Page 1

"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect." - Barack Obama, June 1st 2007

It is a testament to the hope, optimism and global vision embodied by America’s 44th president that his election and inauguration should provoke so much joy, both in his own country and around the world. A capable intercultural communicator, he is able to draw on various mixed backgrounds in order to straddle social and cultural boundaries. Taken with his intelligence, his extraordinary eloquence and his unflinching commitment to equality, it’s easy to see why he has such broad appeal. Up until his inauguration he had made all the right noises in relation to equality for LGBT people. Now, having taken office, a comprehensive statement of civil rights has appeared on the White House website, giving the most comprehensive federal endorsement of LGBT equality that America has ever seen: If America is, as its new president aspires, to take its position at the avant-garde of a brave new world of equality, human freedom and unity of purpose, let us hope that the values espoused by this administration, leading by example, may swiftly be taken up by other nations in the global family. Already, his administration has announced it will endorse the UN declaration on the worldwide decriminalisation of homosexuality, an endorsement refused by the Bush presidency. February was LGBT History Month; we are surely witnessing a significant moment in our history. And while expectations of Mr Obama are almost unprecedentedly high, so his potential to meet them is perhaps greater than almost any president before him. Best wishes, James “There are some who question the scale of our ambitions; their memories are short. For they have forgotten what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose and necessity to courage. What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them. For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength – not a weakness. We cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself.” - Barack Obama, January 20th 2009


LGBT Youth Exchange to Japan, August 2008

3 LGBT Youth Exchange to Japan, August 2008

In August 2008, a group of seven young people plus two youth workers from Freedom Youth – an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) youth group in Bristol – and a Japanese interpreter/guide, travelled halfway across the world, to Tokyo.

5 LGB & Faith

What took place was part of an exchange trip with Japan that we believe was the first of its kind and interestingly, each and every one of the young people and youth workers involved was LGBT. The purpose of the exchange was to share experiences, ideas and information with young LGBT people in Japan around the benefits of having a group like Freedom Youth, and around important issues such as sexual health or ‘coming out’.

6 Survey of Muslim LGB people The Gay Police Association End Violence Against Women: Map of Gaps

7 CycleOut Bristol Safer Bristol Partnership

8 LGBT Health Summit 2008 Evaluation Report – Executive Summary Blood ban review Over the course of two weeks we organised and ran workshops such as “About Ourselves”, “School Life”, “Coming Out”, “Sexual Health” and “Homophobia and Transphobia in Society”. We also attended a large conference seminar attended by over 150 Japanese people, young and old. This conference included information and feedback from all of our workshops as well as a chance for further group discussions around the various topics. Max and I also gave a presentation on the UK’s relevant legislation and the policies in place to protect LGBT people.

9 Study: Your Life, Your Treatment

10 Listings

It was one of the most challenging things I have ever been involved in. The workshops took a considerable effort to pull off. We spent months preparing every little detail and each of us had to make sacrifices. Every Thursday for 3

at least three months we met up at the Connexions building and spent two and a half hours meticulously planning our trip and developing all sorts of skills, as well as fundraising to help with the costs. We learned some basic Japanese language, and I should credit Freddie who swam through the language skills like a fish through water and even on our return to England was habitually greeting people in Japanese and bowing accidentally. He really was a star!

During the two weeks that followed, we ran a highly successful set of workshops, and managed to open the minds of many Japanese young people, allowing them to feel more comfortable with themselves and their sexualities. Japan is very different to the UK in respect to their attitudes around LGBT issues. There is little support for LGBT people, and none of it official; the majority of LGBT groups are selfset-up and receive no help from local government. More generally, there is next-tono support in place for young people; no youth clubs or recreational activities made available to them. In fact, we believe this exchange may have represented the first official support ever offered to LGBT people in Japan.

In preparation we all performed ten to fifteen minute presentations on an aspect of Japanese culture. During these we got what was for many of us our first glimpse of Japanese cuisine and also new aspects of their culture. Jenny informed us all on the concept of ‘Cosplay’, a Japanese cult fashion, where people wear costumes representing famous animé characters. (Animé is a form of Japanese cartoon art that is deeply ingrained in their modern culture).

