Tag Archives: Stonewall

The UK’s School LGBT Bullying Projects Axed by Government

The UK’s government-backed projects tackling bullying of LGBT students in England’s schools has had its funding pulled.

The decision came despite an earlier pledge to continue investing in school programmes targeting homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

The Government Equalities Office had funded several well-received programmes costing at least £4m, which specifically targeted LGBT bullying, since 2014. Many had been extended and given further government support.

Initially called The Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Challenge Fund, the government programme was not compulsory for schools, but it allowed teachers, staff and students to receive free training and workshops.

Providers of workshops, as well as parents, students and teachers, had been expecting the funding to continue.

The government acknowledges the serious impact anti-LGBT bullying can have on educational attainment, absence levels, emotional wellbeing and mental health.

But they say the funding was always due to come to an end.

The Government Equalities Office said: “The anti-bullying grant fund, which provided 2,250 schools across the country with materials and training, was always due to end in March 2020.”

However, this is the first time that the funding has not been extended since it was originally announced in October 2014 by the then Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan.

There was shock among providers of workshops, as well as parents, students and teachers who had expecting the funding to continue.

One provider of LGBT inclusion workshops, who wanted to remain anonymous as they feared that speaking out would jeopardise any future possible funding, said schools and programme providers had been expecting a further extension.

Her organisation was waiting for another funding announcement at the beginning of November, inviting new applications for grants.

She said she felt “sick” that schools would not be able to continue their work, and claimed her organisation had been “ignored” and “shut out” by the government, even though its programmes were well-received.

“This decision will only serve to further marginalise LGBT young people,” said Tulip Siddiq MP, shadow minister for children and early years.

“The government itself has admitted that young people who identify as LGBT have higher risk of bullying and long-term harm to their education, health and wellbeing, so to be pulling away financial support from those fighting this abuse is especially callous.”

The equalities charity Stonewall noted that the news had emerged during anti-bullying week, and a day after the anniversary of the repeal of section 28, a notorious clause in the Local Government Act 1988 that banned local authorities from “promoting homosexuality”.

Nancy Kelley, the chief executive of Stonewall, said that young LGBTQ+ people still face significant problems in England’s schools and the organisation’s 2017 School Report had revealed that nearly half of LGBTQ+ pupils (45%) were still bullied for being themselves.

“We know LGBT people are disproportionately affected by poor mental health, and some of this is because of the way they were treated at school,” she added. “This is why it’s crucial this government invests money in funding anti-LGBT bullying programmes across England. We can’t leave students to suffer in silence.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Bullying is never acceptable in any form, and we must all take a stand against bullying to create a safe place for all children in the classroom and online.

“Our new relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) guidance and training resources will give schools the confidence to construct a curriculum that reflects diversity of views and backgrounds, whilst fostering respect for others and the understanding of healthy relationships.”

Nevertheless, the release of messages to mark anti-bullying week and a video in which the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, spoke about the issue were met with criticism by others who took issue with the ending of the LGBTQ+ funding.

The Conservative party’s 2019 manifesto for government included a pledge to continue to help teachers tackle bullying, including homophobic bullying. Civil servants were evaluating the grant fund programme “to increase our evidence base on what works in schools,” according to the Government Equalities Office.

Metro, a charity that delivered training in schools and colleges under the fund, tweeted that its work to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying funded was “hugely impactful” but added that continued funding was needed.

Hate Crime Against LGBT People In Britain Up 78% In Just 4 Years, Stonewall Research Shows

The new research by Stonewall (based on YouGov polling of over 5,000 LGBT people) has kicked off the group’s #ComeOutForLGBT campaign to encourage people to report hate crimes and show support.

Currently, 80% of hate crimes against LGBT people are not reported to the police, the research found.

Chief Executive of Stonewall, Ruth Hunt said:

While we have come a long way in the past 25 years, it is clear there is still a huge amount of work we need to do before all LGBT people can feel safe, included and free to be themselves in Britain today.

This report warns against complacency, and stands as a call to action for everyone who supports equality. We now need to work together, to bring forward the day when no individual faces hatred or discrimination simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

At Stonewall, we want everyone across Britain who feels impacted by reading this report to join our campaign and pledge to come out for LGBT people everywhere, as visible allies.

Together we can create a world where LGBT people are accepted without exception.”

Beyond its headline figures, the research also broke down the numbers for hate crimes directed at certain groups within the LGBT community, with some groups at much greater risks of incidents than others.

Trans people were especially at risk of such incidents, with 41% experiencing a hate crime or hate incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months.

And 34% of black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT people have experienced a hate crime based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months, compared with 20% of white LGBT people.

Stonewall has made the following recommendations for LGBT people:

  1. Take a visible stand against LGBT hate crime, join Stonewall’s ‘Come Out for LGBT’ campaign and show your support for LGBT equality in all forms. Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to join the campaign.
  2. Call out online anti-LGBT abuse whenever you see it, so long as it is safe to do so. Support those being targeted by letting them know you are an ally.
  3. Let local business owners know if you witness an anti-LGBT incident from staff or other customers so that they can tackle it. Make clear that they could risk losing you and others as customers if they don’t
  4. Report incidents of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic discrimination you experience when accessing public services like housing or social services to the service provider or local council so they can take action. Contact Stonewall’s Information Service on 08000 50 20 20 for advice and support.

Here’s Why Lesbian Visibility Day Is So Important To Our Community

Being a queer woman – that is, a woman who identifies herself as lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer, or anything other than heterosexual and is attracted to other women – isn’t always easy.

Finding positive portrayals of queer women in media isn’t easy either. So it’s important that together we keep our representation strong.

Today is lesbian visibility day – a day which started in the US almost 10 years ago. It is a day to celebrate lesbian life and culture and all our diversity.

Hundreds Show Twitter Solidarity For Lesbian Who Was Assaulted For What She Was Wearing

Hundreds of people have taken pictures of themselves wearing a tie in solidarity of Helena Martins who was attacked in south London last week.

Martins was yards from her home when she was punched in the face and strangled with her tie in what she believes was a hate crime.

In her Facebook post after the attack, she wrote:

I don’t think I’ll be rocking a tie in the near future. Today, one street away from my home, I was assaulted by a man who just went berserk at me, trying to pull my tie off. I’ve got a scratched and punched face, a sore neckline by all the tie pulling and a very bruised soul.”

Martins, who has lost her hearing due to Ménière’s disease, lost her cochlear earplant, which she relies on to hear, in the assault.


