LGBT History Month by Laura Lennox

Laura L 1Good things to have come out of Dumfries, Scotland:

  • Calvin Harris, superstar DJ
  • LGBT Charter of Rights    
  • Big Burns Supper                                  
  • Please feel free to add more in the comments section at the end…..                      

February is LGBT History Month. LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. LGBT History Month takes place in Scotland every February. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the lives and culture of LGBT people as well as the chance to raise awareness of the continual need to ensure all LGBT people feel valued, supported and included.

Laura L 2

Our Speech and Language Therapy Adult Service in NHS Dumfries & Galloway are currently undertaking the LGBT Charter of Rights. The LGBT Charter of Rights is a programme created by LGBT Youth Scotland. It developed from the findings of a group of young people in Dumfries (Phoenix LGBT Youth) who began exploring relevant topics to LGBT people and included education, social and health issues. It emerged that people who are LGBT still face discrimination and prejudice due to barriers in these areas. The LGBT Charter of Rights is a way to target these inequalities by providing a means for groups and organisations to change their policies and practice to work towards a fairer and inclusive society for people who are LGBT.

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The training we received from LGBT Youth Scotland focused on health & wellbeing issues in particular, based on the Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People: Health Report (2012). Just over half (56.5%) of LGBT young people (13-25yrs) feel safe and supported by the NHS in terms of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Women within the LGBT population (43.1%) and transgender young people (48.1%) are even less likely to feel supported by the NHS. What really stands out is the fact that 40.1% of LGBT young people consider themselves to have mental ill health. These facts and figures are unfortunately understandable when you consider any person who faces continual discrimination and prejudice for just being who they are.

Our Call to Action: As a National Health Service, we are required to demonstrate our commitment to equality and diversity in accordance with the Equality Act, 2010. Ensuring our legislation and policies meet the needs of the LGBT population is a part of this ongoing process. But it is much more than this. We, as individual staff members within the organisation, have a responsibility to actively take steps to identify and break down these barriers within our own practice and our own services to ensure that people who are LGBT are treated equally and fairly. For more information on how you can begin then please follow this link: https://www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/charter-general    

Thank you.

Laura Lennox is a Speech and Language Therapist at NHS Dumfries and Galloway

 

2 thoughts on “LGBT History Month by Laura Lennox

  1. Thank you Laura for highlighting this important and often neglected and mis-understood group of people in our midst. As someone who has supported a member of the LBGT community for many years, I know just how much prejudice there is, not only within the NHS but also in wider society. Perhaps trying to understand the non-binary nature of gender can be a starting point and as you say, treating everyone as an individual.
    Being LGBT is not a choice, it’s not a life-style decision and the psychological turmoil and physical upset which often goes hand in hand with gender dysphoria or confusion with sexual orientation can be enormous.
    Indeed ‘lumping’ this group of people as LGBT might be lazy on our part; each person must be seen as an individual with their own psychological and physical needs which will be very different from those of any another member of that same amorphous ‘LGBT mass’.

  2. Surely your last sentence would be better as: “each person must be seen as an individual with their own unique psychological and physical needs.”
    I fail to see the relevence of anyone’s perceived orientation whether it be binary or any other number base.

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