For me, the sexual health workshop was very important. The curriculum in Japan around sexual health is very conservative, and they had little knowledge of safe sex and STI’s (sexually transmitted infections). One man told me in a group discussion that his school had taught him about AIDS, but not in depth, they were not informed that condoms can prevent the transmission of HIV, merely that such an illness existed, and it could kill people. One young woman bought in her school text book to show us, and translated the sexual education section. I really was appalled - it was extremely heterosexist, with no acknowledgement of LGBT people even existing. This to me was when it ‘hit home’ about the scale of ignorance LGBT people must face over there.

However some of the group chose to do presentations on other aspects of Japanese life. Luke, for example spent hours researching the various museums in Tokyo, and also studied the Japanese train system in great detail, which proved useful as it was extremely complicated, with some stations having over 60 exits! After all this preparation, we finally left for Tokyo on 18th August. We were met by a welcoming committee of young Japanese people, Yuko-san (the Japanese adult coordinator) and NHK television - the Japanese version of the BBC – which was filming a documentary featuring us and our activities.

In addition to this there are no laws in place to ensure that LGBT people are treated equally, and we found as a group that Japanese people often felt they had hostile reactions with regards to their sexuality. One young man told me that he had ‘come out’ to his parents, and though they had accepted it he felt he could not tell anybody else as he lived in a small village and he believed it would ruin his parents’ business if the community found out their son was gay. Though it may seem strange, this boy was lucky, as other people had told me their parents had openly called them disgusting and some had nearly been disowned, until they pretended to be ‘straight’. They were consequently amazed at how open our society was, finding it hard to comprehend that Bristol City Council had helped us, and 4

were not only aware of LGBT issues but also striving for equality.

as did Helen Holland (Leader of the council), Les Compton (Deputy Head of Youth and Play Services), Stephen Williams MP, members of the Rainbow group, the LGB forum and other stakeholders. The evening went wonderfully – it was informative for all the guests and, I hope, not too boring!

During our stay in Tokyo we also attended the ‘Toshima Ward’ conference, where we talked about our experiences in British schools to local teachers, head teachers and governing boards of local schools. Our youth workers also talked about equality work within Bristol City Council and the work of the LGBT youth work team.

Our next step is to finish our ASDAN accreditation, and we are awaiting confirmation from Japan about hosting a group of Japanese young people in Bristol in 2009/10. Ellie Best Freedom Youth Member

LGB & Faith The Forum is keen to start dialogue with faith groups to further understanding of both the LGB communities and the faith communities. Many of you will appreciate that this is not and will not be an easy task. We have already approached a number of LGB faith groups and have had interest from a number of Forum members of faith. We also have the backing and interest of both the Council and VOSCUR in furthering this work and possible partnership working. We are already exploring funding opportunities and would like to hear from any members who would be interested in joining a steering group to direct the work and/or who would be interested in contributing their ideas, expertise and interest.

Thankfully, we were allowed some time off as well! We went sightseeing to several temples and shrines, Nara deer park as well as numerous museums – the Edo museum, the history of animé and Luke (with his ingenious train-negotiating skills) visited the automata museum, all by himself. We also had a taste of traditional Japanese dance and taiko drumming.

On a personal level I realised that due to my sexual orientation, background and education, I have very little real understanding of either religion or faith, and the people to whom this is important. Talking to friends I realise that this is true for many of them. I would like to increase my understanding of all aspects and issues to do with religion and faith, and while I realise from the work conducted so far that this will probably be a very uncomfortable journey, I feel it vital to be instrumental in instigating change. The research and meetings conducted so far on this project have shown that change and understanding needs to come from both sides (LGB and Faith) in order to progress dialogue.