She wrote that homophobia and transphobia are “still very much alive”, and said:

If you hear or see someone making fun with pub jokes, harassing or bullying of LGBT people, making comments while watching TV or a movie or whatever… Act. Speak out. Some women wear ties, some men wear skirts. Get the heck over it. One thing is true: I shouldn’t be punched in the face for wearing a tie.”

Her experience has now inspired a friend to start #TieForHelena, asking people on social media to wear a tie on Tuesday 15 December in to show their support.

In a blog post, Patrick Smith wrote:

I think that we should show support for Helena by all of us wearing a tie – so we can all rock that look. If you already wear a tie to work, then great, you’re part of the gang. If you don’t, then for one day, please do. You can wear it rakishly, dashingly, with a suit, with slacks, or maybe even ‘Rambo style’ like we used to on the school playground occasionally. However you wear it, please take a photo and upload it to social media with the hashtag #TieForHelena.”

Sarah Moore from Stonewall, who have called on supporters to wear their ties today, said:

We believe that people of all genders should have the freedom to present their aesthetic and use clothing to express themselves in any way they choose, without fear of confrontation. Helena’s bravery and commitment to transforming this awful incident into something positive is remarkable, and we’re honoured that she is choosing to raise money for us.

Our work to end homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and hate crime will continue until everyone, everywhere is free to express who they are and is accepted without exception.”

Thanking those who’ve taken part, Helena said:

I didn’t plan to wear a tie today. Last night while doing wife’s tie knot I felt really uncomfortable, but after seeing all the posts on Facebook and Twitter, I’m feeling the love and joy. Love conquers everything – hate included.”


Historians Discuss The Often Under-Appreciated Queer Female Pioneers Of Our Past (Video)

To celebrate LGBT History Month in the USA, HuffPost Live talked with lesbian historians Lillian Faderman (author of The Gay Revolution: The Story Of The Struggle) and Bonnie Morris (Professor of Women’s Studies, George Washington University and Georgetown University) to celebrate the often under-appreciated women-loving-women pioneers,

The discussion is focused on lesbians’ roles in the Stonewall movement, Sappho, Jane Addams, the Feminist movements, and trace lesbian representation in pop culture.

Watch below…

Stonewall Gets Terrible Reviews, Bombs at the Box Office

Based on the Stonewall riots of 1969, an event which is regarded as the birth of the modern LGBT rights movement, Stonewall stars Jeremy Irvine as fictional gay white man Danny Winters. In director Roland Emmerich’s take on the historic events, Danny threw the first brick of the riots and was a leading and important figure in the protests.

Backlash to the film has been widespread, from were actually at the Stonewall riots as well as members of the LGBT community who feel that the film does not, in any way, accurately portray the real events.

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Many of the leaders in the riots, which saw police clash with patrons of New York’s Stonewall Inn bar, were trans women and trans women of colour such as Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, while a black butch lesbian, Stormé DeLarverie, was the first person at the riots to throw a punch.

However, Emmerich’s Stonewall only features Marsha P. Johnson (played by a cis man, no less), making no mention of the others, despite Emmerich’s comments that the movie “honors” Rivera and the rest of the real-life activists who were there.

As a result, many critics have panned the film, calling it an abominable bungling of what happened, and that, even as a dramatised retelling of the events, it just doesn’t hold up.

Over on The Heights, Hannah McLaughlin says that the film “couldn’t be more whitewashed than if it was doused in Clorox Bleach and thrown into the laundry three times over”. Meanwhile, Andrew O’Hehir at Salon compares the film to “saying that Rosa Parks was a tired lady who decided she’d rather rest her feet” and says that “the process of forgetting “Stonewall” begins now, and the erasure will be total”.

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Meanwhile, Richard Lawson at Vanity Fair calls Stonewall a “disaster movie” and that it’s “perhaps even worse than some feared it would be—more offensive, more white-washed, even more hackishly made”, and “it’s so bad that it’s hard to know where to begin a catalogue of the film’s sins”, says the writer.

These are just excerpts from a handful of absolutely abysmal reviews, but the majority of reviews about the film have called it atrocious in some way, shape or form. Movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has Stonewall at just 10% (which is essentially a rating of 1 out of 10), indicating that this one is well and truly rotten.

And though Roland Emmerich has responded to the criticisms of his film, the director seems to suggest that those who watched the film just didn’t seem to ‘get it’. In an interview with Buzzfeed, the director explains that

I didn’t make this movie only for gay people, I made it also for straight people. I kind of found out, in the testing process, that actually, for straight people, [Danny] is a very easy in. Danny’s very straight-acting. He gets mistreated because of that. [Straight audiences] can feel for him”.

People having responded negatively to this too, saying that a film about LGBT history, that features LGBT people shouldn’t have to ‘pander’ to straight viewers and that if that’s what straight viewers need to sympathised with an oppressed group of people, then that’s their problem, not ours. However, Emmerich has also said that once people see the film, they’ll feel positively about it.

Unfortunately, it seems that few people are interested in seeing Stonewall as, in what many would call a ‘karmic balance’, the film has utterly tanked at the box office. It cost over $15 million to make but it raked in just $112,414 during its opening weekend and with 129 theatres showing it, that’s an average of $871 and 107 people per theatre.

Stonewall’s box office embarrassment and the backlash, while it has led to people (both LGBT and cis/straight) researching what actually happened during the riots, has raised questions about the future of LGBTQ+ focused films. Does this mean that fewer Hollywood companies will be willing to make them due to a perceived risk?

Or does it just mean that filmmakers will take the time to consider what the community wants, rather than catering to the (already well catered to) needs of straight, cisgendered moviegoers? For now, the answers are unclear but we’ll be quick to update you on all of the silver screen’s relevant goings on.

Why Are The ‘Stonewall’ Movie Makers Trying to Rewrite Our Queer History?

Things have never been completely easy for LGBTQ people in society, but this was especially clear during the 1960s.

During this time, it was custom for gay/LGBT-friendly bars in the United States to be raided by the police and in the summer of 1969, iconic New York bar The Stonewall Inn was such a target.

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Unlike the usual raid process, in which women would be taken to the bathroom so that a police officer could determine their sex (with trans women being arrested) and men having to produce their ids. Many trans women refused to be checked and men refused to hand over their ids, and so the police planned to take many of them to the police station.

However, with transport having not yet arrived and with those who hadn’t been arrested staying, a crowd began to grow outside of the bar.

As tensions rose between Stonewall Inn patrons, LGBTQ bystanders and the police, violence soon ensued, with LGBTQ folk being assaulted and verbally abused and with bricks, bottles and more being thrown.

With chanting and singing, the events soon erupted into a full on riot and in all, there were three days of further rioting and protests as LGBTQ people were fed up of being mistreated by both the police and the mafia (who ran The Stonewall Inn at the time). The Stonewall Riots were also the basis for the gay pride events that we know today.

It’s these events that filmmaker Roland Emmerich aimed to capture in his upcoming movie Stonewall.

The film follows a character named Danny Winters (a white, cisgendered, gay man) and his involvements in the riots. But Danny is fictional; the character doesn’t exist and Emmerich created him for the sake of the movie, something that doesn’t sit right with many of the people who were both there and have also learnt about the original events.

Stonewall Riots film 01

Emmerich explained to Vulture that he created Danny as “if you can cast a central character with one or two famous actors, you have a good chance to get the movie financed” but the Stonewall riots didn’t have a central character (according to the filmmaker).

Many have disagreed with this statement, point out that there were key figures in the events, particularly trans women of colour such as Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, who are regarded of leaders of the event. And there’s also butch lesbian Stormé DeLarverie who is believed to have thrown the very first punch of the riots.

The frustration comes not just from the fact that a white gay man is taking centre stage, as often happens in LGBTQ-themed media, but it’s that the film is just historically inaccurate.

In a statement, Emmerich says that when Stonewall is released, “audiences will see that it deeply honors the real-life activists who were there — including Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Ray Castro”, but the filmmaker clearly fails to realise that Sylvia Rivera isn’t even portrayed in the film at all.

Those in favour of the film are keen to note that the film is highly dramatised and isn’t meant to be historically accurate, but one big question is: then why did Emmerich decide to use the Stonewall riots as a foundations for the movie? Why even call it ‘Stonewall’ if it didn’t try and stay true to what actually happened?

Others have criticised the backlash to the movie as people being unfair to white, cis, gay men, but given that trans women of colour are the most common target of anti-LGBTQ violence, are often left out of the LGBTQ rights conversation and are also massively underrepresented in the media, you can understand why people are furious why they’re being written out of their own history too.

New Film About Stonewall Riots to Get a September Release

We are very excited to hear director Roland Emmerich’s film about the 1969 Stonewall riots, is set to open in US theatres on 25 September.

Stonewall Riots fim 03

Emmerich who also produced the movie, said in a statement

I was always interested and passionate about telling this important story, but I feel it has never been more timely than right now.”

Emmerich, also points out that less than 50 years ago being gay was considered a mental illness, gay people could not be employed by the government, it was illegal for gay people to congregate and police brutality against gays went unchecked.

Today, thanks to the events set in motion by the Stonewall riots, the gay rights movement continues to make incredible strides towards equality. In the past several weeks alone, the Boy Scouts of America has moved to lift its ban on gay leaders, the Pentagon will allow transgender people to serve openly in the military, and SCOTUS has declared that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide in all 50 states.”

Emmerich points to the Stonewall riots as ‘the first time gay people said “Enough!”‘

Stonewall Riots film 02

Something that really affected me when I read about Stonewall was that when the riot police showed up in their long line, these kids formed their own long line and sang a raunchy song. That, for me, was a gay riot, a gay rebellion. … It was the kids that went to this club that consisted of hustlers and Scare Queens, and all kinds of people that you think would never resist the police, and they did it.”

The film – written by openly gay writer Jon Robin Baitz, and stars Jeremy Irvine and newcomer Jonny Beauchamp – focuses on fictional young man who is kicked out of his parent’s home for being gay.

Stonewall Riots film 01

The man flees to New York, where he befriends a group of street kids in Greenwich Village who soon introduce him to the local watering hole The Stonewall Inn.

He and his friends experience discrimination and are repeatedly harassed by the police and a rage begins to build until it erupts in a storm of anger.

The film was shot in and around Montreal with an elaborate set recreating the interior and exterior of the Stonewall Inn and the entire Christopher Street neighbourhood.

One Million People Expected to Attend London’s Pride Parade

Last year organisers of London Pride estimated around 700,000 people witnessed the parade, with around 30,000 people participating, this Saturday’s celebrations could be seen by nearly a million.

That number is likely to include tourists and shoppers in the West End, who see the parade, pass by but were not actively participating in the event.

Wembley Arch and the London Eye will be lit up in rainbow colours, to celebrate the parade.

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Michael Salter, Chairman of Pride in London said:

It’s incredible to see how Pride in London has grown over the last three years to quickly become the biggest Pride event in the country.

The annual Pride Parade now includes over 250 groups representing the incredible diversity of London’s LGBT+ community. And this year’s Parade theme Pride Heroes will ensure this is the most colourful and exhilarating Parade the city has ever seen.”


Stonewall Says They’re “Looking Forward” to Working With the Tories

Ruth Hunt, the chief executive of Stonewall, has said she looks forward to working with the newly-elected Conservative government, but that the charity will hold MPs to account when it comes to their manifesto promises.

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In the wake of last week’s election, she said that Parliament is “richer and stronger for the diversity of voices within in” – but also expressed disappointment for the lack of representation for the trans community.

Also read:

We’re encouraged that people took to the pols and voted – and that more than 25 openly lesbian, gay or bisexual MPs have been elected, making this the largest group of openly LGBT MPs to date.

Looking ahead, our MPs can’t forget the manifesto commitments they made to the LGBT community. We must see those words translated into tangible actions.

The Conservatives, alongside the Liberal Democrats, have had an impressive track record at Westminster over the last five years and we look forward to working closely with the new government towards achieving equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people here and abroad.”


Stonewall Strengthens Board of Trustees with New Hires

Stonewall has announced the appointment of three new Trustees.  Katie Cornhill, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah and Tim Toulmin will join Stonewall’s established Board, led by Chair Jan Gooding, with immediate effect.

On the appointment, Jan said:

We are thrilled to welcome Katie, Phyll and Tim to the Stonewall Board. Their range of experience will help us to ensure that we reflect the needs of the diverse LGBT community.  A great deal of progress has been made towards legislative equality, but there is still a lot more to do, and many more communities to reach, until we can say that equality has been achieved for LGBT people. Our new Board members will work closely with the Stonewall leadership team as we continue on this journey.”

Katie is a Manager at the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, where she has worked for 17 years, and is seconded as the Functional Lead for Prevention, Protection and Safety at the Fire Service College. Her extensive knowledge of the public sector will support Stonewall’s work in this area. In addition, as a trans woman, Katie will help to guide the organisation as it undergoes the process of becoming fully trans inclusive and engaging further with trans communities.

