Trade unions, and trade union activists, have a long history of supporting LGBT+ communities. As trade unionists we have a responsibility to support all of our members. Everyone has the right to equal treatment, protection from discrimination and support from their union.
Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), a day to raise awareness on the continued work against discrimination based on an individual’s sexuality or gender identity.
It is celebrated every year on May 17th to mark the anniversary of the World Health Organisation declassifying homosexuality as a mental illness in 1990.
We’re immensely proud of the progress made over the last few decades for LGBT+ people, where being out and proud at your workplace is more common than ever. In spite of this, there still remains so much work to do until we live in a truly equal and inclusive society.
A report produced by Stonewall and YouGov showed that almost one in five LGBT+ staff have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues in the last year because they’re LGBT+.
The report also found that more than a third of LGBT+ staff have hidden or disguised that they are LGBT+ at work in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination. One in eight lesbian, gay and bi people wouldn’t feel confident reporting any homophobic or biphobic bullying to their employer, and one in five trans people wouldn’t report transphobic bullying in the workplace.
In wider society, transphobic hate crimes have quadrupled in the last five years, with 4 out of 5 trans people experiencing a transphobic hate crime, and 1 in 4 experiencing physical assault or the threat of physical assault.
The theme for IDAHOBIT this year is ‘Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing’, reflecting the challenges of the pandemic and the impact it has had on organising and social activism. We will all be incredibly aware of the damage caused by the pandemic – from disruption in the workplaces to isolation from our support networks.
Community are committed to fighting to maintain and extend LGBT+ rights every step of the way, and it is with strength in numbers and a strong collective voice that we will succeed.
Discrimination has no place in any workplace. To all of our LGBT+ members, we pledge to continue to campaign to eradicate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia from the workplace and from society.
We also know how isolating being discriminated against can feel. To all of our LGBT+ members we promise that should that ever happen to you, we can guarantee you won’t be alone.
To view our guide on LGBT+ rights at work, click here.