GRAND DESIGNS HOW CYBIL BUILT HER HOUSE
WANDERLUST AND FRIENDS OF VALERIE A Personal Map of London
ABOVE THE STAG THEATRE Underneath the Arches
ALBERT KENNEDY TRUST No Room for Hate
Also inside: The Minister for Equalities - The Rainbow Project - LGBT Foundation - Barnardoâ€™s - HSBC In association with
History Herstory My story Introducing gender-neutral titles at HSBC. Search: HSBC gender neutral
Together we thrive Issued by HSBC Bank plc. X2600. Â©HSBC Bank plc 2018. All Rights Reserved. AC45250
The Minister for Equalities
The Mayor of London
Stonewall Come Out for LGBT
39 Wanderlust and Friends of Valerie My personal Map of London 44 Diversity Role Models 48 The Albert Kennedy Trust No Room for Hate
12 Student Pride LGBT Homelessness
51 Above the Stag Theatre Underneath the Arches – Interview
18 National Grid Make the Connection 22 Question Time With HSBC’s Pride Network 26 Barnardo’s LGBT Equality
55 UK Pride on the Isle of Wight #IOWnmydestiny 56 LGBT Foundation and HEE Sexual Orientation Monitoring 58 Equity Play Fair
30 Mike’s Story A Barnardo’s case study
60 The Rainbow Project and Stonewall Workplace Partnership Project
32 Educate and Celebrate 34 Grand Designs How Cybil built her House
We would like to thank: Grahame Robertson, Jameela Freitas, Michael Cullen, Craig Saunders, Nagina Kayani, Mike Clarke, Jenni Uotila, Darren Mew, Charlie-Ann Mathers, Sophie Tye, Cybil War, John O’Doherty, Graeme Rainey, Claire Harvey, Alex Bendix and Elly Barnes for your help and support in putting together this year’s magazine.
62 Update on Marriage Equality Northern Ireland
© 2018 LGBT History Month Magazine is published by Talent Media. Copyright of all images and articles remains with the publisher unless otherwise stated. All other rights recognised. No material in this publication may be used without prior permission from the publisher. Disclaimer: We cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited text, photographs or illustrations. Views expressed and included in LGBT History Month Magazine by individual contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Published by Talent Media, Reg: 106 Charter Ave, Ilford, Essex IG2 7AD, W. www.lgbthistorymonthmagazine.co.uk, T: 020 3697 9371. CoReg:10005964 Publisher: Darren Waite - Sub Editor: Robert Ingham - Design: Ross Miller – Social Media: Nate Parker Cover image supplied by: Cybil War - © Jan Klos
A MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER FOR WOMEN AND EQUALITIES The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP
Firstly, I want to say how delighted and honoured I am to have been appointed Minister for Women and Equalities. As a politician, I have always been clear that my main role is to protect those who are most in need and battle injustices that plague our society. I am proud that, as a country, we have come such a long way to ensure every person is afforded the same rights and treated equally, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. LGBT History Month should rightly be used as a time to reflect on the progress. Five years ago, I was full of pride when Parliament voted to allow same sex marriage. And, during my time in Government I have also seen Turing’s Law passed, posthumously pardoning men who had sex with men, and welcomed a growing number LGB MPs, who I hope will 4 - LGBTHM 2018
inspire others to look at a career in politics.
community a voice on the issues affecting them.
I have been shocked to hear how people in LGBT communities have been targeted by vicious hate crimes, and I have pledged to help combat this abhorrent behaviour. Our Hate Crime Action Plan is improving the response of law enforcement and criminal justice system to these horrendous attacks, including ensuring more victims have the confidence to come forward and report such incidents.
This is why last year the Government launched one of the largest LGBT surveys ever to ask LGBT people about their experience of public services. More than 100,000 people responded and the Government will listen to concerns raised. We will use the results to drive forward improvements for the LGBT community, including publishing a crossgovernment action plan.
We have also committed £900,000 over three years for community-led projects to tackle hate crime, and last year announced funding for a new national hub to help the police to tackle the emerging threat of online hate crime. While LGBT History Month affords us the opportunity to look back, it is equally important that we set our sights on how to build on these achievements and continue to give the LGBT
So, while progress has been made, I am not complacent and will not stop until homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination is stamped out in our communities. I want to work with the LGBT community to ensure that every person is accepted, with no exceptions, and to improve the lives of LGBT people living in the UK. The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP
Barnardo’s Registered Charity Nos. 216250 and SC037605 19619dos19
Help us transform vulnerable children’s lives. Search ‘Believe in Me’
A MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR OF LONDON LGBT+ History Month is an important time of the year to celebrate the achievements of LGBT+ people, reflect on the ongoing fight for equality and to redouble our commitment to ensuring that all people, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity are able to fulfil their potential and live their lives without fear of discrimination or hate. It’s so important to me that London is seen as a city where LGBT+ people feel valued, happy and safe. This means acting on issues that matter to the LGBT+ community all year round, and sending a message of solidarity and hope to LGBT+ people across the globe who continue to live under oppressive regimes – together we can achieve change and improve human rights. Here in London, you’re free to love whoever you want to love and be whoever you want to be. That’s a big reason why our city is seen as a welcoming home for the LGBT+ community and has such a vibrant, thriving scene - one that is bursting with colour and makes a huge contribution to the life and soul of London. 6 - LGBTHM 2018
As Mayor of London, I have been touched and humbled by the generosity and kindness I’ve received from the capital’s LGBT+ community. Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of leading the Pride in London parade, reinstating City Hall’s Pride reception and, alongside Night Czar Amy Lamé, taken important steps to safeguard LGBT+ venues across the capital. Around the capital this month, there are lots of opportunities to get involved with LGBT+ History Month events - you could join an LGBT+ tour at the V&A, enjoy the free activities at the National Maritime Museum’s ‘Out At Sea’ family day, or you could visit Hackney Museum’s first ever LGBT+ exhibition. I hope you have a fantastic LGBT+ History Month.
Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
LOVE METROPOLITAN LIVING
We have over 35 years experience of helping people to realise their home ownership dreams, whilst delivering award winning customer service. đ&#x;“žđ&#x;“ž 020 3535 2555
Our range of attractive new and resale homes across London, the Home Counties and the East Midlands offer a great specification and an easy, affordable way to own.
COME OUT FOR LGBT. by Josh Hobson – Stonewall HR
This LGBT History Month, we are reflecting on the role that allies have had over the years we have been fighting for LGBT equality in Britain. At the end of last year, Stonewall launched its first major awareness campaign in 10 years, Come Out for LGBT, and finally got our logo back on the side of London’s buses. The campaign builds on Stonewall’s previous campaign, ‘Some people 8 - LGBTHM 2018
are gay. Get over it!’, and reaches beyond it. It aims to engage with allies, encouraging anyone who cares about equality to make a stand for the LGBT community in any way they can, at work, at school and in their local communities. Being an ally is about being an active friend or support to someone else. Straight people can be allies to LGBT people. Lesbians can be allies to trans women. Gay
men can be allies to bi men. If we want to live in a world where people are accepted without exception, we all need to be part of the solution. We want people to be loud, visible and proud to be part of this campaign, letting the world know that they stand with LGBT people everywhere.
This situation is not acceptable, and it has been made worse by increasingly frequent attacks in the media and on social media from a vocal minority.
The Come Out for LGBT campaign launch was a huge success, and people came out for LGBT in amazingly different ways, from wearing Rainbow Laces, showing support for LGBT people within sport, to holding an Equali-Tea at work and inviting people to come and have an open conversation about LGBT issues. The campaign reached millions of people and helped to change hearts and minds across the country. But this was just the beginning. In January this year Stonewall launched the next stage of the campaign, Come Out For Trans Equality. The lynchpin of our
work last month was a new piece of research, our LGBT in Britain: Trans Report, a ground-breaking piece of research with YouGov that highlights the profound levels of discrimination and hate crime faced by trans people in Britain today. The report makes for shocking reading. One in eight (12%) of trans people have been assaulted by a customer or colleague at work.
Headlines and stories that make ludicrous claims that people are being ‘turned trans’, and that sensationalise and misrepresent the reality of being trans are reminiscent of days gone by: days when the media constantly hounded lesbian, gay and bi people as deviants prevented progress on equality for so long.
“Half of trans people (51%) hide their identity at work for fear of discrimination”
Half of trans people (51%) hide their identity at work for fear of discrimination. A quarter of trans people (25%) have experienced homelessness. Keegan Hirst - Nicola Adams Casey Stoney at the Team Pride conference 9 - LGBTHM 2018
2018 is the 30th anniversary of the introduction of Section 28, a nasty piece of legislation that prevented the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools and other services.
equality and – particularly – for the reform of the Gender Recognition Act, feel very powerful.
“It meant that teachers weren’t able to support LGBT pupils”
It meant that teachers weren’t able to support LGBT pupils, and many felt they had to go back into the closet themselves. It was a dark time, and Stonewall was set up to fight that legislation.
Stonewall History - 1994 Ian McKellen Edwina Currie ©Bill Short
This LGBT History Month, the parallels between that fight, and the current fight for trans
10 - LGBTHM 2018
S28 campaign billboard
One of the first goals laid out in ‘A Vision for Change’ - Stonewall’s five year plan for trans equality - was to reform the Gender Recognition Act, and last year the government pledged to do just that. In 2004 when the Gender Recognition Act was introduced, it was a welcome piece of legislation that gave trans people a way to have their gender legally recognised. Fourteen years later in 2018 the law is desperately in need of reform. Stonewall is calling for the introduction of a simple process for trans people to have their preferred gender recognised, one that isn’t medicalised, intrusive or demeaning.
