NHS staff across the North East are flying a rainbow flag in support of the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
Staff at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), a provider of mental health and disability services, which includes a regional Gender Dysphoria service, are showing their support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) community by flying a rainbow flag at St Nicholas Hospital in Newcastle.
The flag will be flown raised on Thursday 17 May to raise awareness of violence, discrimination and the repression of LGBT+ communities worldwide. The date of 17 May is significant as it commemorates the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organisation in 1990.
International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia is as important today as it was when it was first conceived, if not more so. Unfortunately, the incidences of abuse, violence and hatred shown towards people who identify as LGBT+ continues to increase every year. There is still plenty to be achieved in ensuring there is equality in the world for LGBT+ people. Raising awareness of our existence and contributions, being visible and continuing to strive for full inclusivity without prejudice, hate, violence and discrimination should not be a privilege but a freedom we all experienceSimon PearsonChair of the LGBT+ Network, NTW
Created in 2004, IDAHOBIT is celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal. It is commemorated by public events such as large scale street marches, parades and festivals. The movement unites millions of people in support of the recognition of human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
Christopher Rowlands, Equality at Diversity Lead at NTW said: “We seek to challenge the impact of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, and work to help reduce significant health inequalities faced by LGBT+ people. We want to be a Trust where we ensure that LGBT+ people’s voices are heard and that those voices influence and shape how we deliver services and how we operate as a workforce.”
Once the flag has been raised at St Nicholas Hospital, LGBT+ staff will be providing information and conversation (outside café St Nicholas Hospital and outside Café Bead at Monkwearmouth Hospital) to bring about awareness and answer any questions.