Every June, the LGBTQ+ population and their allies come together to celebrate and recognise the influence LGBTQ+ people have had around the world. This begins what has grown to become Pride Season, a series of events that highlight current challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people and celebrate the progress made toward equality. This year we have seen an increase in hostility toward LGBTQ+ people; intense negative media and public discord, particularly around trans people, has led to increases in hate crimes, vandalism of LGBTQ+ venues and disruption of LGBTQ+ events. Society has come a long way since the Stonewall Riots of 1969, but with the UK slipping down to 17th place in the Rainbow Europe Map And Index and we clearly need to continue to raise awareness, challenge negative attitudes, and celebrate inclusiveness.
For LGBTQ+ people, Pride Season promotes their dignity, equal rights, self-affirmation and is a way of increasing society’s awareness of the issues they face.
Today, barriers to equal rights and opportunities remain and contribute to some of the negative experiences that the LGBTQ+ population face. We are yet to see all forms of so-called conversion therapy banned for example. It is therefore crucial that NHS employers have open conversations at work about the experience of their LGBTQ+ staff inside and outside of the workplace. It is also important that employers educate colleagues so that they can help to create a more welcoming working environment for all.
What were the Stonewall Riots?
The riots were prompted by a raid that took place during the early morning, at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. The LGBT community held a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations to protest against the raid and calling for the establishment of places where gay, lesbian and transgender people could go and be open about their sexual orientation. In such places, there should be no fears of being arrested. The riots served as a catalyst for the rights of LGBT people, and within six months, two gay activist groups had formed in New York. One year after the riots, the first UK Gay Pride Rally was held in London beginning the tradition we know today as the London Pride Parade.
Access a variety of resources:
Inclusive leadership pledge - We have developed an inclusive leadership pledge, with nine behaviours you can adopt to model inclusive leadership. Find out more and sign the pledge now.
Health and Care LGBTQ+ Inclusion Framework - The framework is built on six pillars to enable health and care leaders to ensure their working culture and services are LGBTQ+ inclusive.
Dr Layla McCay on the experiences of LGBTQ+ NHS staff - In this blog, Dr Layla McCay, executive lead of the Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network, shares her thoughts on the inequalities of experiences of LGBTQ+ people as reflected in the NHS Staff Survey.
Join the Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network - If you're an LGBTQ+ leader or ally, be part of a diverse network of people from across health and care, supporting and influencing change across the system.
Peter Molyneux on authentic leadership - Peter Molyneux, chair of the Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network shares the challenges of being authentic while in a leadership role, and what it means to be an authentic leader.
- Supporting your LGBTQ+ workforce - Access tools, resources, and best practice to help you create a culture and environment that welcomes LGBTQ+ staff, allowing them to be themselves at work and to contribute fully to the wider organisation.
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We want to hear about what you are doing this year to support Pride season. Let us know of any events or initiatives and we’ll share them across the network. Or if there’s anything else you’d like to get in touch with us about, please do at LGBTQnetwork@nhsconfed.org.