International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) 2022 has coincided with completion of a major project delivered by a 12-person team of the Bournemouth University Events Management Department jointly proposed by the LGBT+ Network for Change and Dorset’s Race Equality Council. You can read about the project at its dedicated website:
https://allforoneevents.wixsite.com/my-site-2. Please also see:
Network comments on the impact and need for the project:
‘Celebrating humanity is such a beautiful thing. That moment when we reunite as one and joyfully share with one another. This sentiment was present at the All For One event organised by a hard-working and diligent group of well-rounded students with lots of ambitions. It has been a success, and this has just started. Well done to everyone involved.’
LGBT+ Network for Change, Advisor and Network Presenter at the All for One LGBT Film Festival
The dedication and passionate enthusiasm of the Bournemouth University Events Management Team that developed and delivered this wonderful and much needed event, will give every member of the LGBT+ ethnic minority & international community, much needed support and solidarity. It has opened eyes effectively to the existence of this intersectional community, and this article and resource coinciding with IDAHOBIT 2022 indicates why such an event and project are badly needed.
Lead Officer of the LGBT+ Network for Change
The LGBT international film festival event of 3rd May in Bournemouth, was initiated against a backdrop of well researched and very well evidenced in the UK of the intersectional BAME/BME/ethnic minority and international LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ community, indicating that as well as [UK context] encountering racism and multiple forms of anti-LGBT prejudice, the community encounters additional forms of prejudice unique to it and encounters a culture of minimal structured engagement support and awareness on intersectional community issues and needs from public services and society. The feedback from attendees and the priceless contribution of insights from the three speakers evidenced all of these needs and the position of the intersectional community.
The following selection of feedback points from the event give a valuable insight into issues, needs, experiences of this known of but to date — in terms of appropriate public services delivery (and we must remember that in the NHS the role of international and BAME/BME presence is absolutely central to frontline services provision) and related planning, and broader BAME/BME, LGBT, and general public awareness – minimally to non-existent supported intersectional community:
Some of the learning from the event comments by participants, captured on the mood board used on the evening of the event:
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT TODAY?
- That gender is a spectrum
- I think gender talks like the one we had should be funded to be given around more places of education – I learnt a lot even being fairly knowledgeable already.
- Whilst I was aware that queer communities existed in other countries/cultures I hadn’t actually seen it before. I consider myself to be on quite a queer little corner of the internet so I was shocked to realise this. I must seek it out.
- The struggles of different gender identities in cultures.
- That love exists everywhere! And where you have the chance, always show love, you never know who really needs it.
- People from minority groups can be ignorant about minority groups.
- The countries that have more than 2 genders.
- There is always someone to talk to.
- How the gender stereotypes began.
- How multidimensional gender is.
- The range of labels under the ‘trans’ umbrella.
- To love everyone.
WHAT STRUGGLES DO YOU STILL FACE DAY-TO-DAY? AND HOW CAN THE CHARITIES HELP ADDRESS THESE ISSUES?
- I worry about future events not playing out in the heterotypical way I presumed they would. EG: who would it be safe to invite to my wedding if it wasn’t heterosexual? It is somewhat disorientating to think about my future in such an anxious way – something I didn’t have to do a few years back.
- A struggle to fully understand my sexuality.
- Feel like I’m being watched when holding another girl’s hand.
- Looks and homophobia from older generations.
- Feeling very confused by ideas of compulsory heterosexuality/being raised to look for male validation in our society as a female presenting person. I feel like those things stomp on any queerness.
- People assuming my sexuality/gender.
- Parental acceptance.
- Ignorance from people outside of the communities – can be helped with putting more into education.
- The feeling of religion limiting my sexuality.
- I think everything comes back to representation – pushing queer red on more/ bigger platforms would help.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT BEING PART OF ONE/BOTH OF THESE COMMUNITIES?
- Being brown in a predominantly white community, I’m proud to be me, to show my skin, my culture & me. Its nice to be ME!
- Being allowed to be me.
- Enjoy being different.