Phyll is co-founder and Executive Director of UK Black Pride. She is also the Head of Campaigns for the largest civil service trade union, PCS. Phyll brings with her an unwavering commitment to workplace equality and social justice, which has secured her a seat on the TUC LGBT Committee. She also sits on the Board for Justice for Gay Africans which focuses on Human Rights, Equal Rights, challenging racism and discrimination. Phyll will play a vital role as Stonewall broadens its reach and goes deeper into communities in Britain and abroad.

Tim is the founder and Managing Director of Alder Media, a London-based communications agency. He is a director of travel PR firm MyTravelPressOffice and a Specialist Partner of Pagefield Communications. He is also a Trustee of the charity ‘Parents and Abducted Children Together’. His vast communications experience will be central to Stonewall as it continues to engage new audiences and work towards achieving equality for LGBT people in all aspects of their lives.


Homophobia Amongst Teen Boys Is on the Rise, Says Mental Health Charity

Although a majority of people in countries like the US and the UK now support LGBTQ rights, there’s still a (vocal) minority who still oppose them and the existence of LGBTQ people themselves. While they are clearly on the wrong side of change, homophobia can have a serious impact on a person’s mental health and, as we have unfortunately seen in the past, can lead people to taking their own lives.

Recently, LGBTQ charity Stonewall spoke up about the risk of ‘complacency’, saying that we need to make sure we tackle anti-LGBTQ opinions and now mental health charity Beyondblue has backed that up with a survey; and the data is damning.

Beyondblue interviewed 304 teenage boys in Australia, each of them aged between 14 and 17. They quizzed them on their opinions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people and found that 21% of them agreed that it was hard to treat them the same as their cis, heterosexual peers and 27% of the boys said agreed with the statement “The way I treat lesbian, gay or bisexual people doesn’t really matter as I don’t meet many.” Worse still, one in five of those who responded said that LGBTI people should hide their identity and 38% weren’t sure (or disagreed) when they were asked if they’d be happy to include an LGBTI person in their friendship group. 40% said that they were uncomfortable around LGBTI people.

Beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman says that:

We know levels of psychological distress among LGBTI people are much, much higher than the rest of the population, and suicide rates among this [part of the] population is also incredibly high. Having people tease you and making you feel worthless at school can be incredibly damaging, and the research is consistently telling us we need to educate young men in particular that discriminating against LGBTI people is not only harmful, it’s ridiculous and not cool.”

As a result, her organisation has put together a new advertising campaign to tackle these anti-LGBTQ opinions. There is a short film accompanied by the hashtag #StopThinkRespect and this will be rolled out across social media as well as being displayed on gambling websites, at cinemas and other places frequented by young men.

Harman has also said that she doesn’t know why Australia’s young men hold these views but hopefully their campaign will change their minds for the better.

UK LGBT People Should Fear Government ‘Complacency’, Says Stonewall

If you’ve been following the debates in the run up to the UK’s general election in May, then you’ll know that the top three deciding ‘issues’ that will determine which party gets into power are: immigration, the NHS and the economy. British people want to know how the government is going to cut the deficit, they want to know how the government is going to curb the rise in immigration (or at least build better infrastructure to cope with it) and how the government is going to stop the NHS from going under or going private.

Most notably not a talking point this time around is equality.

England, Scotland and Wales all have marriage equality and all three countries also have laws that permit adoption of children by same-sex couples or allow same-sex partners to be listed on a child’s birth certificate. Northern Ireland is a little bit behind when it comes to LGBT equality but it’s slowly but surely getting there.

The problem Stonewall has is that although the laws that have been passed already are important and are vital on the road to full equality, they are nowhere near comprehensive. There are still great changes that need to be done but “people assume that legal equality is enough by itself” and “there is still a lot to do to change social attitudes towards LGBT people”.

In a Huffington Post article, the LGBTQ organisation explains that the following need to be addressed by the main political parties of the coming election:

  • “Statutory Sex and Relationship Education for primary and secondary school children in England. This includes talking about different types of families to make people aware of the diversity of family life. It also means ensuring that the issues facing LGBT young people are included across the board, including in discussions around consent, abuse and online safety. Finally, Stonewall is calling on the next government to show its commitment to tackling homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying by ensuring all teachers are trained effectively.
  • Combatting homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime. This must be high priority and should be added to the list of ‘aggravated’ offences alongside hate crime based on race or religion. The next government should spearhead a campaign that encourages LGBT people to report all incidences of hate crime; we must abolish the notion that some incidents are not serious enough to report.
  • International aid. The next government must develop initiatives to ensure aid reaches LGBT people across the world. It should encourage its partners to embed LGBT equality into the way they plan and deliver aid, with the support of LGBT people in their countries, and it should make specific funding available for LGBT groups to achieve social change.
  • Reviewing the laws affecting trans people. We also know that across the UK trans people have to fight for the right to be themselves, often struggling with a legal system that doesn’t make that easy. That’s why we’re asking all candidates to commit to reviewing laws affecting trans people, including the Gender Recognition Act, to ensure that all trans people are treated as equal citizens with equal rights.”

Unfortunately, none of these things have been mentioned in a positive light or at all during this election season. For example, the UK Independence Party (commonly known known as UKIP) has come under fire for its views on LGBT equality, having opposed several rulings that would help tackle homophobia against same-sex couples moving from the UK to other parts of the EU and in 2014 they didn’t support the calls to work on a strategy that tackle homophobia across Europe. Whilst UKIP certainly isn’t alone in its poor LGBT track record, the fact that LGBT rights have only really come up when a member of UKIP has said something against them is rather telling.

There’s just one month to go until the UK general election (May 7) so it seems unlikely that any of the leading political parties will change their tune between now and then, but we should still push for them to take action no matter what.

UK’s Equalities Minister Asks Foreign Governments To Clarify Rights Of British Gays and Lesbians Working & Travelling Abroad

The UK’s equalities minister, Jo Swinson, has written to the authorities in more than 70 countries and foreign jurisdictions in an attempt to clarify the rights of gay and lesbian people who are working or travelling abroad.

The main question asked is does their national and regional governments recognise British civil partnerships and marriages between same-sex couples, and what rights gay people can expect when they travel.

Swinson has also urged those countries that need to make legislative changes to reflect recent developments in British law around equal marriage to do so.

“One of the things we committed to do in the coalition agreement is recognising that for gay people who are in a civil partnership or now have got married, and who are travelling, working or studying abroad, for them to know what their rights are in that country and ideally to have their partnership or marriage recognised would make a big difference.”

