LGBT+ History Month is relevant to you

Lee Matthews, specialist pain physio, gives five reasons why recognising this month isn’t just for people like him

Lee Matthews specialist pain physio, Queen’s Hospital, Romford
Lee Matthews specialist pain physio, Queen’s Hospital, Romford

Drawing attention to the fact that society is made up of a diverse group in terms of sexuality and gender benefits everyone. The danger of a conformist society is that any deviation from it is ridiculed or punished. What about a ‘straight’ man who wears a pink shirt? Or has shoulder length hair? Or a heterosexual girl who dresses like a ‘tomboy’? Even minor deviations in gender conformity suffer.

So LGBT+ History Month can:

  1. draw attention to historic events and prominent figures, and honour the efforts, hardship and suffering that led to where we are now.
  2. highlight how LGBTQIA+ rights are relevant both at home and abroad.
  3. demonstrate how civil rights move backwards as well as forwards.
  4. raise awareness that hate crimes are rising.
  5. educate – which benefits everyone.

I sometimes hold my partner’s hand when we go to the theatre, maybe even a peck on the cheek when we say farewell at a station. In the UK, for many LGBTQIA+ couples any public display of affection isn’t without a risk assessment first. There are many countries where this could lead to me being arrested, put in prison or the death penalty. The 2022 World Cup highlighted that being gay could lead to a prison sentence in Qatar.

Statistics from the Home Office show transphobic hate crime reached a record high in the UK last year. Colorado Springs saw a recent shooting at an LGBTQIA+ nightclub. 

Our world is full of people living different lifestyles. LGBT+ History Month is an opportunity for all to learn and find better ways of treating each other, shaping a fairer society. Read about your fellow members’ experiences here in this article titled 'Being your whole self at work'

Elsewhere in this issue, you can read about what to do as a manager if a microaggression is reported to you. This is part of the CSP’s new campaign, which chief executive Karen Middleton focuses on in her monthly column.

Being a visibly LGBTQIA+ friendly workplace is vital in a caring profession if we are to deliver non-judgemental and equitable healthcare for all.

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