We urge you to stand up as an active ally to trans people wherever you can. Find out how to do that at: www.stonewall. org.uk/trans. In the coming months the government is expected to announce the public consultation on Gender Recognition Act reform. The consultation is a process where organisations and individuals can have their say on a proposed policy change. “It was a welcome piece of legislation that gave trans people a way to have their gender legally recognised”
When the consultation is announced, you can go to Stonewall’s website and look for details of the best way to respond to let the government know that you support trans rights. This simple step could have a huge impact on the future of trans people in the UK. This LGBT History Month, make sure you take an active part in making history in the fight for trans equality in Britain today.
‘Some People Are Trans. Get Over It!’ ©Andy Tyler
We would urge the government to ensure that all trans communities are consulted and to act quickly on their concerns.
Stonewall community ©Emli Bendixen
11 - LGBTHM 2018
12,000 Homeless LGBT+ young people in crisis Young people are getting kicked out of their homes at an alarming rate for coming out and we have to do more to protect them. By Jamie Wareham National Student Pride Director of Communications
That’s why this year, with Albert Kennedy Trust, National Student Pride will be putting young homeless voices at the core of our event. And let there be no mistake, new figures show 45,000 18-24 year-old people in the UK registered themselves homeless last year. The figures from Albert Kennedy Trust show that, out of all young homeless people in the UK, one in four are LGBT+. T One of my greatest fears is becoming homeless. Losing a safety net of a warm house that protects me from the cold and gives me a much needed escape from the growing grips of a scary world – it would be devastating. So I count myself lucky, 12 - LGBTHM 2018
because LGBT+ people disproportionately make up the UK’s youth homeless population.
That means just shy of 12,000 young LGBT+ people have a safe place to live.
Vulnerable young LGBT+ people are getting kicked out of their homes when they come out and it is destroying their lives.
Listening to the panels at National Student Pride over the years I’ve volunteered, and now mentor the young
people who run it, it’s clear that, despite young LGBT+ people’s incredible resilience, they are suffering. The figures make the LGBT+ representation hugely disproportionate. They also show coming out is the reason nearly four in five young LGBT+ homeless teens are kicked out. Chair of Student Pride Hatti Smart says: “The figures from the Albert Kennedy Trust are truly devastating. I’m lucky my mum was very supportive when I came out. But for many, it’s a
different story and they are kicked out of their homes.” Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has called the figures a national scandal, while the government says it is helping to build new homes. Last year, when anti-bullying campaigner Paris Lees was discussing sex education with Year and Years singer Olly Alexander at our panel, it was clear just how important validation is for young people. If you are kicked out of your home, at an age when you are your most vulnerable by
your parents who have long been your protectors – where do you go? It’s clear that, even with global advances in LGBT+ rights, we still have much to talk about – especially if we are internalising that hate at such a young age. That’s why Student Pride continues, providing a platform for debate and discussion, driven by students. The 2016 event was a huge success with over 170 universities and colleges from across the 13 - LGBTHM 2018
world attending. Providing a safe place for discussion is the core of our event because there are so few places to talk about our identities. Last year, Education Minister Justine Greening listened to years of campaigning from across the community – and made sex education compulsory, days after our event. National Student Pride is also proud to host the biggest LGBT student careers fair of its kind. Not only is it an integral part of the daytime event, but it also provides the opportunity for employers to reach into the incredible diversity of LGBT students. Corporate sponsorship is essential to keep the daytime event free and therefore accessible to all regardless of age, wage or background. Steered by a group of graduates, activists and former speakers, every single person who contributes to Student Pride does so entirely voluntarily. The event is driven by a group 14 - LGBTHM 2018
of students who ask for nothing in return. The event began at Oxford Brookes University in 2005 as a response to the Christian Union’s ‘Homosexuality and the Bible’ talk. Student Pride continues this mantra in its 13th year. Student Pride is returning to the University of Westminster’s Marylebone campus opposite Madame Tussaud’s and continues to host its club events with G-A-Y. The venue which, over the years since we started collaborating with them, has improved their gender neutral toilet facilities and, despite a difficult end to the year in 2016, is working closely with UK Black Pride and us to make their clubs an inclusive space for BAME people. Every year we shine a spotlight on prejudice by engaging with partners because we believe that conversation and words have an inextricable power to change lives. What’s clear is the need for our marginalised community to look in on itself. We’ll be
proudly calling for action to tackle the homeless youth crisis. But this year we’ll also cover being beyond the binary, body confidence and bisexual erasure. So please join us for the biggest conversation of what it means to be LGBT+ in 2018 – only with your voice can we shape our future, together.
National Student Pride is platinum sponsored in 2018 by EY for the seventh year. Law firm Clifford Chance are gold sponsors. ASOS, Enterprise Rent A Car, Thomson Reuters and Santander are silver sponsors.
Tickets for the event are on sale now. The daytime festival at the University of Westminster is free and open to all (not just students) club nights at G-A-Y and Heaven are £5 for a weekend wristband, and for exclusive film extras, click www.studentpride.co.uk/tickets.
Darren Mew and Adore Delano
WHY I’M REJECTING GENDER NORMS By Darren Mew - National Student Pride Press Officer Growing up, I was the kind of “boy” that would be found hanging around with the girls. In secondary school, I was often misgendered as one. At the time, I was incredibly embarrassed.
femme I was looking, or acting. It gave me a big body dysmorphia issue.
that confidently got their way and took no crap from anyone.
The older I got though, the more I embraced this femininity - because women are incredible!
People were scared of them because of their attitude and presence. I loved it.
This femininity from a young age wasn’t accepted by most people. That had an impact on me.
Many of my fictional idols were strong, ballsy females like Santana from Glee, Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada and Jade West from Victorious – they were the mean girls
I was always second guessing myself on how
BEYOND THE BINARY When I got moved out of London and started my undergrad, I was surrounded by so many open-minded people who 15 - LGBTHM 2018
were also exploring their identities. That’s where I found out about the gender spectrum. When I heard the term ‘gender-queer’ I instantly found a home in the words. The idea that you can see the complex spectrum of gender identities but sit yourself happily on the outskirts was something I resonated with. I remember talking about it on the phone to my mum (bless her ignorance) whose first response was “but you know you’re a boy, you have a willy.” I sighed inwardly. She had innocent intentions but it hurt all the same to be dismissed so easily. Luckily, I haven’t had many conversations like that with other people. Mostly, I just have to explain what it means and then some other terms along the spectrum so that the person gets it. Now I live comfortably with my feminine qualities alongside all my other qualities too because now I know there isn’t a weakness in being feminine.
16 - LGBTHM 2018
The weakness was always not accepting and be confident with those traits. Gender identity is a topic I’m incredibly passionate about so it’s so frustrating that it’s widely underrepresented, even in the LGBT+ media. It only takes one look at the covers of magazines to see how cis-white-male-centric the media is. An identity that the media is even worse at representing is being non-binary. Where the media lacks however, amazing charities make up for it. Organisations like Mermaids, GIRES and Gender Spectrum are charities aimed at children, young people and families.
“People were scared of them because of their attitude and presence. I loved it.”
They help young people understand what identifying outside of the rigid gender binaries means. National Student Pride adds itself to that list this year as they take that conversation of being beyond the binary to their main stage. It brings me great pride to be involved in the creation of the Beyond The Binary panel, with inspiring activists such as Fox Fisher stirring those all-important conversations. I’m delighted to be putting my own experiences and struggles to use and being an activist to help others!
Darren and a friend
Make the Connection Careers at National Grid Every day we deliver safe and secure energy to homes, communities and businesses; connect people to the energy they need for the lives they live and help communities thrive and economies grow. Our people make the difference, it’s their impressive expertise and genuine dedication that will ensure we meet our purpose. Everyone at National Grid contributes and it’s the sheer dedication of our people that gives us the energy to deliver. So we look for talent and innovation, we expect high performance and we believe in opportunity for enthusiastic people who share our ambition, values and mind set.
To find out more about opportunities within National Grid, visit our website: careers.nationalgrid.com
From sites and offices to our huge range of afterwork clubs and social events, the National Grid culture reflects a commitment to inclusion and diversity. Our people are actively encouraged to treat everyone with respect and value every contribution. To ensure the whole community feels welcomed and valued, we’ve created Employee Resource Groups. They’re designed to support our people at work and champion improved understanding; Pride, Our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Supporters’ Network is a great example. It’s a network of National Grid employees who support LGBT colleagues, friends and family. Collectively, we embrace our differences and celebrate the value that diversity brings to National Grid.
My Coming Out Story... By Wendy Arrowsmith
Business Security Liaison for Digital, Risk and Security. National Grid
I often thought I was different when I was growing up, there was so much negativity around the whole subject of being gay, I didn’t consider I could be gay myself, it was only in later years that I finally had the confidence to come out and admit to myself and others that I am gay. That’s what I remember when I left college and I started out in my first job in the Royal Air Force aged 17. Trying to fit in and getting used to this new life I’d signed up for. After training I settled into the 24/7 routine of military life. However, I was always questioning my sexual identity and over time I couldn’t ignore how I felt. But, in the
1980’s, the culture in the RAF wasn’t supportive of being gay, as it was considered a criminal offence and you could be automatically discharged. However, I enjoyed the job, sports and the social life, so my solution (like a lot of others at that time) was to hide, just ignore it and carry
on. I didn’t even discuss how I felt with anyone else, as any hint of being gay would have resulted in an investigation by seniority. Eventually, after my contract had finished, I left the RAF and embraced the freedom that civilian life offered (the RAF and the rest of the services lifted its ban on being gay in 1999). Not being able to talk openly and truly about myself, had a real impact on my mental health. It took me some time, with the aid of counselling, to work though the earlier experiences.
Having experienced the impact of not being able to talk about issues first-hand, in 2007 when the Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) Team where looking for volunteers to start a Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) network called Pride, I jumped at the chance to contact colleagues from across the business. The opportunity to create a space to enable employees to get together and transform our culture was something I wanted to be a part of, as there was still pockets of misinformation and fear.