Jo Swinson

However, she acknowledged that the list of jurisdictions contacted was limited and included many whose marriages and civil partnerships are recognised by the UK.

At present the Government Equalities Office has no plans to contact all countries to urge them to recognise UK gay marriages and partnerships, though Swinson said the Foreign Office had encouraged British diplomats to raise the issue.

“They obviously make a degree of local judgment about when is the right time to raise these issues. Sad to say, there are plenty of countries where LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] rights are in a dreadful state and the people in those countries themselves suffer greatly, and I’m not going to have rose-tinted specs to think that those countries are going to rush to recognise our same-sex marriages.

But there are plenty of countries that do have a much more positive approach, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t recognise our partnerships.”

Jo Swinson

Following the implementation last year of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act and Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act, same-sex couples in England, Wales and Scotland can choose to enter into marriages or civil partnerships, which give the same legal rights. Northern Ireland law permits civil partnerships, but does not allow same-sex marriage.

Ruth Hunt, chief executive of the charity Stonewall, said the government move was encouraging

“It’s also important to remember the bigger and more complex picture of international rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. There are still 77 countries where same-sex relations are illegal. Five of these countries impose the death penalty for being gay. There’s still so much left to do to create a safer environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people – both here and abroad.

Stonewall worked with human rights defenders from over 30 countries in 2014, and we hope to continue sharing our knowledge and experience with these groups to ensure they know how to campaign in their countries most effectively for change.”

Ruth Hunt

The UK recognises gay marriages in the 19 countries that allow them, while same-sex partnerships in 54 other countries and territories are recognised as civil partnerships in Britain.


Countries and territories that recognise UK same-sex marriages and civil partnerships

Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
(Source: UK government Equalities Office)

Countries and jurisdictions contacted by government to clarify their position on recognising UK same-sex marriages and civil partnerships

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bermuda, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Falklands, Greenland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Nepal, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay, US (50 states, plus District of Columbia, and five overseas territories = 56 jurisdictions)
(Source: UK government Equalities Office)

Countries in which homosexual acts are illegal

Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Burma, India, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen

Latin America & Caribbean
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.

Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu

Cook Islands (New Zealand), Gaza (in the Occupied Palestinian Territory), South Sumatra and Aceh province (Indonesia)

Countries in which the legal status of homosexual acts is unclear or uncertain


Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual UK Servicemen And Women Are Now Willingly Out Themselves On Their Military Records

Hundreds of gay, lesbian and bisexual servicemen and women have willingly outed themselves on their military records in the UK.

Around 250 servicemen and 181 servicewomen ­said they are homosexual on files, while 86 men and 18 women were bisexual.

However, 829 men and 102 women chose to keep their sexuality secret – many because of fear of bullying, says a military source.

This first official audit came after the Ministry of Defence gave service personnel the option to reveal their sexual orientation in January.

An MoD spokesman said:

“The MoD proudly encourages diversity. Personnel are now encouraged to declare their orientation. Although this is not mandatory, collecting this data will give us a better understanding of the composition of our Armed Forces and help ­ensure policies fully support our personnel.”

Another military source applauded the news, but warned more must be done.

“The fact many troops feel ­confident enough to declare their ­sexuality on their personal documents is a major step forward in the right direction. But homophobic bullying still exists within the military and it is a problem, which isn’t going away. The armed forces need to ensure that they continue the good work because there is a lot more to be done. 

The Ministry of Defence should not be complacent because some troops feel confident enough to declare their sexuality.”

Stonewall, however estimates there could be at least 10,000 LGBT troops serving in the UK armed forces, but many fearing abuse and prejudice, which stops them from coming out.

Recently lesbian soldier, Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher, won £124,000 in 2009 for sexual harassment that led to her quitting the Royal Artillery. And one general recently ­revealed he is ­preparing to out himself in protest over homophobic ­comments made by a colleague.

“I never ­considered outing myself until ­another very senior officer said he believed that ­admission of­ ­homosexuality by a senior ­officer would be career suicide. I actually felt like saying, ‘Actually I’m gay and it has never prevented me from serving Queen and country’. “I was furious, but in the end I let the comment pass. Over the last few weeks, I started to ask myself whether the time had come for someone of my rank to speak out and say you can serve your country at the highest levels as a gay man or woman.”


LGB Seniors Face High Levels of Homophobia, Study Shows

One of the biggest challenges faced by our aging population is how they will be cared for as they get older. One top of physical and mental health stability, some elderly people may find themselves having to go to care institutions or relying on the help of friends and family to get by.

Consider the problems of an aging queer population then who don’t just have to face care issues but must also consider homophobia and discrimination when making their future care decisions.

Given that many of the UKs senior were alive before homosexuality was decriminalised in 1967, many may have faced persecution for their sexuality in the past. They may have even been kicked out of homes, fired from jobs or just generally been mistreated because of it. So it’s understandable that in later life, as the UK becomes more accepting of LGBT people, that LGB seniors would want to finally be treated with respect.


Sadly though, according to a Stonewall survey about the matter, not only are LGB seniors facing high levels of homophobia, but they are also deeply concerned that the care available to them cannot accommodate or understand their needs as LGB people.

According to their findings (which were taken from LGB people over the age of 55), LGB seniors are more likely to have histories of poor mental health, are more likely to suffer from anxiety (one in three people) and depression (two in five people), are more likely to take drugs (1 in 11 LGB seniors as opposed to 1 in 50 heterosexual seniors) and drink alcohol more often too (45% drink regularly in comparison to 31% of heterosexuals). Their report also stated that half of all LGB seniors feel as though their sexuality will have a negative impact on their life as they get older.

John, from London told Stonewall that “There is a severe lack of understanding about the particular needs of older lesbian and gay people, especially from some faith-based organisations that provide care services”, meanwhile Rita from the South East added that “Although things are improving, there is still a lot of ignorance at least, homophobia at worst, among health and social care people.”

While there’s hope that a lack of understanding could be improved with proper training and so on, the UK’s population needs this assistance now and cannot wait years down the line when a care worker suddenly realises that LGB discrimination has no right being in the workplace. Furthermore, the life expectancy of UK citizens is now a massive 81 years and is expected to rise with improvements to medical treatment – this means that more of us will need care than ever and that more of us stand a likelihood of being discriminated against because of our identities.

It’s unclear just what’s being done to combat this but with Stonewall being such a prominent group, there’s hope that their new study will change the homophobic tides.

Source: Stonewall

LGBT History Month | The Founders of Stonewall Reflect On The Organisations Formation

As a gay women living in the UK, I watch this and release how much this organisation has actually done for me.

