Theresa May has warned that the “threat of bigotry is still a daily reality” for LGBT people in the UK, as she highlighted the importance of inclusive relationship education for children.
The Prime Minister also expressed her concern over the “transphobic aggression” and “frequent misrepresentation” of trans people in some segments of the media.
The opinion piece, published on PinkNews on Tuesday, comes after the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which accelerated the fight for LGBT rights.
Mrs May pointed towards the “appalling” homophobic attack on a couple on a bus in London last month to demonstrate the threat still posed to the community.
“People say they cannot believe that this sort of thing still happens in the UK in 2019, not least in our capital city, but for LGBT people, even in a country as open and inclusive as ours, the threat of bigotry is still a daily reality,” she wrote.
Five teenagers were arrested over the assault on 28-year-old Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend Chris, who were attacked by a gang when they refused to kiss.
Mrs May celebrated the compulsory relationships education for primary-age pupils introduced last week as a “historic step forward”.
Guidance states that pupils must understand and respect that some people are LGBT and that the law “affords them and their relationships recognition and protections”.
Mrs May wrote: “I know that policy in particular has been controversial in some areas, but teaching all children about respect for difference is a core British value, something I and every government should always stand for.”
The outgoing Conservative PM also stressed that it is “vital” to successfully work on the Gender Recognition Act, which allows people to change their legal gender.
“I am also concerned about the rise of transphobic aggression and the frequent misrepresentation of trans people in some sections of the media,” she added.
Some newspapers have been criticised over claims of inaccurate reporting and offensive headlines when covering transgender issues.