Thousands in South Tyneside identify as LGB+

Thousands of people in South Tyneside identify as LGB+, census figures reveal for the first time.

A rainbow flag being held aloft.
A rainbow flag being held aloft.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) introduced voluntary questions for people aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity in the 2021 census.

The data shows 3,192 people in South Tyneside identified with a sexual orientation other than heterosexual when the census was carried out in March 2021 – 2.6% of respondents.

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The most common LGB+ sexualities were gay or lesbian – 55% of those who did not identify as straight - and bisexual (38%).

The vast majority of residents (92%) said they were heterosexual and 6,500 people did not answer the question.

On gender identity, 460 (0.4%) people in South Tyneside stated they did not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth.

Of them, 113 were trans men and 76 trans women. A further 58 said they were non-binary.

About 5,200 people did not answer the question.

ONS director Jen Woolford said the first census estimates were “crucial”.

He added: “They will ensure decision-makers have the best information so they can better understand the extent and nature of disadvantage which people may be experiencing in terms of educational outcomes, health, employment and housing.”

Stonewall chief executive, Nancy Kelley, said: “For the past two centuries of data gathering through our national census, LGBTQ+ people have been invisible, with the stories of our communities, our diversity and our lives missing from the national record.

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“Today is a historic step forward.”

The LGBT Foundation said the data is a “huge first step in making LGBTQ+ people feel included”.