We had the pleasure of welcoming John Yates, Project Officer for Adults Services at Derbyshire LGBT+, to our offices to deliver training for our staff team to increase our knowledge and understanding of LGBT+ rights, history and current issues.
John’s training didn’t disappoint! It was engaging, hard-hitting in places and relevant to the communities that we support at Connected. We learnt about the history of legislation and attitudes that have actively discriminated against people in the community and built up bias and ignorance.
One of perhaps the most eye-opening parts of the training was how much weight the opinions of people in power have over the lives of LGBT+ individuals at a high-level today. John gave real-life examples of severe and negative impacts, including discrimination in the workplace, access to healthcare and barriers within the education system.
The history of hate crimes towards the community leading right up to 2023 was sobering and a very real reminder as to why the training is so important. John led us through the terminology and definitions to describe gender identity and sexuality – many of which we hadn’t come across before.
The awareness raising and safe space that John created for us meant we could ask questions without being worried about ‘getting it wrong’, which in turn has massively increased our confidence to use the right terminology, to have open conversations with our volunteers and the parents and be better able to support them and be better allies for the LGBT+ community.
For more information on the work LGBT+ Derbyshire does and their support groups across the county, please see https://www.derbyshirelgbt.org.uk/