Having worked on the Pride Steering Group and been its co-Lead, supporting the aims of the now renamed Employee Resource Group (ERG) and I&D helped to provide a spot light on how to change the business for the better. It also gave me the opportunity to develop my business skills in communication, mentoring and coaching colleagues and leading change. Itâ€™s now well known that people perform better when they can be themselves and over the years working
within Pride, not only have I seen the visibility of the ERG increase, but a reduction from colleagues on their fears of being different. On a personal note, it has taken me on that journey too, and hopefully supported others along the way. This year Pride is coming up for its 10th anniversary, and itâ€™s reminded me of how far Pride and myself have come since our outing. To find out more visit our webpage: https://www. nationalgrid.com/remarkable
pride within National Grid The Pride LGBT Supporters’ Network is a network of National Grid employees who support LGBT colleagues, friends and family. We caught up with the co-lead of National Grid’s Pride network, Melanie Jackson, to hear about their history, achievements and future plans.
Q. How long has National Grid had an LGBT employee network? The Pride Network was founded in November 2007 and launched by our former co-chair, Chris Murray CEO of Xoserve until his retirement in 2017. I attended the event and was particularly inspired by Chris’ speech where he stated that the aim of the network was to ensure fairness within the organisation. He recounted the first time he became aware of LGBT issues, his housemate came out to him whilst on a graduate scheme in 1977. The look of relief and happiness on his friend’s face afterwards had a huge impact on Chris and since then he has been an ally.
â€˜Prideâ€™ taking part in the 2017 London Pride Parade
Q. What activities and events does the Pride Network organise?
Q. Why do you think it is important for National Grid to have an LGBT network?
A highlight in recent years has been our conference events. This gives our employees the opportunity to come together to share best practice, network with colleagues and focus on the strategy for the upcoming year. We have been fortunate to have several guest speakers who have really inspired our employees with their personal stories. These include; Claire Balding, the journalist Paris Lees, Paralympians Lee Pearson and Claire Harvey and the rugby player Gareth Thomas. An annual event for the Network is London Pride; an incredibly enjoyable day which gives National Grid the opportunity to show we support the LGBT community and value everybody, regardless of their sexuality.
Surveys have shown that over half of LGBT people employed in Engineering choose to remain in the closet through fear of the impact coming out and homophobia would have on their professional careers. Pride raises the visibility of LGBT issues within National Grid and offers support to all our colleagues. Initiatives implemented have been; reverse mentoring programmes with senior leadership teams, shared events with other utilities such as Centrica and EDF and recruiting at Student Pride. This positively impacts our working culture and improves the experience of LGBT employees in the company. To find out more visit our webpage: https://www.nationalgrid.com/remarkable
Question time with HSBC UK’s Pride Network We chat to Chris Maddren and Emily Smith-Reid, Co-Chairs of HSBC UK’s Pride Network and profile two supporters Paul Dewick Day and Susan Catherine Rooney
Question time with HSBC UK’s Pride Network
Apart from being the co-chairs of HSBC UK’s Pride network, what is your professional role within HSBC UK? Chris: “My role at HSBC UK is HR Generalist. This means supporting a local business area on various HR focus areas including D&I (Diversity and Inclusion). It’s a great role as a lot of the work I do for the Pride Network crosses over into the work I do as an HR Generalist. I can support the business in ensuring that our D&I initiatives and events are landed effectively and our people are engaged and informed of what the bank is doing.” Emily: “I am Deputy General Counsel in HSBC UK’s Group Legal function. So I lead teams of lawyers around the globe to manage and advise on legal risks for our businesses and help ensure HSBC UK does the right thing for its customers. For me, helping to make HSBC UK a diverse and inclusive place to work for LGBT+ colleagues is part of creating a culture that leads to us all doing the right thing.” HSBC UK champions diversity in the workplace. How does it do that, and what effect does that have on LGBT+ staff, and on the workplace (LGBT+ and straight) in general? Chris: “There’s all sorts of ways HSBC UK is championing diversity. One of our most recent initiatives has been the launch of gender neutral titles available for customers and our own people to use. Prior to launch we delivered training sessions across our customer facing teams about the changes and how they can better support our LGBT+ customers. We’ve been the first major bank to do this and our people are rightly proud of HSBC UK stepping up and leading on this change.” Emily: “The effect is to make people feel good about working at HSBC UK, helping us to retain/ recruit a diverse workforce as well as better reflecting the diversity of our customer base. It also helps give people the confidence to be open about who they are, which is hugely important.” How easy is it to come out as LGBT+ at HSBC UK, and what advantages are there in coming out in the workplace? Chris: “Personally I feel it is very easy to come out at work as we are a very inclusive employer; however, I recognise that not everyone will feel
the same. We launched our own ally network last November which is championed by a member of our Group Management Board. We recognise the value that allies play in promoting an inclusive and tolerant workplace and we’ve provided ally training to senior leaders across the business and gained their commitment to drive its importance across their teams.” Emily: “I agree with Chris. I’d add that if we feel able to be open at work about who we are, we feel more engaged with HSBC UK as an organisation, we build better relationships with people and we’re likely to be more successful – as well as generally being much happier.” What events does HSBC UK’s Pride Network organise – both nationally and internationally, and both socially and professionally? Chris: “We aim to deliver four key speaker events each year supported by networking, lunches and social events. We connect with our global chapters in the US, Canada and Asia Pacific and deliver a global focus of Pride events in June. We also have a very effective regional network with local chapters across the UK ensuring we have events running outside of London.” What do you think was the greatest achievement in 2017 of HSBC UK’s Pride Network? Chris: “Personally, I feel our greatest achievement has been the embedding of our ally network. We’ve gained commitment at senior level to roll out across the entire bank network and we set very ambitious targets for sign-ups by the end of 2017.”
Question time with HSBC UK’s Pride Network
Emily: “I agree and that will remain a huge focus area for us in 2018. In addition, we’re incredibly proud of the work HSBC UK has done in supporting Trans people and the recognition from Stonewall for our work in this area in the form of their Global Trans Inclusion Award.” HSBC is in Stonewall’s top 100 global employers list. How important is this list to you? Chris: “Inclusion in the index is very important to me. It shows both our people and potential employees our demonstrative commitment to inclusion and diversity. Being in the top 100 highlights our focus areas and supports us in influencing policy and direction at bank level – that’s something I’m incredibly proud to be a part of. We need to ensure we don’t get complacent and continue to progress to be as inclusive as possible to LGBT+ colleagues and customers.”
Profile: Paul Dewick Day
Why is your role in Pride important to you? There are a few reasons as to why Pride is important to me. Firstly, I feel it is very important that the LGBT+ community have a dedicated network that they can talk to, and also be a part of ensuring everyone can be themselves within the workplace. Coming out in 1994, the world was a very different place, and having the support available to employees is phenomenal and something I wish had been available to me. Secondly, the main reason I got into the Pride network, was to have a presence across the UK, and not just in London. We now have 15 networks, covering Scotland, England and Wales. This is hugely important to me. When I look back at when I came out there just wasn’t this sort of support and now I can proudly say that there is a local network near to most employees across the UK. Finally, my role in Pride is also important to me with regards to the collaboration of colleagues from all sectors
Will HSBC UK be supporting Pride marches in the UK this year? Chris: “We will definitely be back at Pride in London again this year. The atmosphere last year was electric and our people absolutely loved being a part of it. The final details are still being worked on so that’s all I can reveal for now but we will be there - and in numbers!” Emily: “In addition we will again be headline sponsor of Birmingham Pride (where HSBC UK is now headquartered) as well as having a presence at a number of other Pride marches around the country. These are a fun and symbolically important way to support the LGBT+ community, but our focus on LGBT+ inclusion continues year-round and not just in “Pride season”.”
of the bank. I find it a fantastic way of networking, embedding behaviours and learning so much from others, which without the network wouldn’t exist. How does your work help at HSBC UK be more inclusive and why does that matter? The work the team and I do for the Pride Network certainly helps the bank to be more inclusive. An example of this is the Ally programme, launched on the back of the Pride network. This has been a fantastic way for colleagues to show their support and be on hand should a situation occur, for example we have had great feedback following the introduction of our rainbow lanyards and we have had some really positive examples of colleagues being supported in the workplace. What have you gained? I have met some amazing people, who I consistently keep in touch with, and I have learned so much from them, which has in turn increased my confidence within my day to day role. Secondly, I have seen that the work we do with Pride DOES have an effect on our people’s lives and this makes me feel proud to work for HSBC UK. I have also gained a lot of positive feedback, the emails I receive and nominations for awards has been phenomenal. This is not the reason I am part of the network, but gaining such accolades doesn’t only just make you feel great, but helps with your own performance in your day to day role.
Question time with HSBC UK’s Pride Network
Profile: Susan Catherine Rooney Why is your role in Pride important to you? I feel personally committed to taking action to make HSBC UK more inclusive to our LGBT+ colleagues and potential hires. When my daughter came out to me just before she headed off to University, I was worried about the work environment she would face when she graduated. I made a commitment to myself then that I would take action to ensure that every young graduate, and in fact, every new hire, would enter HSBC UK and see that we are inclusive in action as well as word. I am helping to create a world where parents will know that their LGBT+ child will not face discrimination at work, but will be accepted as they are without question or judgement. How does your work help at HSBC UK be more inclusive and why does that matter? I believe there is real power in allies, who may or may not identify as LGBT+ themselves, being seen to stand up for relevant issues and speak up when they hear or see inappropriate language and behaviour. My daughter attended a school that visibly posted that it was LGBT+ friendly, and I saw how that impacted every LGBT+ child in the school. Every time I get in a lift at work and see someone wearing our LGBT+ Ally lanyard, I know I have made a small visible difference, and perhaps some new hire or new grad will see that lanyard on a work colleague and know that it’s okay to be who they are at work. Every time I discuss the need for Allies with senior leaders it’s an opportunity to increase understanding. There are many colleagues in HSBC UK who are quietly supportive of their LGBT+ colleagues, but the time for more overt support is now. Discrimination still exists and it’s helpful when we have active visible allies - compared to a year ago, we have 1500 more allies willing to publicly declare that they are open to be approached if needed. As we
continue to make progress, HSBC UK will be seen externally as an employer of choice both within and beyond the LGBT+ community. Our colleagues will feel welcomed, supported and accepted; we will have less turnover and more engagement – all in all, it’s just good business sense. What have you gained? As someone who has rarely if ever experienced any kind of overt discrimination, I have gained not only an appreciation for the issues within the LGBT+ community, but actually have a new appreciation and understanding of diversity and inclusion on a much broader scale. I have gained a glimpse into the stress that comes from trying not to reveal elements of who you are in your day to day conversations. Perhaps more importantly, I have gained relationships with new colleagues, that I might not have met otherwise, that are wonderfully engaged, committed and willing to make a difference. My best days at work are when I have had the opportunity to progress decisions that support our LGBT+ colleagues, and when I see our lanyards on senior leaders in the organisation. Giving of my time to this Ally initiative has given me back far more in return.