As a result of our visit the Japanese authorities in Tokyo are introducing one day a year of LGBT teacher training. Though this may sound small, it is a recognition of LGBT people and the need to support them. The local governors are also putting pressure on schools to alter their uniform codes, to allow girls to wear trousers, to help the many transgender people in Japan. Our experience didn’t stop when we arrived home either. We continued to meet up on Thursdays in order to complete our accreditation – an international ASDAN and also a ‘Building A Better Bristol’ Award Level 2. We held a presentation evening on 13th November where parents of several of the young people attended to show their support,

For those interested in exploring this work Stonewall has an interesting report at: 5 love_thy_neighbour.pdf

now meet quarterly in different stations across the Avon and Somerset area to discuss a wide range of topics as well as meeting socially. Our membership has grown by over 25% over the last 6 months as more colleagues have joined us and this has been reflected in the larger numbers attending.

Please email putting 'LGB and Faith' in the subject title if you would like to contribute in any way. Sarah-Louise Minter

We work closely with the diversity unit at Headquarters (HQ) to develop new schemes and policies related to LGBT issues and we provide help and support to our colleagues, whether around personal issues, work-related or advice on working with members of the LGBT communities. Our members attend local and national events to raise the profile of the GPA and have regular contact with the LGB & T communities. This means that we can provide one-to-one advice as well as having a presence and input into the gay community. We have a lot planned for the coming months, including the annual GPA dinner in Cardiff, our new website and an LGB awareness event at HQ.

Survey of Muslim LGBT people Salaam, Welcome to Al-Fatiha's historic survey of Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning or exploring their gender identity and/or sexual orientation (LGBTIQQ), including Muslims who use other cultural and ethnic terms to refer to their own experience. This survey is for Muslims of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and Muslims of all beliefs and practices, including observant Muslims, cultural Muslims, and those who are secular.

Our internal internet site is updated regularly and an external link will soon be available to those visiting the force website. If you would like to find out more please get in touch and if you are police or police staff and would like to join, we have a simple link on the website, or you can visit

This is the first survey of its kind. The results of this survey will tell us all about our community, our experiences and our concerns. The results will guide Al-Fatiha's educational and advocacy work on behalf of LGBTIQQ Muslims, and will be shared with the entire community.

All members are treated in confidence and details are only available to the force coordinator. We are here to support you!

All survey responses are ANONYMOUS and CONFIDENTIAL so you can feel comfortable answering all the questions honestly and openly. You may skip questions you do not wish to answer; however, we encourage you to answer the survey as completely as possible.

For more information please email: gaypoliceassociation@avonandsomerset.pnn.

Map of Gaps

The more information you provide, the more useful the survey results will be to the entire community. Your experiences and perspectives are important! Be counted!

Each year in the UK 3 million women experience rape, domestic violence, stalking or other violence and many more are living with the legacy of abuse experienced in the past or as a child. Yet in many parts of Britain there is a shocking failure to ensure that women have access to vital support

Al-Fatiha Board of Directors

The Gay Police Association The newly invigorated Gay Police Association (GPA) is going from strength to strength! We 6

services such as Rape Crisis Centres, refuges and domestic violence outreach projects.

under-reported in Bristol and we are doing all we can to make sure this changes, and to send out the message that hate crime will not be tolerated in our city.

On 30th January the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the End Violence Against Women (EVAW) coalition launched Map of Gaps, a groundbreaking campaign and website which includes interactive maps showing what level of support is available in your area. The maps show that a minority of areas have good levels of support, however for too many women services are patchy or even non-existent.

If you have been bullied, harassed or attacked because of: • • • • •

your race your faith your ethnicity your disability your sexuality

YOU CAN REPORT IT AND YOU WILL GET HELP. Please do whatever you can to support this message, and find out more at

"There are very few sexual violence services in our area and some women travel 70 miles each way to get support from us. This is simply unacceptable." – Maggie Parks, Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Cornwall

CycleOut Bristol CycleOut Bristol - the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual cycling club for Bristol and Surrounding Area.

Make a difference! Visit to see what services are available in your area using our interactive maps. There is lots of information about violence against women and why women need specialised services as well as template action letters.

E-mail or check the website for dates of our monthly rides. We welcome the novice as well as the experienced cyclist:

Take Action! Use the template letters on the website to contact your parliamentary or assembly representative or local authority to demand better support for women in your area.

