The International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia was supported by local politicians, students and voluntary LGBT/HIV sector organisations this evening.
Leaders of the Labour and Conservative group on Brighton and Hove Council were keynote speakers at tonights IDAHOBIT event in New Steine Gardens.
May 17 commemorates the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental health diseases. In 86 countries globally, homosexual acts remain illegal while in many countries lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and those who identify as trans are often murdered simply because of their sexuality or gender identity.
Green Councillor Geoffrey Bowden read a message from Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighon Pavilion who had to withdraw due to family commitments. Cllr Bowden a former Pride trustee recently controversially said “Pride is not a sacred cow” at full council in defending his decision not to reinstate the annual £25,000 council grant to Brighton Pride. His decision was successfully reversed with support of an ammendent by the Labour and Conservative Groups on Brighton & Hove City Council.
Students from Brighton’s Universities carried a 60 metre rainbow flag up St James Street and into New Steine Gardens and the Rainbow Chorus conducted by their musical director, Aneesa Chaudhry sang beautifully at the beginning and end of the evening.
The Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Cllr Brian Fitch welcomed everyone to the event and Katy Bourne the Police and Crime Commissioner congratulated the LGBT Community Safety Forum on organising the evenings proceedings and their work helping reduce hate crime in the city.
Dr Sam Hall from the Clare Project spoke passionately about the importance of getting the prefix right when addressing a trans person while the contribution of Nick Douglas a paid worker at Switchboard, highlighted why some volunteer LGBT/HIV organisations choose not to work in partnership with Brighton & Hove LGBT Switchboard.
The evening finished on a positive note with Joanna Rowland-Stuart speaking on behalf of Regard, the national organisation of disabled LGBT people explaining how this year, special efforts were being made to include the needs of deaf and disabled LGBT people at this years Pride by the LGBT Community Safety Forum who are organising all access issues at this years event.
A minutes noise followed as the Rainbow Flag was raised to bring the evening to a close.
Speakers during the evening included:
The Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Cllr Brian Fitch
Katy Bourne, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner
Cllr Geoffrey Theobald, Leader of the Conservative Group on Brighton and Hove City Council
Cllr Warren Morgan, Leader of the Labour and Cooperative Group on Brighton and Hove City Council
Dr Sam Hall, The Clare Project
Shane Murray, co-president of Allsorts Youth Project
Gary Pargeter, Lunch Positive
Rory Smith: LGBT Liaison / Hate Crime Co-ordinator
Aneesa Chaudhry: The Voice Box
Ed Whelan: FTMB
Pc Rich Bridger: Brighton & Hove Division, LGBT Neighbourhood Policing Team
Alex Hyatt: MindOut Mental Health Project
Amaryllis Strong: Brighton Bothways bi-sexual group
Simon Dowe: Chief Executive at The Sussex Beacon
Rev. Michael Hydes: Metropolitan Community Church
Nick Douglas: LGBT Switchboard
Anthony White: LGBT+Campaigns officer, Brighton Student’s Union
Joanna Rowland-Stuart: REGARD, the National LGBT disabled organisation
For more information about the LGBT Community Safety Forum, CLICK HERE: