Draft LGBT+ Manifesto for Bristol
Following many meetings and constructive work by all those who have developed this manifesto, the LGBT+ people of Bristol, their allies and those who work with, and for, LGBT+ citizens, would like to see the following points understood and acted upon to improve the lives of the LGBT+ people in Bristol, both now and for future generations.
The term LGBT+ is used to include all who identify under the protected characteristics of gender identity and sexual orientation – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Non-binary, Gender Variant/Diverse/Fluid, Questioning, Queer, Unsure, etc., and T+ as an umbrella term to cover the wide range of identities where a person’s gender does not align with that assigned to them at birth.
Ensure that in all Bristol educational establishments :
- each child has the opportunity to receive age appropriate information on gender identity and sexual orientation regardless of how they may identify, and that this information includes examples of LGBT+ healthy relationships and LGBT+ aspirational people;
- provision of sexual health and relationships education is improved to address mentoring and support for all LGBT+ and questioning young people, including provision of a safe space for them to discuss their sexual orientation and transitioning needs, and questions with peers and teaching or support staff;
- educational establishments understand LGBT+ pupils and families needs, and address provision, teaching and policies so they are in line with current legal requirements and best practice;
- recognise homo/bi/transphobic bullying and verbal abuse, and improve reporting and addressing of incidents;
- embed LGBT+ support, teaching, celebration and inclusion into the ethos of the educational establishment through awareness, training and responsibility. This includes gender identity and sexual orientation training for all staff (including non-teaching) and governors, and where appropriate offered to parents, families and carers too;
- have both a Named Teacher or LGBT Champion at senior leadership level and a Diversity Governor with responsibility to include gender identity and sexual orientation teaching and support, and that they foster and support an LGBT+ society or equality group in involving young people in all matters around them such as policies, events, etc.;
- LGBT+ training is fed into teacher’s professional development both in Initial Teacher Training and their Continuous Professional Development.
Employment and Service Provision
- All employers and Service Providers ensure they comply with the Equality Act 2010 and address LGBT+ employees’ and clients’ needs, undertake effective LGBT+ monitoring, and in particular develop and implement policies for T+ employment, including transitioning at work.
- Public Bodies produce details of actions, outcomes and future plans on an annual basis, and publicise these in line with Public Sector Equality Duty.
- All staff have ongoing LGBT+ awareness training and know how to access further support for LGBT+ clients and their families.
- Agencies continue city-wide awareness raising, with particular focus on places and communities where hate crime is higher, so that all citizens :
- understand what constitutes homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes or incidents;
- feel able, and know where, to report;
- know what support is available and how to get it;
- understand the consequences of hate crime.
- Clear simple pathways for reporting needed not just through recognised agencies, but all agencies supporting LGBT+ people should know how to report and encourage clients to report (supporting where feasible).
- Police attending Hate Crime should signpost directly to Bristol Hate Crime Services to ensure immediate support offered at point of contact as well as later through Lighthouse.
- All police employees should have good gender identity and sexual orientation training with ongoing refreshers to ensure organisation is following Single Equality Act.
- Good clear information on all hate crime processes available on Police and CPS websites (or other) also showing figures and conviction rates.
- Investment needed to develop support networks for LGBT+ victims, especially the most deprived and at-risk.
- City-wide campaign across all media and supported by all agencies, showing that all hate crime is unlawful but especially highlighting homo/bi/transphobic hate crime so that cultures/religions/families where hatred towards LGBT+ people deemed acceptable, understand that it is no different from any other hate crime.
Health, Mental Health and Sexual Health
- There is a clear need for specialist LGBT+ services and support, in health, mental health and sexual health services, and for more visible inclusiveness of LGBT+ people from general services.
- Specific issues relate to access for T+ people with multiple barriers due to a lack of pathways to knowledge of T+ issues within services.
- Need for on-going LGB, and especially T+, training and support for specialists and all medical practitioners, including support staff.
- Greater support for the many at-risk LGBT+ adults in services who are invisible to services where they are fearful to disclose and thus unable to address their gender identity or sexual orientation needs.
- Older LGBT+ peoples needs to be better understood and addressed in supported living and end of life care.
- Greater support and understanding for BME LGBT+ people, including BME MSM (men who have sex with men but do not identify as Gay or Bisexual and thus do not interact with services and information).
- Need for LGB, and expecially T+, support group/s in Bristol, and accessible and affordable therapies to address the needs of LGBT+ at-risk adults who suffer isolation and poor mental health due to the discrimination and difficulties faced in society, and lack of support and understanding from their families.
- Service network needed for those working with and providing support for at-risk adults to share information, resources and expertise.
Gender Identity : T+ Specific
In addition to the LGBT+ needs above there are additional needs for T+ work so that equity and awareness may be better achieved.
Comprehensive and mandatory T+ awareness training for all staff; front-line colleagues, managers and elected officers to increase knowledge and understanding of the needs of T+ people.
Equal access to and respect from all services for T+ people.
Better representation and visibility of T+ people within the workforce, creating role models and T+ champions.
Commitment to providing Gender Neutral toilets in all public buildings.
Equalities officer, or similar, in each organisation should have specific responsibility for T+ expertise and work in reviewing policies, procedures, service provision and support for staff and clients. Use your T+ employees or employ a T+ person. Especially relevant in employment and housing where greater inequality is experienced.
Language and forms should be inclusive of all T+ people – thus terms like “they” and “Mx” should be used.
Monitoring should be fairly considered and T+ people monitored on how they identify and their history.
Policing : Avon and Somerset Police
- Police should continue to support and develop the excellent LGBT Liaison Team within the force, ensuring that they are used to improve the Police’s response, support and performance in regard to all crimes against LGBT+ citizens.
- The Police work with the National Gay Police Association, the Local LGBT Liaison Team and external LGBT+ organisations to :
- embed respect and understanding for all LGBT+ officers, especially for those in aspirational positions;
- create a force-wide opportunity for effective and mandatory LGBT+ training, mentoring, understanding and mutual respect;
- create an ethos where citizens have confidence in reporting to police.
Visibility and Support :
- More LGB and especially T+ people seen in and supported to be out at work and in leadership positions.
Formation of and support for, an LGBT+ Centre to bring together expertise, experience and support to help improve the lives of LGBT+ citizens, and to provide a one stop shop for all who need or seek help to improve provision for LGBT+ people, and a background from which to produce LGBT+ events and celebrations.
Commitment to embed the actions in this Manifesto by those in power, in the work of local authorities, statutory providers and organisations.
Glossary and Future Actions :
To view the glossary, information about this manifesto including subcommittee reports, contributor lists, future work and best practice monitoring information, please look online at lgbtbristol.org.uk/manifesto, where if resources allow, any work done in Bristol against the points raised above will be recorded.
This document is a living document and is subject to change to ensure that it accurately reflects the needs and views of Bristol LGBT+ citizens.
If you have ideas, actions or wish further involvement in work to address the points raised in this manifesto please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to all who contributed to these recommendations.