Photo: Robert Couse Baker CC-BY.
Our theme for April and May is Love & Pride: let’s celebrate our diversity & stand together for equality.
‘Love & Pride’ is all about LGBT Equality: but what does that mean?
‘LGBT’ is a shorthand for a range of sexual orientations and gender identities. The letters stand for:
- Lesbian (women who are attracted to women)
- Gay (men who are attracted to men)
- Bi (people who are attracted to more than one gender)
- Trans (people with a different gender identity to the one assigned at birth)
You will sometimes see the letters Q (Questioning or Queer) or I (Intersex) added, or + symbol to indicate other orientations & gender identities (such as asexual). We are using ‘LGBT’ to indicate this whole range of identities, as it is the most widely recognised and understood shorthand. We hope you don’t feel this is exclusive, and we’re happy to have a chat about it.
In the past LGBT people and issues were often not openly talked about, so not everyone may be familiar with modern, inclusive language. The LGBT equality organisation Stonewall provide a handy glossary.
We have same-sex marriage now, so what’s the issue?
Same-sex marriage was an important milestone for equality in the UK, when it was legally recognised in 2014. But LGBT rights are about much more than this. In over 70 countries being LGBT is illegal: in 10 countries this includes facing the death penalty. In many other places LGBT couples & families are not given equal legal status and rights to heterosexual and cisgender couples & families.
Even in countries with more progressive laws, LGBT people can face rejection and abuse from others at work, school, in the community and even their own families. Stonewall report that one in six lesbian, gay and bi people in the UK have experienced a homophobic or biphobic hate crime or incident over the last three years. For trans people it is more than one in three who have experienced transphobic hate crime.
So what can we do about it?
LGBT people deserve to be accepted in our community and celebrated for what our diversity brings to society: coming up in May there are two events that will give a particular focus for this. 17th May is International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHOT) and 27th & 28th May is Birmingham Pride. Watch this space for more info about what’s happening and how you can get involved.
In the meantime, pop into Peace Hub to have a friendly chat, ask questions and share your experiences. You can also take action by signing a letter in support of Sam, a trans man who has faced abuse from the police in Venezuela.
Let’s celebrate our diversity & stand together for equality!