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Words do hurt: almost 80% of the LGBTIQ+ community have been victims of homophobic language over the past 12 months

New ANZ research[1] released today has found the vast majority of LGBTIQ+ Australians (78%) have been victim to hurtful, homophobic or transphobic language, with more than two thirds (69%) being called a derogatory name such as ‘faggot’, ‘dyke’ or ‘tranny’ in the past 12 months.

Despite this, only 41% of ‘straight’ Australians believe that hurtful, homophobic or transphobic language towards the LGBTIQ+ community is a major issue today.


As principal partner of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, ANZ has launched #LoveSpeech – a campaign that aims to raise awareness of the negative impact this language has on the LGBTIQ+ community.


ANZ has released a short film demonstrating the profoundly negative effects of hurtful language on members of the LGBTIQ+ community. Confronting in its honesty, the film resolves with a plea to stop the hate – appealing for a world with more #LoveSpeech.

Key research findings:

●  74% of the Australian LGBTIQ+ community believe hurtful language directed at members of their community is a major issue     in Australia today.

●   26% of Australian LGBTIQ+ adults say the first time they were the victim of hurtful language specifically about their gender or     sexual identity, it was from a friend or family member.

●   Online abuse has affected 40% of LGBTIQ+ millennials and 43% of LGBTIQ+ Australians under the age of 24.

ANZ Executive Sponsor of the Pride Network and ANZ Chief Finance Officer, Michelle Jablko said: “Diversity, inclusion and respect is a part of who we are at ANZ. We hope this campaign helps people understand the impact of hurtful language, and promotes more #LoveSpeech online and offline so everyone can embrace their authentic selves.”


Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO, Albert Kruger said: “Hurtful language can have a negative impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people, and that’s why ANZ has launched this powerful and insightful #LoveSpeech campaign, spreading beautiful messages of support for our community. Our longstanding partnership with ANZ started 14 years ago, and their passion for Mardi Gras continues to extend to the broader LGBTIQ+ community and beyond.”


More information:

For more information visit https://www.anz.com.au/promo/lovespeech/ and follow @ANZ_AU on Twitter, Instagram or facebook.com/ANZAustralia for live updates.


Link to media assets including:


Love Speech film

  •  ANZ has released a raw, emotive film that underscores the profoundly negative effects hurtful language has on the                     LGBTIQ+ community. Confronting in its honesty, the film calls for a world with more #LoveSpeech.
  •  The film features LGBTIQ+ community members sharing their experiences of being victimised by derogatory language.


ANZ’s Guide to Love Speech

  • ANZ has developed a digital Love Speech handbook that includes definitions of terms associated with the LGBTIQ+ community, explains why certain words and phrases are derogatory, and provides tips on how to use inclusive language.


The Hurt Blocker Google Chrome extension

  • ANZ has developed The Hurt Blocker to allow the LGBTIQ+ community to disarm hurtful language online. The Google Chrome extension detects homo/trans/bi-phobic language and transforms these words into celebratory emojis such as rainbows, unicorns and hearts.
  • The Hurt Blocker is available to all Australians to use on their desktop computers and is customisable to detect and transform any words or phrases that the user identifies as offensive.


Additional ANZ Research Findings:


  •  21% of Australian LGBTIQ+ adults say that the first time they were the victim of hurtful language, specifically about their gender or sexual identity, it was from a peer or fellow student at school, and 15% say that the abuse came from a stranger.
  • 40% of Australian LGBTIQ+ adults say the first time they were the victim of hurtful language specifically about their gender or sexual identity took place at high school, followed by 33% out in public (shopping malls, parks, etc.) and 28% online.
  • 34% of non-LGBTIQ+ Australians say that they have witnessed hurtful language towards LGBTIQ+ people on social media, including 46% of those under 24 years old.
  • 44% of non-LGBTIQ+ Australians admit that they have used the phrase ‘that’s so gay’ at some point, of which only 15% say they knew it could be offensive.
  • 51% of non-LGBTIQ+ Australians say the LGBTIQ+ community gets offended too easily.
  • 40% of non-LGBTIQ+ Australians would make an effort to stop using language in future if an LGBTIQ+ person called it out as hurtful.
  • 66% of the LGBTIQ+ community would not call out homophobic language directed at them.


[1] Conducted by YouGov Research, Hurtful language and the LGBTIQ+ community, surveyed 1025 Australians aged 18+ who identify as LGBTIQ+ and 1085 Australians aged 18+ who do not identify as LGBTIQ+ in January and February 2020. 




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