Adam Pemberton and Javed Kahn
BARNARDO’S PUTS LGBT EQUALITY AND INCLUSION AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING IT DOES. Over the past year, the UK’s largest children’s charity has won an award from Pink News and developed programmes to support bullied schoolchildren and refugees who have been fleeing persecution because of their identity.
Pink News Equality Award In terms of LGBT equality, 2017 was a big year for Barnardo’s. The charity retained its Top 100 ranking in Stonewall’s Equality index for the third consecutive year and 26 - LGBTHM 2018
secured more than 400 sign-ups to its allies programme. It also launched a series of short films on LGBT equality, one of which has been shortlisted for a Charity Film Award. A major highlight was winning the inaugural Third Sector Equality Award at the Pink News Awards at Westminster in October. The award celebrates the contributions of politicians, businesses, campaigners and community groups to
improving LGBT+ life in the UK. Barnardo’s triumphed against strong competition in the category from the National Theatre, Tate Galleries, St Mungo’s,
“The award celebrates the contributions of politicians, businesses, campaigners and community groups to improving LGBT+ life in the UK.”
Amnesty International and the National Union of Students. The charity actively works to create a workforce that is inclusive of LGBT staff and volunteers and to both understand and respond to the needs of LGBTQ young people and to increase LGBTQ awareness. Barnardo’s has led campaigning on LGBTQ fostering and adoption and has been helping children to thrive in loving, safe family environments for more than 20 years. A wide range of services to support LGBTQ young people includes the Positive Identities service that supports young people struggling with
sexual orientation and gender identities. Its anti-bullying training programme, funded by the Department for Education, challenges the attitudes and behaviour in schools, families, faith and wider communities towards LGBTQ people. In addition, Safezone training has made Barnardo’s and its services welcoming places for LGBT people and has been rolled out to GP practices, health services, youth services and schools. Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan, said: “Having a workforce that is inclusive of our LGBT staff and volunteers is essential if we are to fully
understand and meet the needs of LGBTQ children and young people. “Barnardo’s champions equality, diversity and inclusion and, not only helps young people to be themselves, but also raises wider awareness about LGBTQ issues so they can also be supported by their peers. “The judges were impressed by how Barnardo’s puts equality and inclusion at the heart of everything it does from the way it supports children and young people to who works or volunteers for the charity. Building a diverse Barnardo’s is a core part of its ten year corporate strategy.” Geography: Mapping the World The theme of this year’s LGBT History Month is ‘Geography: Mapping the World’ and it is highly relevant to Barnardo’s work.
27 - LGBTHM 2018
There are approximately 169,000 refugees and asylum seekers living in the UK and, according to Stonewall, the UK government estimates approximately 5-7% of the UK population identifies as LGBT. From those figures, it is estimated there are a minimum of 12,000 refugees and asylum seekers living in the UK who identify as LGBT. Many of them may have fled their country of origin for fear of persecution as a direct result of their LGBT identity. In many countries around the world, LGBT people are subjected to high levels of abuse, discrimination and violence.
“In many countries around the world, LGBT people are subjected to high levels of abuse, discrimination and violence.” people and families. Other Barnardo’s services will encounter families with refugee and asylum-seeking status.
There are 72 countries where it is illegal to engage in same sex sexual activity. In Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen and parts of Somalia and Nigeria, homosexuality is punishable by death.
The charity recently created a training session for front-line staff that not only highlights the plight and challenges faced by refugees and asylum seekers, but specifically considers the issues faced by refugee and asylum seekers identifying as LGBT.
Barnardo’s front-line services work specifically with refugee and asylumseeking children, young
These individuals are often alone when they flee their country of origin, have potentially
28 - LGBTHM 2018
been rejected by their families and friends and suffer further isolation when they arrive in the UK due to the fear of engaging with members of their own community of origin where they might suffer further rejection, discrimination and prejudice. The training has been developed to be rolled out to any Barnardo’s project that feels it could benefit from the information. The training, derived from research and data published by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Stonewall, includes summaries of relevant legislation and policy, an overview of the asylum process, details of the challenges faced by “refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, issues that LGBT refugees and asylum seekers face in the UK and the support services on offer.
Anti-homophobic bullying programme An anti-homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying programme developed by Barnardo’s began delivering work to schools in Yorkshire & Humber in April 2017 and has now delivered provided sessions to 3,540 people. The programme is funded by the Government Equalities Office and supported by the DfE. It has worked with 60 schools, delivering 177 sessions.
By March 2019 the programme will have worked with more than 200 schools. Recognising the diverse backgrounds of the LGBT community, Barnardo’s offers six different training courses, including ‘Safezone’, ‘Gender Identity & Trans’, ‘Identity, Faith & Culture’ and ‘Ambassadors’. As well as the training courses, the charity offers policy reviews and guidance on how
homophobic bullying should be recorded. All schools receive training to raise awareness and knowledge among staff around LGBTQ identities and how these can be incorporated into a school environment to promote inclusivity and reduce bullying. Evaluation forms have shown that participants in this training are much better able to identify and respond to issues of discrimination.
“As well as the training courses, the charity offers policy reviews and guidance on how homophobic bullying should be recorded.”
29 - LGBTHM 2018
MIKE’S STORY A BARNARDO’S CASE STUDY Mike Mike
Mike comes from a cultural and religious background where being LGBT is not accepted. He came to Barnardo’s as a teenager, having faced honour based violence because of his sexual orientation after finding the courage to escape his abusive family. Mike was provided with
30 - LGBTHM 2018
supported lodgings by Barnardo’s. He is now in his twenties and lives in London.
feeling that she knew [that I was gay]. She didn’t treat my siblings like she’d treat me.
“I’ve been gay pretty much most of my life and I first realised when I was eight or nine. I really hated who I was and was so scared to say anything.
“My dad completely changed. He said, ‘You are not allowed to leave the house, you are not allowed to go to university, we’re selling your mobile phone.’
“As I got older my mum got more abusive and quite violent. I sometimes had the
He looked me in the eye and said: ‘What is it to be gay? It’s a disgusting
disease and they all need to die.’ “I knew that he knew, and I knew that he was going to do something about it. So I made a plan to get out of there as soon as I could and I packed a case. I remember walking down the stairs, going into the living room and giving my little sister a final hug. She was just two years old and I remember counting her heartbeats, and I left. “I was freezing, absolutely starving and scared for my life. I went to a police station and fortunately the police got in touch with Barnardo’s. I remember receiving a call on the day saying they had found someone who was going to take me in. I remember opening the door and there was a beautiful
blonde lady, and going in. Within a week it was the most loved I had ever felt. “What’s astonishing about Barnardo’s is that they are ready to move forward and see opportunities where they can really make a difference. The more I got to know the charity, the more I got to engage with it and the more I realised how diverse it is. “It’s about working with children first and really securing how they feel and making them feel accepted. More than anything, don’t children deserve to feel welcome and loved and accepted regardless of their sexuality? People within their own culture are becoming more closed off from one another so it’s important all schools teach all children that it’s okay and it’s normal and safe to be LGBTQ.
“Sometimes I think of what my life would be like without Barnardo’s. I wouldn’t be as confident with who I am now and I wouldn’t have had the space to just understand that I can be who I am, knowing that someone somewhere loves me unconditionally and having the feeling that you are worth something to someone. It’s priceless.”
“I’ve been gay pretty much most of my life and I first realised when I was eight or nine. I really hated who I was and was so scared to say anything.”
A film of Mike’s story has been shortlisted in the Charity Film Awards 2018. You can see this film along with others from Barnardo’s on YouTube here: Mikes Story https://youtu.be/vANvDY-j3kk
31 - LGBTHM 2018
fs ebrate is an O Educate & Cel gnised co re r Education that Department fo e m ward Program d Best Practice A an dents, parents gives staff, stu d n a confidence governors the BT+ plement an LG strategies to im ully sf ulum to succes ic rr cu ve si u cl In obia ophobia, biph eradicate hom y, er rs bia from nu and transpho ls, o o condary sch primary and se a is tions ersities, organ iv n U , es g lle co ities. and commun
& CELEBRATE .O RG
Educate & Celebrate
rney to u jo r u o y in g Be n today! io s lu c In + T B LG ted and
M A KI N
& e t a c u d E e h T d r a w A e t a r Celeb e Programme ed Best Practic
ATE UC ED
TI O D OR G A NIS A
Saturday March 3rd 2018
Educate & Celebrate Teachers Conference
Hosted by Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School in Birmingham Read more and book your tickets goo.gl/8Jq4uQ
â€œThe Educate & Celebrate initiative is innovative and visionaryâ€? Ofsted January 2016
THERE IS NO HIERACHY OF EQUALITY
I just wanted to share that I used what I learned following the training day to lead an assembly, watched by all staff and all our children aged from 5 to 16. I was very nervous but I followed your advice and guidance and it could not have gone better; as a result of my increased confidence in discussing this topic it has improved my ability to be clear and articulate when I am asked a question, by a child and members of staff. So, thank you – I feel so empowered by the programme! (E&C lead teacher)
FACTS... • 48% of trans+ young people under the age of 26 have made at least one suicide attempt. (PACE 2015)
• Most young LGBTQ people feel that their time at school is affected by hostility or fear, with consequences such as feeling left out, lower grades and having to move schools. Most report that their school supported its pupils badly in respect of sexuality or gender identity.
