February is LGBT+ History Month which celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer history while also raising awareness of some of the issues faced by LGBT+ people.
Throughout February, we have hosted several events for our staff and published articles on our intranet to highlight the achievements and diversity of the LGBT+ community. This includes:
- an examination of how the Stonewall Uprising inspired today’s Pride celebrations and UK’s gay liberation
- an LGBTQ+ literature talk with guest speaker Dr Emily Garside, a writer and researcher
- a viewing and discussion of Yoruba Richen’s TED talk "What the gay rights movement learned from the civil rights movement"
- an article by a colleague) who describes how earlier in his career at other workplaces he had to hide his sexuality for fear of discrimination and how much more beneficial it is to be able to be yourself at work
Through our intranet, we’ve published a list of self-education resources to help our staff understand the inequality faced by the LGBTQ+ community, a great first step towards them becoming an LGBTQ+ ally.
The list has been compiled by a colleague participating in our Emerging Leaders programme, who in a team of three has selected to work on a project for HouseProud. Staff have been invited to add their own suggestions which has prompted a lively discussion of favourite films, books, articles and other resources.
We plan to finish off the month on a high note. We’ll be publishing 20 fun facts from LGBTQ+ history - did you know for example that Freddy Mercury once smuggled Princess Diana disguised as a man into a gay bar? At the end of the week, we’ll be hosting our first "watch party" with an evening streaming of the award-winning film Tangerine.
You can learn more about the HouseProud project on the team’s blog.
Our Emerging Leaders group is also keen to hear from LGBTQ+ residents on how Notting Hill Genesis supports your needs and wellbeing, as well as how we can improve our services in the future. Please take part in our survey, which closes on 8 March.