In the summer of 2014 the founders of Stonewall came together to reflect on the formation of Stonewall. Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, was joined by founding members Matthew Parris, Michael Cashman, Fi Cunningham-Reid, Lisa Power, Simon Fanshawe, Duncan Campbell, Olivette Cole-Wilson.

LGBT History Month

So it’s February, which means one thing, its LGBT History Month. This fantastic calendar event is here to celebrate the lives and achievements of the LGBT community; celebrating its diversity and the society as a whole. It is an opportunity to celebrate LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) lives and culture by exploring our own and others’ histories in an LGBT context.

It is also an opportunity for learning, discussion and debate around the continued fight for LGBT liberation.

Stonewall Publishes Top 100 Gay-Friendly Employers of 2015

Stonewall has published its Top 100 Employers 2015, showcasing Britain’s best employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.

The top 100 list is based on the results of Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2015, the eleventh published by the charity. The Index is based on a range of key indicators which include a confidential questionnaire of LGB staff, with over 9,700 participants.

This consistently revealed that employees from organisations ranked in Stonewall’s Top 100 exhibited higher levels of staff satisfaction and loyalty.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust was named as 2015’s top gay-friendly employer; in second place is Tower Hamlets Homes and Lloyds Banking Group is third.

On the fifteenth anniversary of the repeal of the ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual people serving in the military all three of the armed forces appear on the list for the first time and MI5 takes seventh place.

Pride UK at American Express wins the award for Network Group of the Year. Alison Lowe, Touchstone’s Chief Executive is named Senior Champion of the Year. Tamoor Ali, Senior Commercial Analyst at BP is Role Model of the Year.

Ally of the Year is awarded to EDF Energy’s Chief Nuclear Officer Mark Gorry.

Accenture, Barclays, BP, Citi, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, HSBC, IBM, RBS and the Royal Air Force are named as Top Global Employers, based on their support for their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff worldwide.

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall Chief Executive said:

“Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and every employer featured in the 2015 Top 100 have performed remarkably. Not only was this the most competitive year to date, we’re delighted to see that in just fifteen years our armed forces are making real progress in supporting and developing their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.”

Ruth Hunt

Full results of the Stonewall Top Employers 2015: The Workplace Equality Index are available now on Stonewall’s website – www.stonewall.org.uk/WEI2015

Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt Says It Is “Naive” to Think That Gay Men Are Less or More Sexist Than Straight Men.

In an interview with the Guardian, Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt said it is “naive” to think that men who are gay are less or more sexist than straight men.

Her comments came as a reaction to ‘Charmed’ actress Rose McGowan, who claimed last month that gay people were “more misogynistic”.

“I think it’s what happens to you as a group when you are starting to get most of what you fought for? What do you do now? What I would hope they would do is extend a hand to women. I see now people who have basically fought for the right to stand on top of a float wearing an orange speedo and take molly [MDMA]. [Gay misogyny] is a huge problem.”

Rose McGowan

Ruth Hunt told the Guardian:

“I think misogyny is far more rampant in society than we give it credit for. Across all sorts of walks of life, both gay men and straight men. It’s naive to think that because a man is gay he is less or more likely to be sexist.”

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall CEO

She also made comment on the boycott of Brunei-owned businesses.

“[We won’t use the Dorchester] because our supporters have made it very clear that they don’t want us to. [I’m fed up with] gesture politics which just make people feel better, but achieve nothing.

The important campaigning issues around Sharia law in Brunei are actually about women. So posh, rich, white western gays saying: ‘What about the gays in Brunei?’ is singularly the most unhelpful thing we could do.”

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall CEO

Stonewall initially refused to cut its ties with the Brunei-owned Dorchester hotel, but later reversed its decision after outcry from supporters.


‘Don’t be a bystander’ this Anti-Bullying Week

Stonewall is working with a number of celebrities, workplaces, and schools, to tackle abusive language this Anti-Bullying Week by supporting the NoBystanders campaign. The campaign has already been backed by celebrities including Stephen Fry, Nicole Scherzinger, Perez Hilton, Sinitta, Clare Balding and David Walliams.

The campaign comes in response to shocking figures from Stonewall’s research in the UK, where more than 75,000 young people will be bullied this year simply for being gay, and 21,000 of these will attempt suicide. Homophobic bullying and abuse can have a devastating impact on young people’s self-esteem, with one in three gay pupils who experience homophobic bullying changing their plans for future education because of it.

The charity has sent Anti-Bullying Week education packs, which contain NoBystanders pledge posters and guidance on how to mark Anti-Bullying Week, to more than 1,000 schools and local authorities in the UK.

700 Stonewall Diversity Champions – who together  employ more than six million people – have also been sent materials to help them tackle abuse in the workplace.

“This Anti-Bullying Week we’re asking individuals and groups to do their bit to tackle abuse and prejudice that still blights too many lives. More than half of gay pupils experience verbal bullying and one in six experience physical abuse. People can show their support for the campaign by tweeting using #nobystanders and by ordering their free pin badge at nobystanders.org.uk.”

James Taylor, Stonewall’s Head of Policy

Stonewall Launches ‘Coming Out’ Guidance for Young People

Stonewall has launched a new guide for young people who think they might be lesbian, gay or bisexual.

‘ComingOut: Answers to Some of the Questions You May Have’ discusses in plain English issues including religion, having children, getting married and bullying at school.

Stonewall’s research shows that homophobic bullying remains endemic in British schools and that many young people still feel isolated and unsupported when coming out. Coming Out provides practical information on how to talk to friends and family as well as information on how to access support that is available across the country.

“Coming out can be a daunting and confusing time for young people. Our latest guidance addresses many of the common questions that this process presents in a positive and down-to-earth way that young people can relate to and understand.”

Wayne Dhesi, Stonewall’s Youth Coordinator

Stonewall’s Coming Out guide follows on from ‘So you think your child is gay?’ – a guide for parents who think their child might be lesbian, gay or bisexual. The new resource will be distributed to local authorities, schools, libraries and community and youth groups across Britain.

Coming Out: Answers to Some of the Questions You May Have can be downloaded from Stonewall’s website: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/documents/coming_out.pdf

Stonewall’s International Campaign

It’s taken us 25 years to get to where we are today in the UK. We’re serious about creating change around the world. Will you help us?

Stonewall’s International work supports the work of LGBT human rights defenders around the word. We know from our own experience that sustainable change is only possible if it is led by people on the ground in the country concerned.

