BLOG: Building foundations for an equal LGBT+ future

Fabio Schifano, Regeneration Manager, Southern Housing Group

  • 4 March 2021

As this year’s LGBT+ History Month ends, it is important to remember that LGBT+ equality does not end on Saturday 28 February.

LGBT+ History Month is a time for reflection. At Southern Housing Group we have been celebrating the month by promoting two key principles that are at the heart of LGBT+ equality and they are visibility and ally ship.

It’s crazy to think nowadays that the promotion of homosexuality was illegal only eighteen years ago. The legacy of Section 28 has been extremely damaging for the LGBT+ community and while we have come a long way since then, it is no surprise that LGBT+ people still have fears and experience stigma.

PRISM, Southern Housing Group’s LGBT+ staff and allies’ network, has been leading on a campaign throughout the whole of February to promote diverse LGBT+ colleagues and their allies across all communication channels of the organisation.

Our visibility profiles highlight the personal workplace experiences and the positive impact that being out at work has made for them. For straight allies, their profiles have promoted the importance of ally ship in the workplace and why they are proud to support the LGBT+ community in the fight for equality.

Despite the campaign taking place virtually due to the pandemic the levels of engagement have been heart-warming and encouraging. From a swelling of membership numbers to PRISM to the using of LGBT+ History Month Teams backgrounds to show their support and respect.

Desired destinations on the near horizon

The visibility profiles campaign builds on several initiatives PRISM has led on over the last few months to promote workplace equality. visibility and ally ship have been at the core.

A recent focus has been on trans equality. To mark Transgender Awareness Week, Prism Network invited Joanne Lockwood a trans woman and founder of See Change Happen, to deliver a one-hour lunch and webinar. To date Joanne’s presentation has been one of the best attended in the Group’s 2021 webinar series of talks from expert speakers which cover a range of topics.

During the same week, and to underscore the commitment of the Group to support workplace equality, two new policies were launched to support trans colleagues. and colleagues transitioning at work.

As post-lockdown freedom draws ever closer, it presents us with an opportune time to reflect on the LGBTQ+ equality journey before us. The road ahead is long but, it’s well sign posted, and we are heading in the right direction towards greater visibility and deeper ally ship.

Offering the hand of partnership

PRISM Network welcomes partnership opportunities with other G15 members. If there is an initiative or campaign you would like to collaborate on, please contact our Co-Chairs Adam Blacklee and Ian Pattinson