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8th Feb 2022
I’m delighted to be writing this blog to share with you in recognition of our celebrations here at Alder Hey of LGBT+ History month. The main aims of the month are to educate, promote discussion and foster better understanding of the journey towards equality for our LGBT+ young people and our staff.
It's important that we all have conversations across a range of issues to better understand how far we have come in terms of equality, but also to see how much further we need to go together to reach a place where everyone, regardless of their sexuality, feels safe to be who they truly are and can live in a society that sees everyone as an equal. Alder Hey is a renowned healthcare provider to children and young people with a commitment to a healthier future for children and young people. That means we need to shape thoughts, attitudes and understanding of those across the whole community to ensure that every young person can thrive.
Most people will be aware that homosexuality was decriminalised in 1967, for some this would signal an equitable state, however this was only the beginning. A long journey then began in the UK to challenge long held thoughts and beliefs of many. It wouldn’t be until 2005 that civil partnerships were introduced, and homosexual couples could adopt. The age of consent equalised to that of heterosexual people in 2001. Same sex marriage followed in 2014. All important milestones in obtaining equality.
Sadly, despite this, in the country today hate crimes against people based on their sexuality or who are transgender continue, with a high instance of physical violence. Can it be right that individuals are targeted because they are perceived to be different?
None of us would want our children and young people to be singled out, bullied, physically attacked or suffer mental health issues to the point that the feel their only option is suicide to escape the persecution. We can not allow this to continue to happen.
Whilst there have been great advances in equality for the homosexual community much prejudice still exists, transgender young people being at particularly high risk.
My assumption would be that this hatred is borne out of ignorance. LGBT+ History month gives an opportunity to reflect on how far things have come, and to have some open and honest conversations which allow better understanding. If we take time to understand we can reduce ignorance and eventually arrive in a world that values difference.
This LGBT+ history month join us in opening up the discussions. Listen to our young people who are living in this world today to better understand their reality and challenges. Take the opportunity to shape our community to be one that is open minded, tolerant and where everyone is valued for their difference, not persecuted for it.
Alder Hey Children's Charity