Come As You Are Festival (29th November – 1st December at Poole Lighthouse, and Parliamentary Committee update

The Network has been leading on promotion of and outreach for the ‘Come As You Are’ Trans & Non-Binary community supportive arts festival – 29th November to 1st December — at Poole Lighthouse, doing so for the major legacy benefits for effecting T community inclusion and counteracting transphobia here locally in Poole Dorset and Bournemouth.  We encourage everyone who shares these values to come to this festival:   Here is a link to the programme  — includes booking and more info on each of the performances & events.

At 3pm on Saturday 1st December, a panel discussion on Trans community issues and NHS services and performance, will take place with key community leads as panellists and special guests (a particularly big thank you to Communi-T for their participation as well as support from Bourne Free lead Louise), and Network lead Alan chairing.  Link:  Through the guidance of broader community consultation and the panellists and special guests, the topics to be discussed focus on the NHS and its services, with emphasis on giving local (and we hope national) and national NHS organisations at service commissioning & oversight, and clinician and frontline staffing levels a better understanding of perceptions of existing services by out T communities.

The three questions considered at the panel discussion will be:

  1. Is the NHS in the experience of Trans & Non-Binary community members in the Dorset area, and nationally, providing T community appropriate/supportive services at GP, hospital and broader NHS services levels? Discuss.
  2. Do you feel NHS frontline service providing staff members (clinicians/consultants/GPs, admin & helpline operators), AND NHS services commissioners are ‘T engagement competent’ on understanding about T community members on mental health issues?
  3. In panel members and special guests NHS services-access experience, what would be the three most important changes/improvements that could be made to give T community members faith in using or seeking to access NHS services? – staff (medical and admin) T & LGBT communication & engagement training, T-dedicated current but improved or new services, and T & LGBT community monitoring of performance, being areas to consider. Discuss.


Leading from the latter, for the first time ever, Parliament through the Women & Equalities Select Committee recently reached out to our UK LGB&T community on an historically important inquiry in to Health Social Care & LGBT: The Network provided a submission to the inquiry that was regarded as particularly valuable by the Committee.

In this an important component of our submission included Trans & Non-Binary community members experiences, issues and needs that in the pan-Dorset area and nationally, are still not being listened to and addressed in the ways that our Trans & Non-Binary community locally are aware.  The Network is Proud to have contributed to this important initiative, to through it in Parliament represented our area of Dorset, and most of all given voice to many pan-Dorset LGBT community members, and a few in particular who took the care and time to contribute to the Network’s submission.

At this time as we all remember those members of our Trans community who have been viciously murdered and often tortured, and in the spirit of Trans Awareness week, just concluded, the Network is pleased to share these two items of effective pro-active action as the unacceptable – prejudice and hate – can only be dealt with by educational work of effective kinds (and the arts, as with this ground-breaking festival at Poole Lighthouse, are one of the main ways to achieve this), and major improvements in health and wellbeing services, that can only be effected through parliament. On this the major input that was provided by many leading members of our local Trans community figures, in content the Network submitted to the select committee inquiry, certainly does this!