Empower young people to campaign for social justice in your school www.educateandcelebrate.org/pride-youth-network/
To further help you on your journey to LGBT+ Inclusion you can purchase our book, available to pre-order on Amazon
(Metro Youth Chances survey 2016)
To save and change the lives of everyone in your community register at: www.educateandcelebrate.org/award For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org © Educate & Celebrate 2010.
HOW CYBIL BUILT HER HOUSE BY CYBIL WAR
I was lucky enough to start doing drag during the two years I got to spend living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Getting to experience and be part of what is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting and thriving queer scenes in the world taught me some valuable lessons. The most important of which was that queer clubs should be more than just a place to drink and dance, they should be spaces that foster creativity, community and a freedom of expression. When I moved back to London in October 2015 I found that a lot of my friends were dabbling in drag too, but with a severe lack of anywhere to go, they had started throwing drag house parties as an excuse to dress up. It wasn’t unusual to be asked most weekends if you were going to X or Ys house for a party, which got me thinking… “What if Cybil had a house?”
getting dressed up and having fun, but a place where people could come and be their authentic selves, somewhere they could actually meet and talk to people who were interested in the same things they were. Basically, a space that felt like going to a party at your friend’s house. Finding the right space was so important to me, but with London losing nearly 60% of its LGBT+ venues over the past decade, finding Cybil a house wasn’t easy. After looking into a laundry list of spaces (many of which weren’t even LGBT+) I discovered The White Swan, a historic queer venue that had just gone through a whole new renovation but that no-one I
knew had even heard of, let alone visited. Going for the first time I discovered that The Swan is a place where people know each other. It boasts a small, yet close-knit and vibrant community of regulars that have kept the place alive through its 30 years and I knew that it was
“with London losing nearly 60% of its LGBT+ venues over the past decade, finding Cybil a house wasn’t easy”
And so the idea for Cybil’s House was born - I wanted to create a space where not only would my friends and others feel comfortable Everyone is welcome at Cybil’s House 35 - LGBTHM 2018
I’ve been lucky enough to have discovered a whole new family of incredible people through starting Cybil’s House and it’s something that’s spread beyond my own personal relationships.
Coming to Cybil’s House should feel, I believe, like coming home and I know for me it certainly does, and it’s something that I’ve tried to foster with everyone who comes through that door. It’s a scary world outside
sometimes but, inside Cybil’s House, you’re safe because you’re surrounded by family. Parties are for Everyone! The one thing I’m most proud of having created with Cybil’s House is a space that’s welcoming to all. Our community isn’t just for the young. So much of what we have today is built upon the backs of those who came before us and it’s easy to forget that, in many cases, what we enjoy today just wasn’t there for many of our forebears.
37 - LGBTHM 2018
It never ceases to fill me with joy that Cybil’s House truly caters to everyone in our community and I’m proud to say that you’ll regularly see university students dancing the night away with pensioners until the sun comes up. You’re never too old to party and I’m so happy that Cybil’s House can prove that. At the root of all of this is the saying that it’s the people that make a house, a home and never has that been truer than with Cybil’s House. It might be Cybil’s name above the door but it’s the people that come each month that make the night.
Hosted at the White Swan, Limehouse every third Saturday of the month with themes so far, from Cybils in Space, First Cursed Haloween and Klubkids to Masc4Mascara, The Musicals and Easter Bonnet Blow Out to name a few, Cybil’s house is an open house and anyone is welcome. For more information, dates, themes and up and coming events follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cybilshouse
I’m so proud of this crazy, fun, inclusive space we’ve managed to make for ourselves and I’m incredibly excited to see what we can all come up with over the next year. As always, you’re all welcome to my house anytime you like!
“It might be Cybil’s name above the door but it’s the people that come each month that make the night.”
Image credits: Corrine Cumming, Colin Davis, Jan Klos and Dan Govan 38 - LGBTHM 2018
WANDERLUST AND FRIENDS OF VALERIE My personal map of London By Adam Pemberton.
I am completely, unapologetically in love with London. I’ve lived here for 25 years, been visiting for over 30 and, no disrespect to everywhere else, but I believe it to be the finest city in the world. As a result, it’s also the place where most of the milestones and monuments of my gay life can be found. So to mark LGBT History Month 2018 and its theme of ‘Geography mapping our world’, I decided to map some of the places, people and ideas that have shaped my life in the city I adore.
“I fell instantly in love with Valerie’s bohemian cafe atmosphere.” I couldn’t have told you then why but I know now that I was unconsciously looking for something, somebody, somewhere I could belong. It is hard to recall from the vantage point of the digital age that it was once quite so difficult to find a new community – especially one half-hidden – outside your own.
My very first experience of London had no map. At 15, after my parents divorced, I used my new-found weekend freedom to ride the 40 minutes into London where for hours I would just walk. It didn’t matter in what direction I went or for how long or where I ended up. I just wandered.
And when I did find my first obviously ‘gay friendly’ landmark, it wasn’t even a result of my wandering. It was the mid-80s and I was definitely not out, when an older friend from school took me to Patisserie Valerie with a whispered warning not to be shocked by anything we might see within. But it wasn’t shock I felt – I fell instantly in love 39 - LGBTHM 2018
either) and where, after a lot of searching, I caught my first glimpses of a different way of being. Safe Zones
Adam aged 16
with Valerie’s bohemian cafe atmosphere. With hindsight, I’m sure it was actually the tamest of introductions to gay life and a Soho that was losing its louche reputation. But for a painfully self-conscious sixteen year old from Essex, it felt exotic and a first passport into a new world. Today the original shop has expanded and its neighbourhood is less and less gay but, to me, Valerie’s will always be the place where I first tried to flirt and be cool (no discernible success at 40 - LGBTHM 2018
Long before I learned of Barnardo’s Safe Zone allies programme, my map of London was overlaid with safe and (much larger) unsafe zones. You wouldn’t find these boundaries marked on any maps but, for me, they couldn’t have been more real if they’d had border guards and passport control at their margins. Valerie’s sat at the epicentre of what felt for me the safest of all - Old Compton Street and the surrounding streets of Soho. As important as it was to find welcoming pubs, clubs and shops there, the real prize was feeling you were in a place, with a community, where you could be or
find yourself. Where the act of holding the hand or kissing someone you love wasn’t daring or risky or even unusual. Whenever I stepped inside those zones, it brought with it a dizzying sense of being free and a weight lifting. But at either end of Old Compton Street or the fringes of Soho, as I crossed back into the wider world, without doing it consciously, held hands would spring apart and we would walk with ever-soslightly greater distance between us. A matter of yards made public displays of affection suddenly fraught and the closet closed around me. It took me many years to realise how ingrained those feelings were. And I know now that these were borders I constructed in my own mind which I
could - should - have been braver about crossing. I admire more than I can say the fearless souls who saw no such boundaries or just chose to ignore them, facing down the discomfort and, too often, abuse of others. They deserve the credit for creating a different, bigger map where it is safer for LGBT people to openly be themselves. And when I see today same sex couples holding hands in every part of the city, it makes me smile and give them silent thanks. Gone not Forgotten I might be one of the only people who feels fondness for the grotty green and cream tiles of the old Tottenham Court Road underground station. Because for me, that cramped station was the gateway I passed through on my way to my first gay bars and clubs, all of which lay within a 100 yards radius of the station. I cannot remember the name of the first gay bar I ever went to but I can remember exactly where it was. It is long gone, now a dingy shop on Hanway Street just off Oxford Street. The first time I went, I
can remember standing outside trying to pluck up the courage to cross a threshold that felt like a tangible barrier I would have to force myself through. When I eventually did (after one or two times chickening out), it was nothing special - subterranean and very eighties with lots of chrome and mirrors - but it was another turning point in my life. Just as important, around the corner was First Out - the gay café I remember now with great affection. And when it came to dancing, my love of cheesy dance pop (which lasts to this day) was honed first in Bang! at Astoria 2 and then upstairs at the legendary G.A.Y. in the Astoria proper. These were the days before TV talent shows when just about every new pop act tried out first with the supposedly discerning gay crowds. At G.A.Y. we saw pretty much every aspiring 90s boy or girl band go through their routines. It was a place of pure excitement and happiness - even if one of my best friends still complains bitterly to this day that I made her miss Steps
because I took too long getting ready. But you won’t find any of these places on a map anymore. The station, the café, the clubs have all gone and there is instead now a giant hole in the ground making way for Crossrail. A tiny bit of me finds it sad that places that meant so much to me no longer exist outside a map in my mind. But I’m not one for lazy nostalgia and the bigger part of me knows that London would cease to be London if it stopped changing – it’s the deal you have no choice but to make if you really love this city The Bar-muda Triangle In the 90s, for me and my friends, there were really only three gay bars that mattered - The Edge in Soho Square, The Box near Seven Dials and Kudos on King William IV Street. We knew them as the Barmuda Triangle and many an hour and night was lost
“We knew them as the Bar-muda Triangle” 41 - LGBTHM 2018
emerging) but I walked those pavements so many times I could probably still navigate the streets between them blindfold today.
