BLOG: Happy LGBTQI+ History Month to Everyone!

By Faz Bukhari, Chair of the LGBTQI+ Steering Group at One Housing

  • 25 February 2021

It was around this time last year we were excited to launch the LGBTQI+ Steering Group at one Housing! And what an event this was – we had colleagues writing messages of support to each other on little wooden logs in solidarity, we had an ‘ask anything you want noticeboard’ allowing staff to ask questions anonymously, we had a board for ‘guess what the letters in LGBTQI+ mean’ which everyone took a shot at, and it all came together when our CEO Richard Hill and the Executive Team joined us in a cake cutting ceremony. Oh, what joy the launch was! In summary, we had different activities to get the conversation started and it turned out to be a very educational event! Unfortunately, this was the last event that was hosted before the outbreak of COVID-10 and the first lockdown.

Since then, there’s been one thing after the other and I’ve found myself torn between the multiple, yet beautiful, layers of my identity: Race, Gender and Religion. The summer of 2020 will be one that will never be forgotten, not only because of the brutal murder of George Floyd and other black men and women in America but because that time brought a lot of things to the surface, things that existed for many years but not ever given prolonged and serious notice. Things such as inequalities within the healthcare sector of Black and POC people, anti-trans and transphobic comments across the world, laws discriminating trans rights, and the numerous attacks across the world on women who wear the hijab. So, it’s only fitting that the theme for this year is Mind, Body and Spirit and a very important one for us to all reflect on.

When I did my first ever blog post for colleagues at One Housing in 2016, I had one vision and one aim: for everyone to bring their true self to work. And the blog went viral! The responses, the support and the love I received from my colleagues was astounding and warm to say the least. So I embarked on a journey and a commitment to making that happen! I am beyond proud to say that we are working together to ensure One Housing is more inclusive across the board. We now have gender neutral toilets in our main offices, we are working on policies and procedures, and we have three active diversity groups who are raising awareness throughout the organisation.

In the beautiful words of Bob Marley ‘if you don’t know where you come from, you don’t know where you are going’. It’s so important for us to reflect on our privileges and be pro-active in becoming more inclusive, supportive and unified.

You are Loved

You are Valid

You are Beautiful