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LGBT+ Allyship

Pride Month – A blog in 2 parts (2/2)…

You would think it’s easy right? An organisation such as ours, deeply rooted in human-rights, based on the values of inclusion, that showing solidarity for pride month would be easy. Yet, here we are, the last day of pride, posting. 

Sure, we produced a beautiful rainbow logo, but it seemed a tad tokenistic and shallow to post alone. So, the debate ensued, could solidarity and allyship be sharing definitions of LGBTQIA+ Would that go far enough? Sure, it’s a start, but probably not.

We asked the people we work for and colleagues,

‘Do we do enough’?

One colleague said,

“I have always felt able and supported to be myself since the day I joined C-Change“

When we asked,

‘Do we do enough as individuals and organisationally?’

Another colleague said,

“Individually, probably not, due to lack of knowledge, Organisationally I would say we include everyone”.

How refreshingly honest I thought.  I truly believed we absolutely included everyone, and being part of the LGBTIQ+ community, I thought I had it sussed…until just a few days ago…

I was supporting a person we work for to write her individual recruitment advert. Typing in the letters F-e-m-a-l-e o-n-l-y….my fingertips hovered over the keyboard. Before I even looked up at the screen, it struck me and I knew it’s what we (I) should write about for Pride month. ‘Female only support’.

Again, a few days later, I was typing ‘male only support’. Is that inclusive? Absolutely, it is the choice of people we work for (or sometimes family members) to state a preference of gender for their team of Personal Development Workers, if they so wish. And this is protected by law, as we often read ‘This position is exempt under the equality act of …’  

What about individuals who don’t identify with their gender given at birth? Perhaps transitioning or individuals who are gender neutral, can we better support their application to directly support people we work for where the request is gender specific? It’s not something that has presented itself yet, but in showing our allyship, it’s something we should think about.   

So here we are, reaching out. If this is something you can help us think about, please get in touch. After all,

“We do the best we can until we know better, and when we know better, we do better”.  

Maya Angelou

Part 2 by Susan O’Reilly – Service Development Coordinator

Part 1 by Douglas Graham – Media & Information Coordinator and Sam Smith – CEO


Click here to read Part 1

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