in one or the other (and sometimes all). We would shuttle from one to the other - always concerned that whichever one we weren’t in must be the better place to be (FOMO not just being a 21st century disease). I met a boyfriend in one of these bars but I can’t remember which (boyfriend or bar). But I do recall having my first kiss with my current partner in the downstairs bar at Kudos. None of them are gay venues any more (you can begin to see a pattern 42 - LGBTHM 2018
These bars also represented a noticeable change in the geography or at least altitude - of the places where LGBT people met. The gay venues I had first visited tended, for understandable reasons, to be very ‘discreet’, behind blacked-out windows or many in windowless basements. It didn’t make them any less fun but there was an inevitable sense when inside of having to be closed off from the rest of the world. For me, it sent a subliminal message that being there was something to hide. But these new bars were something quite different - above ground, multilevel and with big picture windows through which to see and be seen. The migration of bars a few feet from below street level to above and the size of windows might seem trivial, but they represented the possibility of being more open to the world and vice
versa. I don’t know what made this change happen – a cocktail of shifting social attitudes, canny entrepreneurs and licensing changes maybe – but I’m very glad it did. Maps of the Gay Past and How to Be Also in the 90s, a gay friend of mine ran a short lived night for gay women called Sahara just off Seven Dials. This fabulous and formidable woman, a native New Yorker, blessed me with two unconventional maps which I treasure to this day. The first was her (at times wildly subjective) guide to gay history, art, literature and style. It was a crash course in the glamour of black & white movie stars, LGBT creativity in its many forms and an incongruous blend of disco and the equality struggle in 70s New York. She helped me navigate a past I barely knew and it is thanks to her that I am steeped in the films of Carole Lombard, can quote ‘Auntie Mame’ virtually word for word and know how to mix a perfect Old-Fashioned. I hope I retain a fraction of her restless desire to always
in many ways, the most significant of my entire life.
keep reading, learning and exploring. The other map she gave is arguably more important. She shared with me a way of being, a set of values on how to take responsibility for myself and my actions and to expect others to do the same. Her unwillingness to suffer fools and bracing directness didn’t always win or keep friends but, to this day, I admire her refusal to let bad behaviour go. When I think about the journey I’ve taken since my early twenties to today, and even though we have since drifted apart, I feel her guiding presence – especially when it’s cocktail hour.
Because Marine Ices in Chalk Farm is where I met my partner for the first time. He didn’t know that he’d been set up on a date - he thought he was coming to someone’s birthday party - and it took all my skills of persuasion to get him to go out on a second. But he gave in eventually and we have lived together for the 24 years since, around the corner from Marine Ices. So that ice cream shop will always have a special place in my heart. And yes, you’ve guessed it, they knocked it down a few months ago...
they became one whole. I’ve seen most of the places I remember growing up swept away by the everchanging city and then seen boundaries dissolve almost entirely in the digital age. But throughout, I know that the maps I stumbled upon, learned or which were gifted to me by others helped me to find myself long ago and they still ground me today. Writing this made me remember that I carry them with me always, without even knowing it. And I’m very grateful for that.
“Maps are much more than pieces of paper” Maps as living things
Maps are much more than pieces of paper and geography is more enduring than what surrounds you. They are living things.
There is only one other personal London landmark to mention and it isn’t a gay venue at all. But I include it on this list because it is,
I’m fortunate that, in time, the worlds I had kept separate through my teens and twenties eventually overlapped and blurred until
Adam at his first Pride Image credits: ©OpenStreetMap contributors ©Nathan Parker ©Rob Ingham ©Adam Pemberton 43 - LGBTHM 2018
DIVERSITY ROLE MODELS by Claire Harvey, Graeme Rainey and Will Fletcher LGBT History Month is the time to look back to see how far we’ve come and to celebrate all that is good in the LGBT+ world. It’s also a time to remember that, for many, being LGBT means a life of risk, struggle and fear. Yet, despite changes in the law and availability of information, things like gender stereotypes, hurtful language, and fear of exclusion seem as strong as ever.
DRM is an LGBT+ charity helping to make the school system more inclusive. People sometimes question the need because, they say, young people today “just get it”.
For LGBT History Month, we introduced teenagers Ivy and Will to Anthony, Chris and Tony, three men in their 70s, to see what the two generations would learn from - and about - each other. Growing up Gay All three of the older men had moved to London to explore and embrace their true selves, but it wasn’t easy. “If being gay was like switching on a light, I would have switched it off,” explains one, “because
it would have made life easier.” Another describes the constant worry that his landlady would throw him out and his family would reject him if they found out he was gay because, in those days, it simply wasn’t accepted.
“If being gay was like switching on a light, I would have switched it off,” For this reason, Tony and Chris felt they had to maintain their secrecy by dating women. “It didn’t last long,” one said. “I did it because it’s what was expected of me and everyone did it, even if they knew it wasn’t what they wanted.” The regret in Tony’s face is tangible and,
listening to all three men, it’s clear they believed they had two options growing up – to spend life alone and unhappy, or get married. By comparison Will, 19, is out to his family, friends and colleagues. Despite this apparent freedom, growing up gay in school “wasn’t a good experience”. He describes, with a familiar pained look, how the homophobic comments of some of his peers undermined his self-belief, and made him feel like “a bad person”. Many LGBT+ people long to know where they fit but, increasingly, some younger teenagers are not keen to assign a label to themselves.
Kathryn and Navah Taking a Class
15-year old Ivy explains how she actively avoids labelling herself: “There’s no rush in figuring yourself out because at the end of the day you’re going through the experience and it only truly affects you so I think it’s important be patient.” She is not alone: a recent ONS survey found that half of 16-24 year olds did identify with the existing labels. Coming out Anthony’s family and a lot of his friends still don’t know he’s gay. To his surprise, Tony found that his fear of people’s reaction was worse than the reality. When he told his sister he was gay her response was, “Well, thank God.
I thought there was something wrong!” Will agrees: “You spend forever just picking the right moment and it can consume you”, but when he finally told his best friend she “gave me a big hug”. Empathy and intersectionality Feeling part of a community gave the older generation a sense of safety, but never for long. “If anyone suspected you were gay, you could be abused for the slightest thing on the street and that was just accepted as part of your life. There was no point speaking up, the police didn’t want to know.”
Navah and Fiez Taking a Class
“DRM is about the power of role models” There’s a common assumption that homophobia like this is not part of today’s society but Will, who was recently attacked on the tube, knows how wrong that is.
The younger generation describes their gratitude to he older generation. “They went through so much and fought for the visibility we have now. We shouldn’t forget that.”
One unexpected area of agreement was over dating apps, with both generations taking the view that they encourage people to focus on image at the expense of emotional attachment: “it’s just sex, sex, sex!”
The older men are sympathetic to the issues faced by today’s LGBT+ young people. “They face a lot of challenges, but they are different to ours. I wish there was more education available to help inform their decision-making.”
The teenagers also recognise the rampant prejudice in apps directed towards those with intersectional identities, “discrimination within the LGBT community can be awful, there is still a long way to go.”
Will expresses similar concerns for the next generation. “There isn’t adequate LGBT+ education in schools. Students are influenced by what teachers and parents say, and if discriminatory
language is used in school and not addressed, it will be perceived as being acceptable. Kids have to turn to the internet for education and that is often not safe or healthy. Kids need to know that there are many different people in the LGBT+ community, so they can just be their own version of themselves. It would have been great if someone had told me that, and that I was not alone.’ DRM is about the power of role models.
“One unexpected area of agreement was over dating apps”
Unlike the older men who had to carve their own paths, the teenagers in the group are able to identify people who encouraged and inspired them. Role models like Olly Alexander and Tom Daley have spoken about being gay and being bullied, and encourage others to do the same. This discussion with a small group of LGBT+ people highlights how, despite our different experiences, there is much that unites us.
DRM exists to help create school and home environments where every young person can be safe, informed and supported to explore who they are, while knowing that they will be loved, valued and supported wherever that journey takes them. If you feel your story could also be part of ours as we try to make future generations more LGBT+ inclusive, please get in touch. www.diversityrolemodels.org
LGBT History Month challenges us to look beyond ourselves and our prejudices, and to celebrate the difference within our community in ways that enable us to draw strength and support from one another.
Anangram Game with DRM
Teaching a Class
NO ROOM FOR HATE THE ALBERT KENNEDY TRUST
THE ALBERT KENNEDY TRUST offer support to young LGBT people who find themselves homeless because of homophobia and rejection. Lucas moved from the Czech Republic aged four to the UK and identifies as gay. He was put into care during his teenage years due to family issues around his diagnosis of moderate learning disabilities. Social services / leaving care team discharged him; even though they had a duty of care towards him due to his diagnosis. When he came out to his family they were hostile. He got into chemsex and was flmed during sessions; and is now HIV positive. He has been selling sex to survive, as he has no access to benefts. Arguments between different
councils regarding who is responsible for his care has meant they have failed to look after him. He has tried to sofa surf â€“ but sex work has stopped him from being able to do this. His family are not supporting him or keeping in touch. Lucas got in touch with The Albert Kennedy Trust directly. With AKTâ€™s support his local Council have finally agreed to house him in his own temporary accommodation. His benefts are now sorted. AKT are supporting him.
Lucas’ story is unique, but sadly his experience isn’t. AKT believes that no young person should have to choose between a safe home and being who they are. The Albert Kennedy Trust helps hundred of vulnerable young LGBT people every single year; and this year AKT are going out on the road to take their message of support directly to young people.
LGBT HISTORY MONTH The Albert Kennedy Trust will be visiting schools and universities across the UK during LGBT History Month. The aim is to educate, inspire and inform high school, sixth form and university students about AKT’s services and LGBT history. AKT will also spread awareness of their new online service inter-AKT, an online support platform for young LGBT people. You can access the service at the link below.
OF HOMELESS YOUNG PEOPLE IDENTIFY AS LGBT
BELIEVE COMING OUT TO THEIR PARENTS WAS THE MAIN FACTOR
BED NIGHTS OFFERED BY AKT TO VULNERABLE YOUNG LGBT’S
OF YOUNG LGBT PEOPLE WERE SUPPORTED INTO SAFE HOMES
HOUSING • FAMILY • COMING OUT • CONFIDENCE • SKILLS
ONLINE SUPPORT SO THAT YOU CAN BE YOU IF YOU ARE LGBT+ OR QUESTIONING AND WANT TO CHAT, YOU CAN GET SUPPORT FROM ONE OF OUR ONLINE MENTORS.
