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Understanding the challenges of the LGBTQ+ community at Pride and beyond

Category: testimonial, volunteering, Capita, Staff Testimonial, LGBTQ+, homophobia, LGBTQ+ Ally, LGBTQ+ Inclusion, LGBTQ+ Equality, LGBTQ+ Champion, LGBTQ+ Community, LGBTQ+ employee network, LGBTQ+ employee network group, LGBTQ+ Culture, LGBTQ+ Rights, LGBTQ+ History, LGBTQ+ visibility, Pride 2022, Pride employee network, LGBTQ+ awareness, celebrating volunteering

LGBTQ+

Firstly, Happy Pride month to all. As you may or may not know, June of each year marks the celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, and this year is extra special as 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Pride in the UK. 

The reason we celebrate in June is because this was the month that the Stonewall riots took place in 1969 in New York.

We’ve come a long way in the past half a century, but sadly we still have a long way to go.

I have lived in Manchester for the best part of a decade, a very liberal city with a thriving LGBTQ+ community, however as an openly gay man living in the UK today, I, along with many in the community still face discrimination in some way or another. In fact, 1 in 5 of our community have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months alone. LGBTQ+ people are still enduring poor treatment while using public services and going about their lives, whether in their local shop, gym, school or place of worship.

 

rainbow brew buddies

 

I volunteer for the LGBT Foundation in Manchester and currently dedicate my volunteer time to the ‘Rainbow Buddy’ programme. This is a service that aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness for LGBTQ+ people in and around Greater Manchester. These weekly phone calls can be really important following the pandemic, but can also really help those who are currently feeling discriminated against, as we can help advise them on their rights and what to do in certain situations. I also partake in charity work for the George House Trust, which is a charity helping those that are living with HIV/ AIDs - a topic which I feel is very important to educate ourselves on.

I find Capita to be a very supporting company when it comes to my sexuality and have never had any issues at work, but I class myself as lucky in this respect. Whereas this shouldn’t be down to luck or feeling ‘honoured’ that I do not face hate in the workplace, this should be a human right and unfortunately one that isn’t so for so many in the UK right now.

We look to allies for strength and support, and during pride month, even if you do not identify as LGBTQ+, you are welcomed into our community with open arms, if you offer love and respect. It’s important to have allies as they tend to have the most powerful and influential voices. As an ally you can help create a platform to fight homophobia and transphobia. I would ask of all of you that support us as a community to stay informed and current on LGBTQ+ issues and events, speaking up for what’s right.

Please celebrate this month with us, be a part of our community, and stand with us as we fight a fight that is far from over.

By Jonathan Mair

Jonathan Mair

 

 

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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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