We have one ride every month on a Sunday, setting off at 10am from the Empire Museum, Bristol Temple Meads. Some rides are twenty miles; some rides are forty. But we can tailor the ride to suit your experience. Your first three rides are free, then we need a fiver off you for insurance.

If you are a union, membership organisation or network, please encourage your members, networks and activists to visit the Map of Gaps website. If you wish to discuss how you can support the campaign, please contact:

We look forward to you riding with us. Happy pedalling!

Many thanks for supporting this important campaign. Together we can make a difference!

Safer Bristol The Safer Bristol Partnership is committed to raising awareness of hate crime and to increasing reporting. Hate crime is extremely 7

future events it might be wise to place these stalls in an area of high traffic and/or more clearly sign posted. Delegates’ comments also suggested that they would like to be provided with more details on local bus and train services if future summits are held outside of city centre locations and would like more healthy options available for lunch to reflect the values of a Health Summit. Respondents highlighted a number of issues they would like to see more coverage of at future Summits including bisexuality, mental health and disability. There were also calls for more coverage of positive success stories of work in LGBT health in addition to difficulties encountered. Some respondents would like to see more debate and more practical recommendations of research findings presented. Other comments included the need to involve more non-LGBT delegates and organisations and for LGBT Health Summits to continue to take place across the whole UK. The diverse nature of the programme was welcomed, although some found the aims/theme of the summit were not sufficiently clear.

LGBT Health Summit 2008 Evaluation Report – Executive Summary The third LGBT Health Summit was held in Filton, Bristol on 4th and 5th September 2008 and was co-hosted by Equality South West and Terrence Higgins Trust. The theme of the 2008 Summit was Equality and Diversity; entitled ‘Crossing the Divide’. The Summit was attended by 187 people on the first day and 144 people on the second day. Demographic information was available from 66 attendees and the evaluation survey was completed by 54 attendees. The most commonly reported reasons for attending the Summit were to learn about new research concerning LGBT health (68.5%) and to learn from other LGBT health service providers (64.8%). 90.6% attended the summit on behalf of an organisation: voluntary or community organisations (44.7%), the public sector (42.6%), trade unions (12.8%) and private sector (2.1%). The majority of these organisations’ main role was health (67.4%) followed by equality and diversity (23.3%), education (16.3%) and local government (9.3%).

The fact that the vast majority of responses were positive, with almost all respondents feeling that the Summit is an important event for the LGBT community and that they plan to attend future Summits must be taken as a significant sign of success. This was also reflected in respondents overall comments about the Summit.

The evaluation survey revealed that 96.3% felt that the event is important for the LGBT community and 96.3% also reported that they plan to attend future Summits. 98.1% felt that the Summit staff were helpful and well organised, the speakers and sessions received very positive remarks and 94.4% felt that the Summit broadened their knowledge and understanding of LGBT health issues. 92.6% agreed or strongly agreed that they would recommend the Summit to friends or colleagues.

UPDATE… blood ban to be reviewed Regular readers of Outburst will recall a few issues ago I wrote an article about the ban on men who have had sex with men being allowed to donate blood –effectively a blanket ban on gay men being blood donors. This ban is seen by many to be increasingly anachronistic in a changing world where gay men are no longer stigmatised by HIV and where rates of STIs are soaring across the heterosexual population as well.

Respondents provided useful recommendations on how the Summit could be improved for future years. Respondents said that they would like to receive information earlier for future Summits and suggested that greater publicity of the event may be needed. Delegates appreciated PowerPoint presentations being made available with USB storage devices provided in their packs and would like to see this continued in future years. Respondents were disappointed with the location of the information stalls and the number of delegates who visited them. In

PinkNews now reports that, following the publication of new research, the ban on gay men being allowed to donate blood is to be reviewed. 8

New studies will explore which demographics are most likely to have sexually-transmitted infections which might infect patients receiving blood, the sexual behaviour of blood donors, and current exclusion policies on blood donation around the world.

choice). Please indicate which at the end of the entry survey (next paragraph, below). If you have any questions If you have any further questions about the pilot study, please contact Opinion Health at (or you can call us on 020-7486-6700). Thank you.