Why its important to support LGBT rights around the world

  • 78 countries make same-sex relationships a crime
  • 5 of those impose the death penalty
  • 1,509 cases of murdered trans people have been reported since 2008
  • 61 countries protect LGB people from discrimination in employment
  • 14 countries have equal marriage
  • 15 countries allow same-sex couples to adopt children

Shubha discusses the situation for LGBT people in India and what she has learned from her visit to Stonewall

Show your support

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DOMA Conqueror Edie Windsor Was an ‘Ignorant Middle Class Lady’ Before Stonewall

Flashback to June, 2013 and one of the leading fights in the path for LGBTQ right was won triumphantly by those in favour of same gender marriage. DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) was a stifling piece of United States legislation that meant that marriages between those of the same gender would not be recognised by the government.

And that even if you were legally married, you wouldn’t be entitled to healthcare and social security benefits that opposite gender married couples were free to enjoy.

However, DOMA’s oppressive power was swiftly dismantled and destroyed after widow Edie Windsor sued the US government after they billed her for $363,053 in estate taxes after Windsor’s wife, Thea Spyer, passed away in 2009. But she wasn’t always such a prominent activist.

In Windsor’s own words, the 84-year old describes herself as being an “ignorant middle class lady” around the time that the famous Stonewall riots happened in 1969 as she didn’t think she “identified with those queens”.

Stonewall was a series of protests by members of the LGBTQ community after police raided the Stonewall Inn (a gay bar in New York City which was then owned by the Mafia) and although the movement spawned the pride parades that we know and enjoy today, back then the anti-gay epithet of the times saw it get a bad rep. The fact that the Stonewall Inn was frequented by some of the poorest people in the LGBTQ community is likely also a factor as to why Windsor didn’t identify with those who took part in the riots.

However, Windsor soon recognised just how big of a deal the Stonewall riots are, telling Marriage Equality USA that

“I mean those queens changed my life and I saw them and I loved what I saw. It was the beginning of my sense of community.”

Edie Windsor

As for the own landmark decision in LGBTQ rights that she herself was part of, she added,

“Suddenly the self-esteem is just flowing – I mean even these judges are saying we’re respectable. So we were coming out in droves and the more we came out, the more we saw each other and the more we loved and then more of us came out until we’re just this huge, joyous, loving community and I live in the middle of it and its great.”

Edie Windsor


Stonewall announces new Chief Executive – Ruth Hunt

Its official, Ruth Hunt is to be the new Chief Executive of Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, it was announced today (28 July 2014).

Ruth has been Acting CEO of the charity since February this year and before that, was Deputy Chief Executive. She joined the charity in 2005 as a Senior Policy Officer, having begun her career at the Equality Challenge Unit. Her appointment concludes a comprehensive and transparent search, throwing up a strong set of candidates from which Ruth emerged as the clear winner.

During her time at Stonewall, Ruth has been instrumental in developing Stonewall’s work to change hearts and minds – beyond legislative change – helping to establish a strong evidence base for activity and developing pioneering campaigns including Stonewall’s Education for All campaign. As Acting Chief Executive, Ruth has demonstrated her strong commitment to ensuring all LGBT communities, both here and abroad, are included and involved in Stonewall’s work going forward.

‘I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead Stonewall, a highly-respected organisation that is synonymous with achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. It is full of committed, intelligent and creative people and I am very pleased to be heading up such a talented team. There are so many opportunities ahead, as well – of course – as challenges.

I look forward to working with Stonewall’s many partners to develop what the team and my predecessors have already achieved, to advance equality and challenge discrimination both throughout the UK and abroad. These goals we share with the lesbian, gay and bisexual community and it’s fundamental that we work together to achieve them.’

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s Chief Executive

Ruth will take over as Chief Executive immediately and succeeds Ben Summerskill, who stepped down from the post at the end of January 2014.

Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People Grow Older Fearing Discrimination and Isolation

New research published by Stonewall and The Co-operative Funeralcare reveals that lesbian, gay and bisexual people grow older fearing discrimination and isolation.

A YouGov poll showed that 48% of lesbian, gay and bisexual people fear discrimination when dealing with bereavement while 55% of those over the age of 45 have no financial provision for their funeral.

Shockingly, one in ten say they have experienced discrimination at a funeral or when arranging one.

Those in the London and the North were most concerned about receiving poor treatment because of their sexual orientation. More Londoners than any other area believe they will face barriers when planning a funeral or in arranging end of life care.

According to the study, family members and religious leaders were the most likely to discriminate against gay, lesbian and bisexual people.

In response to these fears, a guide for lesbian, gay and bisexual people on planning for later life has been developed by Stonewall and The Co-operative Funeralcare. It offers helpful advice on the law, making financial provision, such as a will or purchasing a funeral plan, and offers tips on planning and arranging a funeral.

‘Many older lesbian, gay and bisexual people grew up in a time when they were discriminated against and persecuted simply because of who they are. It’s therefore hardly surprising that so many feel reluctant to access services to help them plan for later life.

At Stonewall we know that we stand on the shoulders of a generation whose tireless work helped to change Britain and the world for the better. We now have a responsibility to make sure that they receive the help and support they deserve for themselves and their families. That is why we’re working with community groups and faith organisations to help make this a reality.’

Ruth Hunt, Acting Chief Executive of Stonewall

George Tinning, Managing Director of The Co-operative Funeralcare, said:

‘Despite changes to the law to provide equal rights for people regardless of their sexual orientation and a perceived greater acceptance in society, it is clear from our research that barriers remain even in death. The death of a loved one can be deeply distressing but at a time when people should expect sympathy and understanding, many gay people have faced poor treatment as a result of discrimination and this is simply unacceptable. As well as producing a guide to offer helpful advice to customers, we are also providing guidance to our staff to ensure that we always offer the same care, guidance and support to all our clients.’

George Tinning, Managing Director of The Co-operative Funeralcare

Pride Garden to Support Stonewall Wins Gold Prize from Royal Horticultural Society

Gardeners Amanda Miller and Emma Harvey were joined by Celebrity Masterchef’s Christopher Biggins this week to unveil their Pride themed garden at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The display has been created to support Stonewall’s work and raise awareness of equality for LGBT people.

The Stonewall Garden was unveiled to critical acclaim as Flower Show judges awarded the designers a gold prize for their vision of celebrating Pride and LGBT equality.

‘We were so excited to be able to support Stonewall and their work. The fact that we received a Gold award for the garden is such an incredible honour. We’ve worked so hard to bring this concept to life and we hope that the thousands of visitors will enjoy the work and be inspired to get involved and support Stonewall.’