- A sense of fitting in after years of feeling different.
- Having an extra family/support group.
- The mix of humans.
- Feeling like I can be myself with no judgement.
- You feel supported and like you are part of a family.
- Finding common ground with other people. I love being a mixed-race lesbian.
- Feeling seen!!
- Being part of a community in which everyone has some degree of shared issues/fears makes me feel very validated and supported. I truly don’t feel as if I have to face things alone.
For full ‘mood board’ feedback particulars from the film festival event, please see: https://allforoneevents.wixsite.com/my-site-2/moodboard
We are also very pleased to provide the following references on the value and impact of this outstanding event delivered by the Bournemouth University Events Management Team:
Dear Alan, David & Friends,
My husband Brian and I attended this wonderful Event “All For One Film Festival”. We were impressed with the High Quality of the Presentations and Management. The BU Students did a brilliant job. Well done.
We would like to thanks All who took such an active part in promoting LGBT+ and Diversity awareness.
Jonai da Silva – NHS Dorset HealthCare Trust – LGBT Lead.
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service:
‘Please keep up the great work. From all at DW Fire.
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Brigade
Project background context:
One of the major areas – particularly overlooked and poorly responded to – of especially marginalised and vulnerable, LGBT+ community sub-population/groups that the LGBT+ Network for Change concentrates on in terms of our activity and priorities, involves the ethnic minority – LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ intersectional community.
The Network approach to the latter embraces both UK residents, and also international LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ community members for through the knowledge of the experiences of the latter in their given countries LGBT+ global fellowship is advanced, and UK LGBT+ community members are valuably enabled to develop international community interaction and understand that there are many forms of the latter that transcend Western/UK perspectives on LGBT+ equality and cultures.
Across a number of years — and before both the Network outreach to the Dorset Race Equality Council, and the subsequent Bournemouth University (BU) Events Management project – we/the Network has been active regarding the particular issues and needs encountered by this intersectional community.
This has ranged from published submissions by the Network to major UK Parliamentary Select Committee inquiries relevant to this particularly overlooked and support needful LGBT+ community, through to supporting the major needs international [and UK ethnic minority LGBT+ community experiences] NHS recruits encounter in hospitals all too frequently. On the latter, Network NHS, LGBT+ community support communication and engagement awareness information resources (linked to training) from Steps 2 Wellbeing, to CAMHS and CMHT provided by the Network to NHS mental healthcare foundation trusts include clear and embedded ethnic minority & international recruited LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ dimensions.
The LGBT+ ethnic minority community in the UK is conspicuous for it’s wont of recognition from existing policy and planning to direct support levels in public services (particularly to date in the NHS), local authorities, and UK central government departments ones, as well as being entirely absent in the Equality Act 2010 provisions (there is no definition of intersectionality meaning those with minimal understanding of applied EDI in all of the latter simply can’t grasp even the concept of such multiple Protected Characteristics communities).
Consequently, there is not only no provision, but major problems in for example particularly workplace and healthcare settings occur, costly and disruptive to organisations and businesses and of course causing non-responded too bullying, prejudice incidents, and poor mental health. Looking at current UK central government provision regarding equality and minorities there is lack of any joined up approach (this happens with local authorities, public service organisations, and the community and voluntary sector too, and in many cases businesses). There are currently at least three departments and units that major on more or less exclusive approaches to Protected Characteristics: e.g. DCMS, Equalities Office, and race disparity unit.
This lack of joined up approach and recognition of the ethnic minority/international – LGBT+ community is at most glaring in the UK Home Office immigration services (and often with the Immigration Tribunal).
