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Allyship in the Community

Category: LGBTQ+ employee network, LGBTQI+ History Month, allies, LGBTQ+ Ally, LGBTQ+ Inclusion, Trans Awareness, LGBTQ+ Equality, LGBTQ+ Champion, LGBTQ+ Community, IOPC, Independent Office for Police Conduct, bisexual, trans community, LGBTQ+, transgender, LGBTQ+ Culture, LGBTQ+ Rights, IOPC Pride, ally


The LGBTQ+ acronym and other variations of it represent a community of individuals united by their non-hetero and non-cis gender identity and sexual orientation. Being part of the community can create a sense of connection and belonging on a journey that can sometimes be traumatic, confusing and isolating. However, the acronym, adopted by activists in the late 80’s might mislead some to believe that it represents a homogenous group. Historically, Trans and Bi communities have been marginalised within the wider gay rights movement.

In 1998, activist, Michael Page designed the Bi Pride flag:

Michael Page- Bisexual Pride Flag (1998) – Queer Art History

On 7 September 2019, London hosted the UK’s first ever Bi Pride parade. Some individuals within the Bi community believe that Bi Awareness is a necessary step to overcome erasure. However, some in the Bi community and others in the wider LGBTQ+ community feel that we are stronger together, and fragmenting the community serves to weaken the cause. Biphobia, unfortunately, exists outside and within the LGBTQ+ community. In 2020, research by the Centennial College in Canada found that biphobia was based on beliefs about Bi stereotypes: that they were confused about their sexuality or ‘sitting on the fence’; they were promiscuous and unlikely to be monogamous; and/or that they were avoiding identifying as lesbian or gay to take advantage of heterosexual privilege. Simple put, some Bi people are not accepted within the community for not being ‘gay enough’.

In 1999, the Trans flag was created by a Trans woman, Monica Helms. In 2013, Brighton hosted the UK’s first ever Trans Pride event.

Transgender flag - Wikipedia

Arguably, there is more logical basis for having separate Trans events to raise awareness of gender issues. However, there are still many overlaps. Both non-heterosexual and Trans people defy gender norms and face persecution for simply being themselves. Plus, many Trans individuals tend to identify as gay or bi. Again, arguably, the LGBTQ+ community is better together.

In 2019, former members of Stonewall, Bev Jackson and Kate Harris, formed the LGB Alliance in response to Stonewall’s position on gender, which they believed undermined women’s rights. The Alliance believes that Transgender issues cause confusion between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ and that the self-identification of gender does not reflect the ideology of same-sex relationships. Whilst there is a distinction between sexual orientation and gender identity and one might argue there could be merit in promoting sexual orientation independently, the Alliance openly opposes: gender identity education in schools; pharmaceutical treatment of children for gender dysphoria; gender recognition reform; and does not recognise non-binary or gender fluid identities. Recently, in 2021, several LGBTQ+ organisations launched a legal appeal against the Alliance for its attempt to isolate the Trans community and we await the appeal outcome by the Charity Commission.

The LGBTQ+ community’s unwritten charter recognises freedom of expression, uniqueness, diversity and pride, but could do far more to improve its inclusivity. We value and respect our allies throughout history who have helped to increase awareness, rights and protections in society. A big challenge ahead is to increase the allyship within the LGBTQ+ community or face extinction of the community as we know it.

- Encompass Leadership

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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