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LGBT Foundation announces new initiatives to tackle racism and discrimination in LGBT communities

The new initiatives will run throughout February as the UK celebrates LGBT History Month

By Steve Brown

The LGBT Foundation has announced new initiatives to try and tackle racism and discrimination in the LGBT+ community.

As part of LGBT History Month, the Manchester-based foundation – which campaigns for a fair and equal society for all – has announced plans to try and tackle racism within the LGBT+ community and to improve representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups.

Olivia Butterworth, deputy chair of the LGBT Foundation, said: “We want to be a leader in inclusion and ensure that all feel welcomed, included and visible within our organisation and the wider LGBT community.

“Focus groups conducted as part of LGBT Foundation’s State of the City report (2016) revealed that many LGBT BAME people in Manchester have felt unwelcome in LGBT spaces including Manchester’s Gay Village, and have felt forced to express one part of their identity at the expense of another.

“As an organisation that is continually striving for a fair and equal society where all LGBT people can achieve their full potential, it is right that we look at our own practices to ensure we are doing all we can for our communities.

“We acknowledge that as an organisation there is more work we can do to promote inclusion of BAME people and have therefore agreed this as a priority area for our trustee board in 2019.

“This review will ensure that we are not just meeting, but exceeding, our responsibilities to our community, and we are an organisation in which all feel welcome, heard, and represented.”

Rob Cookson, deputy chief executive, added: “Many LGBT BAME people have felt invisible, excluded and unwelcome in our own community for too long.

“This review will put BAME people at the heart of solutions and look at best practice from LGBT BAME community groups and organisations, as part of our longer-term ambition to develop a dedicated BAME inclusion programme.

“LGBT Foundation is committed to using this review to build on our existing work – which includes dedicated spaces for BAME lesbian and bisexual women and providing space in our Richmond Street LGBT Community Centre to those who need it – such as the incredible First Wednesdays group which supports LGBT people seeking asylum and refuge.”