International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
Every year on 17th May we recognise the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. This day was set up in 2004 to highlight the violence and discrimination faced by those within the LGBT+ community across the world.
According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) there are still 11 countries in the world that have a death penalty for consensual same-sex sexual acts between adults (they break this down into 6 countries using this sanction and 5 where it is possible).
I would encourage you to read the ILGA report on state sponsored homophobia but anticipating you might not have time I would direct you to page 23 which highlights the huge progress that has been made in LGBT+ rights and contrasts this with the parallel rolling back of social justice gains across the world in the past two years. We live in interesting times where some of us are safer and others are less safe than before.
Closer to home, Stonewall (a leading charity on LGBT rights in the UK) produced a report in November 2018 investigating the specific experiences of LGBT people when accessing healthcare services in the UK. Key findings from this report include: Half of LGBT people said they’ve experienced depression in the last year. One in eight LGBT people aged 18-24 (13 per cent) said they’ve attempted to take their own life in the last year. Almost half of trans people (46 per cent) have thought about taking their own life in the last year. Forty-one per cent of non-binary people said they harmed themselves in the last year. One in eight LGBT people (13 per cent) have experienced some form of unequal treatment from healthcare staff because they’re LGBT. One in five LGBT people (19 per cent) aren’t out to any healthcare professional about their sexual orientation when seeking general medical care. This number rises to 40 per cent of bi men and 29 per cent of bi women. One in seven LGBT people (14 per cent) have avoided treatment for fear of discrimination because they’re LGBT. These are issues that are affecting the patients and service users that we work with and the colleagues we work alongside.
The theme for this year’s international day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia is “Justice and Protection For All”. There are things you can do to make a change on a local, national and international level. The LGBT+ staff network will have been running for 2 years this month. We would love to hear what you are all doing to help make a change for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
Take Action (handily arranged for those with limited time):
30 seconds: Add your pronouns to your email signature so that colleagues now how to address you and to normalise conversations around pronouns to make things easier for colleagues who are transitioning and for those of us whose names are gender neutral e.g. “My pronouns are she/her/hers”.
2 minutes: Sign a petition to challenge human rights abuses such as
Half a day: Sign up for the LGBT Awareness Training +/- LGBT Allies training through your ESR portal
Social Media: On the day we would like you to tweet your support and or what you committing to do over the next year. Use the hashtags #NTWLGBT and #IDAHOBT or #IDAHOT so that we can all see what we are doing. For example “I stand against Homphobia, Transphobia and Biphobia #NTWLGBT” or “There is no place for Homophobia, Tranphobia or Biphobia in NTW #NTWLGBT” or “I’m going to learn more about LGBT+ rights to improve the experience for patients in NTW #NTWLGBT”
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association: Lucas Ramon Mendos, State-Sponsored Homophobia 2019 (Geneva; ILGA, March 2019).
Stonewall and YouGov: Chaka L Bachmann and Becca Gooch. LGBT in Britain: Health Report. (Stonewall; November 2019)