The findings will go to the government’s independent advisory committee this summer.

Michele Poliziani Research Director Opinion Health, 11 Poland Street, London, W1F 8QA Direct telephone line: 020-3031-3537 Switchboard: 020-7486-6700

James Whale

Study: Your Life, Your Treatment Dear patient, As Research Director at OPINION HEALTH, I would like to offer you the chance to take part in the pilot study to an HIV patient support programme, called ‘Your Life, Your Treatment’. People with HIV who take part in this short pilot study will be paid £70 (or they can ask for their payment to be donated to an HIV charity of their choice).

Further details about the pilot study The pilot study is designed to test whether the ‘Your Life, Your treatment’ programme helps people with HIV manage their antiretroviral (ARV) treatment better. A total of 100 people with HIV will be recruited in this UK-wide pilot. For successful applicants, the pilot will be in two parts:

You can take part in your own home All you will need to do is look at information sent to you by the study researchers, and note down some of your viewpoints. The study finishes at the three-month point when you complete an online questionnaire about your thoughts and opinions on the value of the information.

1. Information will be sent to you (a patient support communications programme). 2. After three months, you will be asked to complete a final online survey, allowing you to communicate your attitudes and practices in ARV treatment. The pilot study is being managed by two London-based companies, Opinion Health, a market researcher, and RAPP UK, a healthcare consultancy. RAPP will be sending out all patient support materials, including a welcome pack. The ‘Your Life, Your Treatment’ programme itself is an initiative of Bristol-Myers Squibb, a US-based pharmaceutical company that researches, develops, and manufactures treatments for HIV.

Total anonymity will be guaranteed All responses and all entries to the pilot study will be completely confidential. Any information given out by people taking part in the pilot will be studied in aggregated form only. At the end of the pilot study, all contact details will be deleted. How to enter the study If you are interested in participating, please visit: This will take you to the initial survey, which will ask you a few qualifying questions to check whether you are eligible for the pilot study. How your payment will be made After completion of the three-month pilot study, a cheque for £70 will be sent to you (or donated to an HIV patient group of your 9


Broken Rainbow National helpline for LGBT victims of domestic violence, available Mon-Fri 9am-1pm, 2-5pm. Call 0208 539 9507.

BLAGS Bristol Lesbian & Gay Switchboard Confidential support and information to gay men, lesbians and to all people with concerns about sexuality. Call us on 8-10pm Monday & Wednesday. 0117 922 1328.

EACH - Educational Action Challenging Homophobia A national charitable organisation set up to address homophobia through training and education. EACH runs a helpline for teachers, young people and parents, and for third-party reporting of homophobic incidents. Freephone helpline 0808 1000 143 (10am-5pm Mon-Fri and 10am-12noon Sat). General enquiries 0117 946 7606/7. Office 24, 14 Clifton Down Road, Bristol BS8 4BF.

BLiS - Bath Lesbians into Socialising We meet on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 8:30 in Mandalyns, 1 Fountain Buildings, Lansdown Rd, Bath. Call 07891 563 127 for event details. Brigstowe Project Housing project for people living with HIV, providing support, advice and advocacy. 176 Easton Rd, Easton, Bristol. Call 0117 941 5188.

Freedom Youth Weekly drop-in youth group on a Tuesday for LGBT and Q young people aged 13 to 21. For more information please contact the team on 0117 377 3677 or

Bristol Bisons RFC Bristol's first gay and gay-friendly rugby team is always looking for new members, players and supporters. Everyone welcome regardless of experience or ability. Call 0783 145 4991.

Gay Glos Help, advice and social networks for LGBT people living in the rural areas of Gloucestershire. PO Box 171, Gloucester. Mon-Fri 7.30-10pm. Call 01452 306 800.

Bristol Drugs Project Support for users, families and friends. 11 Brunswick Square, BS2 8PE. Call LGB rep Sarah Wilson on 0117 987 6010.