Amanda Miller

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), is the largest flower show in the world. The show features spectacular gardens and displays from participants from all over the world. The Stonewall Garden features in the prominent ‘Inspire’ area of the Flower Show where more than 300,000 visitors are expected throughout the week.

The garden has been inspired by the designers own experiences and the difficulties that she faced growing up as a lesbian in a small country town. The stunning garden shows visitors how breaking down the wall of ignorance – in the form of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia – reveals a Pride we can all celebrate.

‘At Stonewall we’re always keen to get involved with new events and projects. This is definitely a first for Stonewall and it’s inspiring to see people wanting to support our work in different ways. The Stonewall Garden will be seen by thousands of people this week – many of whom won’t have been engaged with our work before. We hope it can be a great way to raise awareness of the need to stamp out prejudice and homophobia.’

Catherine Bosworth, Stonewall’s Director of Fundraising


‘People didn’t want a lesbian to represent gay people’ – Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s acting Chief Executive

Ruth Hunt took over as acting chief executive of the charity Stonewall in January 2014, following the resignation of executive Ben Summerskill. Talking at Stonewall’s Education for All conference this week, she spoke about when she was first appointed to the role people were resistant to the idea of a lesbian leading the movement.

“What I was really struck by, was – this is somebody who was on Twitter, highlighting that experience [of women being marginalised in the LGB movement] – was [the criticism] ‘how can a lesbian represent gay people?’ And I was really struck by that, as an idea. Not, ‘how can a lesbian represent gay men?’, but ‘gay people’. And I think that’s certainly something which is still a re-occurring theme.”

Ruth Hunt

Late speaking to Pink News Paper, she went on to discuss her achievement in her new role…

In the last six months? That’s not a big time period, but I guess I’m really proud that Stonewall has continued to deliver everything that we said we were going to deliver. It’s hard when you’ve got a change in regime to do that. But I’m also really proud of the new conversations we’re having with the trans communities, and I think that’s incredibly important.

We’ll be holding a roundtable with fifty of the leading trans activists about what they want from the future of the trans movement, and Stonewall’s role in that. We are also having an open consultation at stonewall.org.uk/trans, where people can tell us whatever they’re thinking about these things; and there will be more conversations going forward.

Ruth Hunt



86% of UK School Teachers say Homophobic Bullying Happens in Their School

Front page imageA new YouGov polling released by Stonewall shows that teachers are still failing to tackle homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools. Just one in eight teachers trained to tackle homophobic bullying, and a third of teachers hear homophobic language from other school staff.

The Teachers’ Report 2014 revealed that fewer than one in ten – 8%, primary school teachers and fewer than one in five – 17%, secondary school teachers have received training on tackling homophobic bullying.

This is despite the fact that 66% of secondary school teachers say that homophobic bullying has a detrimental impact on students’ achievement and attainment at school. Shockingly three in ten secondary school teachers and two in five primary school teachers do not know if they are even allowed to teach lesbian, gay and bisexual issues.

The Teachers’ Report 2014 also reveals that an overwhelming majority of teachers across both secondary and primary schools believe school staff have a duty to prevent and respond to homophobic bullying. Encouragingly the report does show that the percentage of teachers who say homophobic bullying happens often in their schools has fallen by half.

Teachers are the most powerful tool that we have in the fight to tackle homophobic bullying. Sadly our new research shows that, despite some progress, the legacy of Section 28 is lives on in Britain’s schools. We’ve seen what happens when schools fail to get to grips with teaching the realities of 21st century Britain. The Government must now make it a priority that every single teacher is trained to tackle all types of bullying and abuse in our schools.’

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall Acting Chief Executive

The Teachers’ Report 2014 was launched at Stonewall’s annual Education for All Conference, which brings together teachers, politicians and students.

The charity is also launching an interactive new website for primary schools to help them tackle homophobia and to talk about different families in an age-appropriate manner: www.stonewallprimary.org.uk

Alongside of the new guidance and research Stonewall has named the top local authorities who are working to tackle homophobic bullying. Brighton & Hove council is named the top local authority for their work to prevent bullying and create inclusive schools. Hertfordshire Country Council and Wiltshire Council round out the top three performing local authorities in 2014.

When local authorities abdicate their leadership on tackling bullying and prejudice it is students across Britain who suffer. The local authorities, and particularly Brighton & Hove Council, have shown that we can build schools that are welcoming for all where students can achieve their full academic potential, regardless of their sexual orientation.’

Luke Tryl, Stonewall’s Head of Education


‘Orange Is The New Black’ Cast Support NYC Pride Parade – #OITNB

The cast of Orange Is The New Black took part NYC Pride Parade on Sunday. Laverne Cox was one of three grand marshals at this year’s Pride parade in New York City along with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Rea Carey and “Frozen” star Jonathan Goff.

The other cast members took a ride on the Litchfield Correctional Facility float, decked out with laundry baskets, balloon suds, and a giant washing machine.

There were plenty of famous faces at NYC’s 44th annual Pride Parade, but OITNB cast started trending all over Instagram (see below)…

NYC Pride Parade Marked 45th Anniversary Of Stonewall Inn Riots. With over 100,000 of people lining the parade route, the parade started at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and ended at Greenwich and Christopher streets at the Stonewall Inn.

New York marchers were commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots, which are credited with launching the modern gay rights movement in 1969.

Stonewall Release New Global Values Guide to Help Businesses Embrace Global Equality

Global Values: Getting Started with LGB Equality Worldwide has been launched by Stonewall.

The guidance was created as part of its Global Diversity Champions Programme (supported by Data Morphosis), and to ensure businesses promote equality around the world – supporting lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the face of ever changing local legal, social and cultural conditions.

Featuring major organisations (such as Barclays, IBM, EY and Google) as key case studies, and to highlight how they support their LGB staff around the world; the new guidance offers ten top tips to ensure organisation’s policies and values are consistent wherever they operate in the world.

The guide has been developed to ensure clear global leadership supports LGB equality and provides safe spaces for LGB staff in countries where no legal protections exist.

‘More and more organisations are looking for meaningful ways to share their values, particularly supporting lesbian, gay and bisexual staff, no matter where they operate around the world. This guide will help organsiations think about the ways they can express their commitment to equality within the boundaries of local law.’

Simon Feeke, Stonewall’s Head of Workplace

The guide will be sent to 100 global employers, including businesses, government agencies and international universities.

At Stonewall we know that employers, whether from the private, public or third sectors, have played a powerful role in driving forward equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain. This guide, the first in a series of Global Workplace Guides, will help global organisations to share these same values no matter where they work in the world.’

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s Acting Chief Executive