On Friday 15th May the YMCA Birkenhead, hosted a wonderful event for IDAHOT, the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia, held internationally on the 17th May. IDAHOT events are held both for LGBT and non LGBT people to provide education and also a message of hope and pride to all LGBT people globally.
Wirral IDAHOT was hosted by Terrence Higgins Trust and the Wirral LGBT Network and was well attended by many organisations, including Merseyside Police, The National Probation Service, Tomorrow’s Women, the NHS and of course representatives from Liverpool Trans!
‘I suffered homophobic bullying for years, becoming very insular I had to leave school. I believe IDAHOT can help educate and spread the message of equality with the hope others will not suffer as myself and many others have.’ – Scottie Oxton
The beautifully sunny YMCA gardens greeted us for our arrival, it was here the day began with opening speeches, including an impassioned opener from Henry Poultney, chief organiser of the event, and later in the day the recipient of the YMCA’s Gold Heart in the Community award. Very well deserved!
After feasting on a rather delicious buffet, including a mountain of home baked cakes the workshops began, the first was run by Megan Key, the only out trans person in the probation service and also an Ambassador for Diversity Role Models. Megan spoke about how organisations can help to supporting trans people in the workplace and of her own transition.
‘Over 50% of trans people report discrimination at work and research indicates this is a barrier to career progression. My experience clearly demonstrates that transition does not have to be a difficult process for employers. There is plenty of guidance available to assist businesses in supporting and embracing this change and their reward, if you like, will be to retain talented staff who are more productive and less likely to be off sick, because they are living authentic lives. A collaborative approach will also help the organisation to comply with Equalities legislation.’ – Megan Key
Organisations were asked to sign up to become LGBT ambassadors by Wirral LGBT Network, ensuring training is given and their work places are LGBT friendly places and Danny Kilbride of Thinking Film recorded attendees impressions of the day, what IDAHOT means to them and what we can do as organisations or individuals to effect positive change. We look forward to sharing the finished film.
You can see more of what we got up to on the Liverpool Trans Facebook Page