Gay and Lesbian Alcohol Free Friends Social and support group for lesbian, gay and bisexual people with an alcohol issue. Call Paul Green on 0117 378 9439 GLAFF, PO Box 2012, Bristol, BS99 5WN.

Bristol Families and Friends BFF is a support group for families and friends of LGB people. We meet on the third Wednesday of every month at 7pm at the Terrence Higgins Trust. Call Sue Allen on 01454 852 418. 14 Brockley Close, Little Stoke Bristol BS34 6EZ.

GayWest A social and support group for gay people in the South West. Meets Sat mornings in the Rainbow Cafe in Bath. For details and events call 0870 811 1990, Mon – Fri 8pm – 10pm. GayWest, PO Box 586, Bath, BA1 2YQ.

Bristol 3Ms Supper group for gay and bisexual men. We hold regular social evenings in Bristol and Weston-super-Mare. Call Russell on 0117 973 9855.

The Harbour Providing free, professional counselling and psychotherapy to people affected by HIV, AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. 30 Frogmore St, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 925 9348 or 10

Equalities on 0117 922

Lesbian & Children Network A bi-monthly social group for lesbians and bisexual women and their children. Call Rachel on 07813 754 291.




So Out in the South West A social and support group for disabled gay men living and/or working in the South West. Call Robin on 0117 942 9336 or write c/o BSGPF, 19 Easton Business Centre, Felix Road, Easton, Bristol. BS5 0HE.

LGB Young People's Forum LGBT Youth Forum for young people aged 13 21, exploring issues related to LGBT youth. For more information contact Babs or Winston on 0117 377 3677.

South West Walking Women For women interested in hiking in the Bath and Bristol area at weekends.

LGBT Society UWE Weekly meetings, consisting of alternate on scene and off scene events, plus trips. UWE Student Union Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol. BS16 1QY. Call Cari on 07812 670 648 or Sean on 07904 382 719.

Terrence Higgins Trust West Information, care and support, and health promotion for all people affected by HIV and AIDS. Counselling, buddying, complementary therapies, advocacy and advice. Call us on 0117 955 1000. 8 West Street, Old Market, BS2 0BH.

LGBT Young People's Team Citywide support for LGBT young people in Bristol. Sefton Park Youth Centre, Ashley Down Road, Bristol. BS7 9BG. 0117 377 3673. Missing Lesbians Website listing events for women in Bristol and the surrounding areas.

University of Bristol LGBT Society We organise regular social events for all LGBT students at Bristol University. LGBT Society, University of Bristol Union, Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1LN.

Number 8 This group for married and single bisexual men meets the first Thursday of every month at THT. 8-10 West Street, Old Market. 6pm-7.30pm Call 0117 941 2440.

USPCG A UK-based organisation that finds pen pals for gay US prisoners. PO Box 1714, Yate. BS37 4NS.

Pink Herrings Social network for lesbians, meets every other Thursday evening at 8:30. Also bowling, cinema, coffee bars, theatre, concerts, discos, cycling, walks, meals out and more. For further info call Dot on 0117 986 1529.

Victim Support Avonvale We provide emotional and practical support to all people affected by crime, including homophobic hate crime. Call 0117 963 1114, national helpline 0845 30 30 900. 36 Dean Lane, Bedminster, BS3 1BS.

Pink Parents UK Information, advice and support on all aspects of lesbian, gay and bisexual parenting. Write to Pink Parents UK, The D'Arcy Lainey Foundation, PO BOX 417, Oldham. OL2 7WT.

Wild Walking Women A friendly walking group for lesbians, meets the second Sunday of the month with walks at various venues around Bristol, Bath and the south west. Call 07980 418 676.

Rainbow Group Bristol City Council employees’ group for campaigning, support and socialising. Call 11

Bristol Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Forum The Create Centre, Smeaton Road, Bristol, BS1 6XN / 12 Registered Charity 1098085

Outburst Spring 2009  

Up until his inauguration he had made all the right noises in relation to equality for LGBT people. Now, having taken office, a comprehensiv...

Outburst Spring 2009  

Up until his inauguration he had made all the right noises in relation to equality for LGBT people. Now, having taken office, a comprehensiv...