To seek to support all sections of our LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ communities that encounter homophobic, biphobic, transphobic prejudice, discrimination or hate crime – including social isolation and mental health related costs of discrimination and prejudice — by being an effective representation organisation in counteracting anti-LGBT+ behaviour wherever it is found. In particular we work to support community sections (including international and ethnic minority – LGBT+ intersectional) that are often especially disempowered, overlooked (such as our prisons community) and poorly supported.
Our support includes to individual community members on reporting and seeking solutions to anti-LGBT prejudice, and working with the public & private sector to ensure the voice of LGB&T people is properly heard, including in the fields of policy advocacy, and solutions to representation & inclusion needs of LGB&T people in the services they access, and in healthcare, education and employment.
We work with LGB&T allies, and support an inclusive prejudice free society in which there is no place for or tolerance of inequality, prejudice and discrimination of any kind.
We also work in a limited number of specialist areas, due to expertise & outreach our Network has, at national level: campaigning & educational work for full LGBT inclusion in football & all sports, international LGBT human rights [including for UK-international same-sex partnerships/immigration/LGBT asylum seekers & refugees], and NHS related work to enable a fully LGBT-inclusive healthcare service provision environment.
Origins, Methods of Working & Activity Areas (Dorset to national):
The Network’s origins go back to the Olympics 2012 anti-LGBT prejudice in sport exhibition developed by our initiator and current lead officer with the support of others. This brought together those in our community and in the statutory sector, who realised there were major gaps in effective dialogue and engagement with many sectors of the pan-Dorset LGB&T community; by 2014 through a research project prompted by concerns on NHS outreach to the LGB&T community, a core group developed, and the Network was born.
Our method of working involves deploying the expertise of our individual members in focussed ways on specific issues & needs our community encounter & have, in conjunction with relevant partnering at local to national levels, and recognising the importance of having LGBT ‘Allies’ as key to success in bringing about change.
Individual community support cases and seeking broader policy change in and beyond Dorset, through critical friend approaches to the statutory sector, and strong partnership working with the private sector and other diverse communities, and involvement with select committee work in Parliament, characterise the main dynamics of our work.
Our educational work is important to us, and we are respected for covering areas such prison populations, etc. but educating the broader general public and especially public service organisations and local authorities on topics and issues of pressing importance to the LGB&T communities, including the seldom heard and unrepresented.
Early on in our development and even in the Network’s formative stage we realised that some issues we need to tackle effectively, are national and in some cases transcend national governments and borders. As our initiator & Convenor, Alan, our patron, Lindsay, and other key Network team members possess specialist expertise (sports, fair LGBT safe & appropriate non-open borders immigration, mental health & wellbeing) we play an important part in challenging anti-LGBT prejudice & discrimination at national levels, including working with parliamentary select committees, etc.