ABOVE THE STAG UNDERNEATH THE ARCHES
Interview with Pete Bull, Artistic Director By Robert Ingham
It’s hard to imagine that, only ten years ago, there were no theatres in the UK dedicated to producing LGBT-only shows. Places like the Drill Hall had closed due to its funding being withdrawn and, whilst theatres such as the Kings Head would include (and still have) an LGBT+ programme, there was no longer anything out there with a focus entirely on LGBT. Fast forward a decade, and there is only one venue in the UK which can proudly boast this claim. Above The Stag, based in Vauxhall, South London, is the only full-time professional LGBT+ theatre, producing up to eight inhouse productions a year. We caught up with Artistic Director Peter Bull during the fringe theatre’s current production.
Collecting keys to the new venue. Left to right - Robert McWhir, Andrew Beckett, Peter Ball, Tom McGregor ©Mark Storey
In the Beginning Originally from Australia, Peter moved to London and held a variety of jobs before falling back into theatre. When an old friend asked him to produce a show he was directing, he jumped at the chance, hiring out fringe venues for a while before realising “I don’t want to hire other venues, I want to do it myself!” A visit to The Stag, an historic gay pub in Victoria, gave him the opportunity. Above the bar was a defunct function room for hire and Peter immediately
spotted the potential. “It was all spur of the moment and we didn’t really have a plan,” Peter reminisces. “Thinking back, if we did, it probably wouldn’t have worked.” Within three months, Above The Stag theatre opened with a four-hander about a gay relationship from adolescence to old age, “American Briefs”. The play did very well. “Being above a gay pub helped,” he acknowledges, although the aim wasn’t initially to be LGBT+ focused. “We were open to other things. However, we 51 - LGBTHM 2018
found we did it rather well so decided quite quickly to become purely LGBT.” A New Direction The show which changed Above The Stag’s fortune was ‘Silence’, a musical comedy of ‘Silence of the Lambs’, directed by Christopher Gattelli, who has since won a Tony Award. The show did fantastically well, with one reviewer stating it ‘hit the spot the film didn’t’, and it plotted a new course for ATS. “It was a big show that put us on the map.” Sadly, only a few years later, The Stag closed as the site was to be redeveloped. ATS had to find a new home and ventured underneath the arches in Vauxhall where it has since thrived, amassed a fiercely loyal fan base and won numerous awards.
“I don’t want to hire other venues, I want to do it myself!” 52 - LGBTHM 2018
ATS’s next show “Party” ©PBGStudios.com
It can be fair to say ATS has come under criticism for being too commercial with shows like “Bathhouse the Musical” and “The Boys Upstairs” but, as Peter states, “We’ve got to be commercial as we don’t receive any funding. We rely purely on our audiences. However, we did do a show about two years ago called ‘Haram Iran’, a true story about two Iranian boys who were hanged for being gay – it’s a harrowing play and I thought we have to do it.
religion and teenage suicide and its near 100% sell-out rate is testament to their abilities. However, their biggest challenge was “the establishment, by that I mean reviewers taking us seriously because we were the ‘gay theatre’. A friend of mine told me that it will take a long time to get them to take you seriously but you just have to persevere.” And he has, reaping the rewards of his determination. Patrons
I budgeted for it with the idea that it would make a loss because it wasn’t as commercial. But the audience loved it and it actually made money.” ATS has proved more than capable in tackling big subjects such as HIV,
ATS has three patrons, Su Pollard (from Hi-de-Hi), Andy Bell (Erasure) and Lord Michael Cashman (Politician & Actor). Su came onboard after working with Peter in the jukebox musical “Shout!”. A highly successful tour was
Patron Michael Cashman with Gene David Kirk at Haram Iran Q&A ©PBGStudios.com
Patron Su Pollard ©Mark Storey
followed by a West End transfer. Su and Peter immediately hit it off and became the best of friends, so when he asked her to be a patron for ATS, she didn’t hesitate. “She’s incredibly loyal and has been there from the get-go.” Andy Bell approached Peter about doing a show at the venue. “I said, ‘Andy – are you sure you’ve got the right venue? This isn’t Wembley!’”
Eastenders, was initially a regular patron at the theatre, and was more than happy to become a patron to Above The Stag. “All have a background in entertainment but bring different qualities, and they all come to see the shows,” Peter says. When asked about future patrons, he laughs. “I was up for an LGBT award last year and was beaten by Prince William so I think I might ask him.” Watch this space… The Future
Due to ATS’s popularity, the 65-seat theatre has had to evolve. Later this year it will move to the other side of Vauxhall station, still under the arches, near the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. It will boast a state of the art 100-seat theatre, a studio space and a multi-functional room. And what productions are to come? “‘Party’ is next. The summer musical is ‘Grindr the Opera’. It’s actually a very good show
Audiences loved Andy’s show, ‘Torsten: The Beautiful Libertine’, and to celebrate him becoming a patron he played two small shows at the venue, singing classic Erasure songs. And Lord Cashman, who shared the first gay kiss on British television in
A scene from 2017 Panto: Snow White - Rotten to the core ©PBGStudios.com 53 - LGBTHM 2018
and it’s the UK premier. People laugh, but it’s a beautiful score. It’s a lot of fun.” Later in the year will see EM Forster’s ‘Maurice’ and panto ‘Mother Goose’, for which tickets are available but grab them quickly as it sells out well ahead of time. There will be something for everyone in the new venue, and there’s even talk of a Youth Theatre scheme. When asked whether it will continue to produce LGBT+ only shows, Peter is contemplative. “I could do Chicago because the writers were both gay. In the new venue, we could have writers who are gay, even though the script isn’t.” Whatever the outcome, it is clear the space will offer a huge variety of possibilities.
Patron Andy Bell, Peter Ball, Mary Wilson and friends ©Mark Storey
As the interview draws to a close, Peter is optimistic about the future of the theatre. “We really are jumping up two or three new levels – it’s going to be on a totally different scale. And it’s got to work – no option. Am I nervous? Yes, in a way, but you’ve got to keep moving forward.” There is no doubt it will work, and the theatre will continue to flourish in ways the ATS team won’t expect.
Design of Above The Stag’s new premises Credit: FormStudio 54 - LGBTHM 2018
But then, this is the team who started off without a plan and ended up with one of the most popular and successful UK fringe theatres in recent history. Long may it continue. To find out more, and how you can support Above The Stag, log onto their website: www.abovethestag.com
“it’s going to be on a totally different scale”
#IOWnmydestiny UK PRIDE on the Isle Of Wight
By Matthew Bundy
Media & Communications, IW Pride
LGBT History month is a chance to celebrate our journey as a community over the years. For the Isle of Wight, there isn’t much documented, with only links to Jo Carstairs being celebrated this year by the wider Island community. There has always been a sizeable LGBT population, but they have never been a visible part of the Islands community. Many LGBT+ young people would often move away from the Island as soon as they were old enough to leave home, citing homophobic attitudes and a lack of acceptance from the Island community. This was emphasised in 2016 when a local councillor made comments in a town council meeting which sadly went unchallenged by his colleagues. This councillor
suggested that attendants were required at the public toilets to prevent “Pigeons, Paedophiles and Homosexuals” from using them. All of this has made the last year all the more incredible for the Island. It’s been a year of history in the making and creating legacies that will last the test of time. In 2017, the Island held its first ever LGBT+ Pride event, the Island’s MP resigned after telling school children that “being Gay was a danger to society”, a couple made attempts to sue an Island school for having a Trans-inclusive uniform policy and the Island marked Bi-Visibility day and Transgender day of remembrance for the first time ever.
There is a real buzz on the Island amongst the LGBT community and indeed the wider Island community. UKPRIDE being awarded to the Isle of Wight Pride team in only the second year of having a Pride is a real testament to the sea of change that is taking place. There are some exciting plans hatching, including a two-month arts festival taking place in the lead up to UKPRIDE on the Island, a beach sports festival and then the main Pride event over the weekend of 21st July, with the UK’s only Pride event held on a sandy beach. The Isle of Wight will certainly be the Pride to be seen at in 2018 and you can join in and be a part of LGBT history in the making! Find out more by visiting us here: www.iwpride.org or follow us on Facebook and twitter @IWPride
55 - LGBTHM 2018
IF WE’RE NOT COUNTED,
WE DON’T COUNT by Mike Cullen LGBT Foundation
and experience significant barriers to accessing health and care services. Research by LGBT Foundation has shown that: •
• Equality Wins
In recent years we’ve seen huge steps towards achieving equality for LGBT people. Equal marriage, the Equality Act 2010 and, of course, the sexual orientation monitoring Information Standard. So maybe I’m being ambitious with the third one in that list, but I promise it’s up there. It has a huge potential for reducing the inequalities that lesbian, gay and bi people face. I know that “a standardised way of monitoring the sexual orientation of patients aged 16+ in health and social care” doesn’t have the same ring as equal marriage, but it’s something you need to know about.
56 - LGBTHM 2018
Here at LGBT Foundation, we’ve been working hard with colleagues and key stakeholders over the past three years to develop the Information Standard, and prior to that we were lobbying for years just so we could get our foot in the door to speak to the right people. We wouldn’t have spent all these years to get to this stage if we didn’t genuinely believe this would improve the lives of LGB people.
To put it simply, if we’re not counted we don’t count! We already know that that LGB people are disproportionately affected by a range of health inequalities
Just 8% of LGB people in Greater Manchester report they have never experienced a mental health problem. LGB people are twice as likely as the general population to commit suicide. It’s estimated that 1 in 11 gay and bisexual men in Manchester are living with HIV, approximately 14% of whom will be undiagnosed. LGB people are seven times more likely to use drugs, twice as likely to binge drink, and show higher levels of substance dependency compared to their heterosexual peers.
