|Signing the #NoBystanders pledge|
Earlier this month I was amazed and humbled to read about the gay pride rally in Uganda, a country where homosexuality is still illegal and homophobia is widespread.
Despite facing up to 14 years in prison, as well as potential violence, due to their sexual orientation, about 100 people marched in the parade. Their message was clear, they wanted to celebrate who they are and make a stand against discrimination.
When you consider how many countries have seen the sense to legalise same-sex marriages, and how the people of Ireland voted to legalise gay marriage in a referendum, it’s astounding to know that to be gay is still illegal in other countries around the world.
I’m happy that, here in England, we’ve moved on and it’s a far cry from the situation in Uganda. But, there is a but, I still think there is more for us to do. Homosexuality may not be illegal, but homophobia still exists and in particular I believe there is a lot to do to counter transphobia.
At Wolverhampton Homes, we’re working hard to make our organisation a place where anyone can feel comfortable and proud to be themselves, whether they be L, G, B or T and I think we’re really getting there. Our Proud to be Me Network has already helped us gain the 140th position in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers list. We may not be in the top 100 but we were the fastest rising stars last year. To be 140th out of 397, in our first year was a huge achievement. I’m so proud of the work my colleagues have done so far and of what they’ve got planned for the future.
Later this year, all of our staff will take part in our “Respect” training course. This is a training session created and facilitated by our Proud to be Me Network members, they even act in the video clips. They wanted to produce a course to help colleagues understand that every one of us plays a part in ensuring that we are respectful to each other and that it’s up to all of us to challenge anything that could be disrespectful. Earlier this year, a lot of our colleagues and Board members signed the #NoBystanders pledge, we hope that by the end of the course, everyone will sign it.
The Respect Training course is just one in a long list of wonderful projects that the Proud to be Me Network have been involved in. The passion and commitment of each and every one of the Proud to be Me Network is so clear to see. You can follow what they’re doing on their own blog and if you’d like to chat to them about their work, they’d love to hear from you.
The Proud to be Me Network are determined to continue their work towards being completely LGBT friendly, and with Uganda still on my mind, I’ll ensure that I help them in any way I can.