Indeed in the case of the Home Office particularly (and some Immigration Tribunal judges attached to unstated hostile to LGBT and stereotyping of LGBT revealed perspectives) it is not so much a matter of wont of awareness of the LGBT/intersectional community as, repeatedly revealed overt hostility to LGBT+ people, even to the extent of brutality and the knowing endangering of LGBT+ lives:
The NHS, which has a major overseas recruitment base, still in many cases is revealed by cases the Network as well as internal NHS LGBT staff group officers have encountered, a lack of understanding about the intersectional community’s existence and particular vulnerabilities. As a result, many NHS workplace environments (particularly general hospitals) are made toxic for not a few LGBT+ community members, especially internationally recruited staff, some of whom we understand have been persuaded to come and work in NHS UK healthcare because of NHS messaging about the UK and the NHS being LGBT+ friendly and very welcoming to LGBT+ community members.
Intersectional community members have reported encountering on NHS property some very unpleasant phobic prejudice and bullying by those, often international recruited and to some extent UK domestic ethnic minority community members attached to extreme anti-LGBT prejudices (such as still occur in many countries that were subject to British anti-gay Victorian age laws). In this case through lack of awareness of these dynamics (that have been playing out time and again for many years in multiple NHS locations) and lack of awareness of the intersectional community and its unique characteristics, community members experience major mental health distress, have to go off sick or be transferred.
At the same time, we and others understand on multiple and compelling evidence that the raising of complaints and calls for help often are responded to by micro-managing and an approach that in speaking up about being bullied, the victims are bringing shame on the NHS. Those bullying however, by way of contrast, are left free and unchallenged. Such situations are costly to the NHS and harmful to good working environments and care provision, and indicates green lighting of those with prejudiced views.
Intersectionality, to date, is essentially not recognised or covered in internal NHS training, or in EDI related inductions. However, this is starting to change: locally, the Network is providing at operational frontline services and programmes delivery level (such as with Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation’s Steps 2 wellbeing service, and soon to be with CAMHS and CMHT), LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ training and related awareness resources in which the intersectional community is included, defined, and its needs and challenges covered. With outstanding learning outcomes, it is to be hoped such transformational work will begin to influence reform of NHS EDI delivery and lead to policy level change.
We conclude this section with two further examples of where the intersectional community features – homelessness, and readiness of the Prison Service to embrace knowledge of the intersectional community.
Image/statistics source: https://vervlondon.com/about_akt-2/
As the visual above indicates, its grim and very clear statistics indicate that ethnic minority community members constitute a clear majority of the youth LGBT homeless population, and that this proportion must transfer to the final statistic of 77% of young LGBT homeless experiencing family rejection and abuse. The Network has developed a multiagency strategy for bringing in the in homeless services recovery and preventative services locally and beyond, LGBTQ+ community direct support; this with at its heart NHS mental healthcare support for members of the latter (working with Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust), and other areas such as FE colleges, and outreach to police constabularies. In all of this work, the BAME/BME/ethnic minority LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ intersectional community dynamic and support is represented clearly and effectively.
The Prison Service:
The Prison Service (HMPPS) has been working with the Network now for some 4-5 years in the Portland prisons (HMP The Verne, and HMP & YOI Portland) part of the HMPPS Avon & South Dorset Prison Group. We want to record here the incredible and deeply appreciated readiness of HMPPS to be serious and focused where counteracting anti-LGBT prejudice & incidents in prisons is concerned: this commitment has been manifested on multiple occasions, and we currently have a major initiative in very successful progression with HMPPS. In all of our work and collaboration with HMPPS, we/the Network, and HMPPS itself have fully included the ethnic minority & international – LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ community profile and support needs. Five years ago, when HMP The Verne was an IRC (deportation and holding institute for international community members) before later becoming HMP The Verne, it’s equality officer asked the Network to assist with information about the standpoint of countries of the world where LGBT+ inclusion or persecution was concerned – this because there had been multiple incidents of aggression and even violence against LGBT+ or suspected of being LGBT+ community members by fellow nationals and others (such as sharing LGBT+ intolerant perspectives where religions and cultures were concerned). The Home Office had Not provided any brief to The Verne IRC’s staff where country by country LGBT related standpoints were concerned, and consequently the staff at The Verne for reasons of professionalism and humanity (and this section of the Ministry of Justice deserves the fullest praise for these perspectives at this IRC and reaching out to the Network) wanted to take a preventive approach.