It’s just not good enough that these health inequalities are far too often overlooked or ignored, or that people accessing services aren’t given the right support as their health care professionals are unaware of their service users’ sexual orientation. It’s not good enough that we’re
still lacking a substantial evidence base around the inequalities and needs that LGB people face. It’s not good enough that LGB people still feel that their needs are being ignored when accessing services. Sexual orientation monitoring isn’t going to fix all of this overnight, but it’s certainly a huge step in the right direction. We already know from our work with Pride in Practice that sexual orientation monitoring works. Part of the training that our Pride in Practice team deliver to primary care providers is around implementing sexual orientation monitoring.
“We wouldn’t have spent all these years to get to this stage if we didn’t genuinely believe this would improve the lives of LGB people.” When we visit practices a month or two later to present them with their award, even those GPs who were at first resistant or failed to see the importance of monitoring say that their interactions with LGB patients have improved. Monitoring helps create trust and openness in patientclinician interactions which, in turn, helps increase
disclosure rates and therefore leads to people receiving the right support much sooner. It means that when they see a ring on your wedding finger they’re not going to refer to your partner in the wrong gender. You don’t have to repeatedly come out to your health care provider when they ask you for the 10th time how you can be sure you’re not pregnant when you’re having unprotected sex. It means that an evidence base around LGB need can be built so that targeted preventative care can take place. For example, we know that lesbian and bi women are much less likely to have a smear test than their straight counterparts despite there being a clear evidenced need for one. Monitoring means that we can address this so that people are receiving the care they need, surely that’s a key part of an equitable health and social care system?
Of course not everyone is going to appreciate being asked about their sexual orientation, and that’s absolutely fine, it’s up to you. All that’s changed is now people have a choice. Moving forwards, you might see a little question on a demographic form which asks you about your sexual orientation, and you can either tick that box, or leave it blank and move onto the next question. If you can, tick that box. It’s the easiest way to be an activist. You’re making sure that we’re counted. Invisibility within a system means that our community’s needs are ignored, and finally we have a chance to fix that. You can access an e-learning resource developed by Health Education England, Stonewall and the LGBT Foundation to support the SOM here: https://www.e-lfh. org.uk/ this resource will be going live this February.
LGBT Foundation at Pride
57 - LGBTHM 2018
quity is the UK trade union for professional performers and creative practitioners. As a leading industry organisation, Equity is known and respected nationally and internationally for the work it does with, and on behalf of, its members working across all areas of the entertainment industry. Equity’s 40,000+ members form a cultural community that is of major importance to the UK in artistic, social and
economic terms, and Equity works to support them by negotiating their terms and conditions including fee structures with all kinds of employers and employer’s groups. In addition, the
union’s 5,000 Student Members are also able to access information and advice to help prepare them for work in the industry.
“This challenges the entertainment industry on the persistent under-representation of diversity”
A campaigning and organising union with a long record of taking arts issues to parliament and other centres of influence, one of Equityâ€™s current campaigns is Play Fair. This challenges the entertainment industry on the persistent underrepresentation of diversity and discriminatory practice in casting. Equity is calling on employers to Play Fair on inclusive casting and deliver more diversity on stage, screen, online and on-air; Play Fair with the law and improve their knowledge of their
legal duties and deliver good practice; Play Fair on accessibility and give proper thought to ensuring disabled performers have equality of opportunity in the casting process; and Play Fair and monitor the diversity of their casts and performers so progress can be measured. If you want to find out more about the Play Fair campaign then have a look at www.equity.org.uk/ playfair. The best way to get involved in this initiative or anything else Equity does is by becoming a
Supporting performers for 80 years. Together we make things better. Join in: www.equity.org.uk/join
@EquityUK EquityUK email@example.com 020 7670 0273
member. In order to join the union you need to be able to show that you have been paid as a performer, director, designer, choreographer etc. There is also student membership if you are studying performing arts full-time at level 3 or above. As well as giving you a voice in the industry, membership brings with it a range of personal benefits such as free insurance, legal advice, job information and career development. More information about all of this is on www. equity.org.uk
STONEWALL AND THE RAINBOW PROJECT LAUNCH WORKPLACE PARTNERSHIP
Trustees of The Rainbow Project and Stonewall launching the partnership project
Two leading LGBT charities – The Rainbow Project and Stonewall have joined forces to support LGBT-inclusive employers in Northern Ireland.
A new post was created to deliver this work and former NUS-USI President Fergal McFerran has been appointed as Client Account Manager for Northern Ireland.
The partnership, announced in October, builds on an employers’ programme established five years ago by The Rainbow Project. With support from Stonewall, this work will be extended and strengthened, with the number of employers working on the programme in Northern Ireland set to increase from 10 to 40 in the first year.
Fergal will be supported by Stonewall’s Membership Team in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh, and will bring together skills and expertise developed across all four nations.
60 - LGBTHM 2018
The project will deliver seminars, networking opportunities and foster relations between organisations across Northern Ireland so they can share best practice
and offer each other peer support. Stonewall workplace resources will also be adapted to reflect the legal situation and the unique issues affecting LGBT people in Northern Ireland. Stonewall currently works with more than 750 employers, from local governments to multinational organisations, helping them to create workplaces where everyone can be themselves. Every year Stonewall reveals the top employer when it releases its Stonewall Workplace Equality Index Top 100.
This benchmarking tool assesses how inclusive an employer is of LGBT people, investigating everything from policy and training, to the well-being of LGBT staff members. By 2019, Stonewall and The Rainbow Project will be able to name Northern Ireland’s top LGBT inclusive employer. Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, said: ‘By combining our resources, expertise and reach, Stonewall and The Rainbow Project can help transform the lives of many more LGBT people in Northern Ireland. ‘Employers want to get the best out of their staff and we know that people perform better when they can be themselves. ‘This partnership enables us to share the expertise and skills we have developed over the past decade, and to better understand how we can support LGBT movements in places where the law is different.’ John O’Doherty, Director of The Rainbow Project, said: ‘We’re thrilled to be building on our relationship and extending this into a
formal partnership. We know that many employers are keen to make their workplaces welcoming of all lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff. ‘Now that we’re working with Stonewall, we can make that work happen faster and dramatically increase the pace of change for LGBT people in Northern Ireland.’ About The Rainbow Project: The Rainbow Project is a leading charity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality in Northern Ireland working to create a society free from homophobia, bi-phobia and transphobia where everyone is treated as equal. It was founded in 1994 by a group of volunteers in response to the HIV and Aids crisis in Northern Ireland. Today The Rainbow Project is Northern Ireland’s largest LGBT support and advocacy organisation providing a range of services to and campaigning on behalf of the community. To get involved visit www. rainbow-project.org
About Stonewall: Stonewall is the leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, working to create a world where every single person can be accepted without exception. It was founded in 1989 by a small group of people who wanted to break down barriers to equality. Stonewall continues to campaign and lobby government to change laws to ensure everyone, everywhere, is free to be themselves. Stonewall works in partnership with a growing network of more than 700 organisations to help create real change for the better. It campaigns to eliminate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in communities, and empowers LGBT people and their allies to be role models wherever they live, work, shop, socialise or pray. To get involved visit us at www.stonewall. org.uk
61 - LGBTHM 2018
Love Equality campaigners with Secretary of State Karen Brady MP
Update on Marriage Equality for Northern Ireland By John O’Doherty – Director, Rainbow Project Northern Ireland
In 2015, campaigners were standing in Stormont waiting for the result of our fifth attempt to pass marriage equality. We weren’t expecting to be successful until thenleader of the Ulster Unionist Party, Mike Nesbitt MLA, abstained on the vote. Suddenly, we had gone from a tie to winning by one vote. Despite achieving majority support, Equal Marriage was not achieved due to the DUP using a veto mechanism called the petition of concern. Three years later, we still do not have marriage equality despite support from a majority of assembly members and the overwhelming majority of NI residents. While the Assembly is currently not functioning 62 - LGBTHM 2018
because of a breakdown between the lead parties, Sinn Fein and the DUP, Love Equality – the Campaign for Equal Civil Marriage – continues to engage with Parties across the UK to increase support and achieve equality for LGBT people in NI.
It is unacceptable that samesex couples here should be made to wait a moment longer for the right to be treated equally under the law. Frankly, the UK government should be embarrassed to preach a message of human rights and equality for LGBTI people around the world, while it oversees discrimination in its own backyard. Following meetings with political parties, it’s clear that reform of the petition of concern will be necessary to deliver marriage equality. The alternative is four more years of inequality for UK citizens living in, or visiting, Northern Ireland.
In January 2018, Love Equality had its first meeting with the DUP and held frank conversations with all the party leaders and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley MP. We made it clear to the Secretary of State that we expect her government to introduce marriage equality legislation at Westminster to bring NI into line with the rest of the UK and Ireland, if there is no restoration of devolution or indeed if the Assembly is incapable of passing equal marriage legislation.
Love Equality Campaigners with Lady Portia Dia Monte
The March for Civil Marriage Equality
pride 9-11 feb
friday: opening drinks & club night at g-a-y with £2.50 drinks saturday daytime festival: attitude debate on homelessness, trans panel, celebrity interviews, live music & bar,the UK’s largest LGBT+ careers fair & Blind Date saturday night: g-a-y club night with £2.50 drinks daytime only: FREE sunday: london tour
studentpride.co.uk platinum sponsor:
earlybird weekend wristband: £5 silver sponsors:
COME OUT FOR LGBT.
The fight for equality is far from over. Whatever you do and however you do it, it’s time to come out in support of LGBT. Join us. Search #ComeOutForLGBT.
Welcome to the 2018 edition of LGBT History Month Magazine - The Official Guide to LGBT History Month ® published by Talent Media in associa...
Published on Feb 1, 2018
Welcome to the 2018 edition of LGBT History Month Magazine - The Official Guide to LGBT History Month ® published by Talent Media in associa...