Ian Rivers' claim that research into the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) sector is now "futile" and has been needlessly replicated in different parts of a devolved UK ("LGBT research is 'futile' (and short on L, B and T)", 4 December) may be so in Great Britain, but in Northern Ireland there is a significant lack of research into issues affecting the LGBT community.
The cultural differences and complexities informing, sustaining and condoning homophobia in Northern Ireland often remain overlooked in "UK-wide" studies. "Safe bet" research may have run its course in Great Britain, but here in Northern Ireland this type of investigation is a necessary starting point to expose why homophobic violence remains an "acceptable prejudice".
Rivers' suggestion of "little, well-designed studies" as a research programme for LGBT studies in Great Britain is to be welcomed, and such research should also be conducted in Northern Ireland. If there is a need for focused knowledge on bisexual and transgender issues generally in the UK, this can only be more of an issue in Northern Ireland where there remains a need for research on the G and the L.
Marian Duggan, Queen's University Belfast.