Getting a country by country brief on LGBT inclusion or persecution records was central to this, and the Network was vey pleased to provide. We have subsequently found the same concern for the international and ethnic minority LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ community engagement and safeguarding needs, firstly at HMP The Verne (which transitioned from an IRC to a regular prison about three years ago), and subsequently at HMP & YOI Portland.
With the latter, not only have detailed country by country profiles been provided (‘Equaldex’) but the Network at HMP & YOI Portland, and by extension the HMPPS Avon & South Dorset Prison Group, has developed dedicated BAME/BME/ethnic minority LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ community support resources, with mental healthcare particular emphasis. We also support at Portland Prison international community members support cases for international residents at the prison.
Whilst the above indicate, that at UK Government Departments and agencies Whitehall/central level both omission and lack of related planning support concerning the intersectional community, and also one of the most clear examples of wont of a joined up multi UK Government departments and agency (Home Office and Ministry of Justice to Prison Service) approach where the intersectional community is concerned, at the same time at operational level, in this particular instance (HMPPS) recognition of the intersectional community and its support needs, exists.
So, in brief, knowledge about the existence of the intersectional community and appropriate mechanisms for its support, undeniably indicate a good organisation or business to work with and for, professionalism, and wholesome workplace environments.
Other considerations concerning the importance of the intersectional community:
A) Global perspectives impacts for UK LGBT+ community awareness
B) Ethnic minority communities learning about their LGBT+ intersectional community
Whilst I was aware that queer communities existed in other countries/cultures I hadn’t actually seen it before. I consider myself to be on quite a queer little corner of the internet so I was shocked to realise this. I must seek it out.
Ignorance from people outside of the communities – can be helped with putting more into education.
Two Mood Board comments highlighting this need
Source: BU Events Management Team delivered ‘Mood Board’ observation provided on the 3rd of May
The above, albeit a single example, indicates well just how little many non-ethnic minority/majority LGBT+ community members know of the LGBT+ global dimension.
Not only can international LGBT fellowship be known of and made active (such an important matter given that some White original indigenous English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish LGBT+ community members can be subject to holding intersectional community race related prejudice: the Network has directly encountered examples of this), but global perspectives, as indicated in the comment above, can substantially enrich community members knowledge of the contemporary to ancient global LGBT+ cultural heritage.
This is important for those community members that are not members of ethnic minority communities or are international community members. The Network has found through multiple examples, awareness that ethnic minority & international community members in marriages, civil partnerships, and loving relationships with UK White (English, Irish, Welsh, Scottish – especially English) indigenous community members can and often do encounter can often experience unequal dynamics with the latter that indicate de-facto race/UK/White supremacist behaviour.
This frankly sad, needless, and unacceptable. It shows how much work there remains to be done on global perspectives where mainstream established LGBT community equality, human rights, and anti-discrimination supportive UK/Western LGBT+ organisations are concerned.
Consequently intersectional community members have often been ‘powerless, overlooked, and on their own’ in facing onslaughts such as the de-facto UK Home Office anti-LGBT operational level services delivery phenomenon.
There are however some very modest indications that the intersectional community dynamic engagement by the latter are starting to consider the significance of the latter and its importance. For centuries and even millennia there have been LGBT+ inclusive and even LGBT+ honouring dynamics with cultures across the world, long before the advent of modern late 20th Century & early 21st Century LGBT communities existence and rights have manifested. These dynamics and cultures have been commonly rooted in spiritual, often profound spiritual, and Nature respecting cultures.
The final part of this two-part section includes some links for those who wish to learn more about global LGBT perspectives and cultures.
For those who are interested (LGBT+ community members and proven LGBT+ Allies) knowledge of nations and related ethnicities positions on LGBT inclusion OR anti-LGBT prejudice and persecution is provided at https://www.equaldex.com/
Thematic subjects covered country by country by Equaldex:
- Gay Marriage
- Changing Gender
- Non-binary gender recognition
- Employment Discrimination
- Housing Discrimination
- Conversion Therapy
- Donating Blood
- Age of Consent
B) Ethnic minority communities learning about their LGBT+ intersectional community
Feel like I’m being watched when holding another girl’s hand.
