoided being open about being LGBTQ+ for fear of a negative reaction from others? (bar graph)

Sometimes you come across narrow minded people. Not often but does happen.

Maybe once or twice in a pub when there’s drunk louts in them. I have to say it’s been men that have caused issues before, not women!

I left school in the early 00s so attitudes were very different.

63% of respondents have experienced harassment or abuse

In Congleton, due to being LGBTQ+, have you ever experienced: (bar graph)

General day to transphobic comments and micro aggressions. Only one larger issue this year.

On our driveway. Near the high street.

On the street where I used to live, a good few years ago now, maybe about 6 years ago. Plus I had a landlord when I lived on Antrobus Street that clearly didn’t like myself and my partner being gay women!

Being heterosexual is easy, life is shitty enough without being challenged by one’s gender/sexuality.

Pubs.

Just walking minding my own business.

More than a quarter of respondents had reported abuse and 70% of these were not satisfied with the outcome

If you have reported harassment, abuse or violence to an authority in Congleton, how satisfied have you been with the action taken and outcome(s)? (pie chart)

Police weren’t willing to take case further due to apparent lack of proof.

Not acted on by police.

Many of those who have experienced abuse do not believe that reporting it will have any effect, or do not know how to report it

Have you experienced harassment, abuse or violence and NOT reported it in Congleton? If so, why didn't you report it? (bar graph)

No point really, I don’t care if they think I’m a ‘fag’.

It was my partner.

Police did nothing previously.

Living in Congleton

Has the fact you are LGBTQ+ been a barrier to your accessing public services (health, education, social services, police/justice system etc)? (pie chart)

More than half attended Pride and joined on Facebook

With respect to the Congleton Pride 2019 event, what did you do? (pie chart)
Do you interact with the Congleton Pride Community in other ways (choose all that apply)? (pie chart)

Don’t know where meetings are held.

Scared of the repercussions of joining.

Congleton Pride Event Comments

It would be good to see a broader sponsorship of the event from local businesses.

Advertise how we can get involved.

Make more ‘noise’ about it so more people are involved.

Lots of stalls, more lights & glitz.

Moving it from near B&M as it distracted some drivers. Maybe ask for road closure permission like the food festival does?

Get support from local churches. We know Christianity in general is against, but they play a huge part in the local community. I feel like an outcast because I was once part of a local church.

Parade of local services, businesses and groups would be fun.

Get an event organiser to organise it.

Perhaps something to include even more people.

Security guards. When I was there heard a few homophobic remarks. I feel security guards would make people feel safer.

More openness and education on LGBT rights.

Other Congleton Pride Activities respondents would like

What other activities or services could Congleton Pride offer that you might be interested in (choose all that apply)? (bar graph)

I have a friend that started his own helpline in Wales and it’s been a huge success.

I’m part of a community hub and would welcome the Congleton Pride Community feeling we could help them.