The LGBTQ+ Musicians Insight Report has found that musicians from LGBTQ+ communities face significant barriers and issues relating to discrimination, sexual harassment and concerns around physical, mental and financial wellbeing.
Based on this, we have made the below recommendations to improve diversity and inclusion within the music industry.
Funding and investment
- Government must invest in culturally relevant and informed mental health services for LGBTQ+ people.
- Industry needs to invest in spaces that create community for LGBTQ+ musicians with a specific focus on trans musicians. A lack of professional networks was highlighted as a major career barrier for this community.
- Industry should invest in long term initiatives that support the career progression of LGBTQ+ musicians, this should include mentoring, coaching opportunities and access to professional support and advice.
- Industry should invest in and support the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA) to help tackle the high levels of discrimination and sexual harassment LGBTQ+ musicians face.
Research and education, as well as training and networking opportunities
- Industry should invest in LGBTQ+ inclusion training to ensure that all workplaces are safe spaces.
- Industry needs to review the language we use to make sure it’s inclusive of all LGBTQ+ identities.
- We found that LGBTQ+ musicians represent a young subsection of the music industries, therefore industry should identify ways in which to, and commit to consistently including younger musicians in decision-making.
- Industry needs to provide integrated, accessible networking opportunities for LGBTQ+ musicians and their allies, as we know that this community experiences high rates of neurodiversity and disability.
- Industry must collect robust diversity monitoring data that includes freelancers. This data will help the industry measure diversity, and identify and close pay gaps, including freelance pay gaps. Any diversity monitoring should be fully representative of the entire LGBTQ+ community.
- This report scratches the surface on the issues faced by LGBTQ+ musicians. Further and more in-depth research is needed by the industry to better understand some of the issues this report highlights. Specific research on trans musicians would be particularly beneficial.
Attitude and accountability
- Industry must work towards a culture of disclosure where people can be open about their sexuality and/or gender identity at work if they choose to be. MHFA England’s Whole Self Campaign wants to create workplaces where we feel safe to bring our whole selves to work, without fear of prejudice or consequence. Despite a growing understanding of the importance of psychological safety at work the Census found a significant number of musicians who are not open with everyone that they work with.
- Government must intensify efforts to end abuses of LGBTQ+ people internationally. As we know LGBTQ+ musicians tour a lot for work and international travel isn’t always safe for LGBTQ+ people.