Looks and homophobia from older generations.
Feeling very confused by ideas of compulsory heterosexuality/being raised to look for male validation in our society as a female presenting person. I feel like those things stomp on any queerness.
People assuming my sexuality/gender.
The feeling of religion limiting my sexuality.
There are multiple ethnic minority community (and in some cases given main associated religion associated) UK organisations at national to local levels that quite rightly engage on perceived race (and culture, and in some instances some religions) related de-facto, day to day encountered prejudice and indirect discrimination.
Not one given ethnic minority community lacks an LGBT+ intersectional community (some 6-10% of the total given ethnic minority community), and at the same time in almost all cases there are impediments on reaching out to the LGBT+ Protected Characteristics communities.
The drawing together of Protected Characteristics communities that suffer from prejudice is an important concept and approach for change, as those that suffer anti-LGBT prejudice and those that suffer race related prejudice can learn much from each other.
Whilst, it would not be constructive to seek organisations and groups that have perspectives that align with overseas perspectives of pronounced, often violent and deadly, anti-LGBT kinds, it is very clear that many ethnic minorities communities supportive organisations and groups that have clear stated inclusive values and multicultural perspectives, especially those with active engagement in pan-Protected Characteristics communities and ‘Allies’ platforms, panels, and forums, to engage in constructive engagement and dialogue with their own intersectional communities and more broadly.
This is why as well that the LGBT+ Network for Change reached out to Dorset’s Race Equality Council (DREC), which in the Pan-Dorset & Bournemouth & Poole conurbation area facilitates and hosts multi-Protected Characteristics communities forums, supported by Dorset Police, local authorities, and NHS organisations.
Some links on same-sex love and third gender global cultures & histories:
The following links (many more exist and can be provided) are valuable for counteracting fallacies about ‘homosexuality’ and Trans & Non-Binary identities being Western imports:
- British museum LGBTQ+ history exhibition resource: https://gayety.co/british-museum-exhibits-11000-years-lgbtq-history
- Why legalising gay sex in India is not a Western idea: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-46620242.amp
- China: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_history_in_China
- Polynesia: https://gayety.co/a-brief-history-of-hawaiis-ancient-gay-culture
- The Caribbean: https://travelnoire.com/caribbean-gay-friendly-travel
- African and Arab coming Out archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20110616142813/http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/425824/1589332
- History of Male Homosexuality in Africa: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Africa
Again, the website — https://www.equaldex.com/ — provides invaluable information in regard to given countries.
The Network believes that meaningful engagement with and support for the BAME/BME/ethnic minority LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ community is a complex challenge. Educational means, through employer and public services and education sector outreach and engagement, as well as pan-LGBT and BAME/BME/ethnic minority community awareness raising. This in regard to the intersectional community’s existence and challenges is the only way the particular needs of the community can be met in principle, and the meeting of those needs achieved through detailed strategic and operational level mechanisms.
In concluding, on the interlinked matter of need and support for meaningful public awareness and public services operational support change in regard to the intersectional community. It was significant for the Network to have learned the very disappointing news that on not less than three (we understand five) separate occasions the local newspaper, the Echo, was contacted by the project delivery team to request coverage, or at the least mention of the LGBT+ international film event. No response or news coverage resulted.
This indicates, through one small but symptomatic example just how little interest there is in listening to the voice, indeed recognising the existence of this important intersectional community that faces so many challenges that few members of general society would be able to easily cope with.
However, as the brilliant BU Events Management project jointly initiated by the Network and DREC, and some of the details provided below evidence, despite the de-facto to date marginalisation of the community in many cases show, change is happening and there are those that recognise the intersectional community’s existence are enthusiastically working with the Network to bring about change and deliver meaningful support. The BU project symbolises this, and, again, we wish to praise the BU team’s incredible dedication and passion to deliver this ground-breaking project!