Love in a Cold Climate: Changes in the fortunes of LGBT men and women with learning disabilities?

David Abbott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
255 Downloads (Pure)


This study goes back to look at some research which was about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people with learning disabilities. Have things got better or worse for LGBT people as this research was performed? It is hard to say whether things have changed because we still do not know very much about the experiences of LGBT people with learning disabilities themselves. 'Secret Loves, Hidden Lives?' was a piece of research which explored the lives and loves of gay, lesbian and bisexual people with learning disabilities. The research arguably influenced the development of policy in that same sex relationships were subsequently mentioned in English government policy on learning disability. The research had an extensive programme of dissemination, and whilst no systematic attempt was made to measure the impact of the dissemination or the research, this study suggests ways in which the research might (or might not) have made a difference in relation to: telling untold stories, supporting front line workers with practical resources, challenging negative assumptions held by staff in services and putting LGBT people with learning disabilities in touch with each other. The study also considers work which was left undone and reflects on the opportunities to support LGBT people with learning disabilities in the current context of financial austerity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-105
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number2
Early online date18 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance: 13/03/2015


  • Impact of research
  • Lesbian
  • gay
  • bisexual and transgendered
  • post-valuing people
  • sexuality


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