Hate Crime Vigil: Stand with us against hate!

Published: 15 May 2015 Tags: IDAHOBIT, Sackville Gardens, Vigil, Hate Crime By John Walding

Over the past year, out of all the hate crimes reported to LGBT Foundation, 81% were homophobic, 13% were transphobic and 3% were bi-phobic. 65% of these were verbal and 24% were physical hate crimes or incidents. Our Community Safety Report released last year also found that half of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people living in Manchester have experienced a homophobic or bi-phobic hate crime or incident - but 62% of them did not report it.

Substantial evidence shows that experience of hate crime and an increased fear of becoming a victim of crime has a significantly negative impact on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people’s lives. Because of this, this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is more important than ever.

This year, LGBT Foundation is hosting a Hate Crime Vigil in Sackville Gardens in Manchester’s Gay Village to mark IDAHOBIT on Sunday 17th May from 1pm-2.30pm.

The message of the importance of reporting hate crimes will be the focus of the event, as Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation, said: “The simple fact is if hate crime isn’t reported then nothing can be done about it, and we’ll never know the true extent of the problem. It could also mean that other people might receive the same or worse abuse. We believe that every single incident of hate crime, no matter how big or small, should be reported.”

Whether it is done by a witness or the victim, a hate crime should always be reported, too often LGBT people believe that nothing can be done about verbal or physical abuse, but this isn’t the case.

The event will provide a chance to commemorate those who have been affected by hate crimes in the past. A range of local guest speakers will be discussing their experiences of hate crime and the impacts it has had on their lives and communities. Guest speakers at the Vigil include: Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation; Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd; Bethany Black, stand-up comedian and TV actress from Russell T Davies' TV shows Cucumber and Banana; LGBT activist Christina Fonthes; Trans rights campaigner Alex Young and writer, bisexual activist and LGBT Foundation volunteer Sali Owen.

Music will also be provided by talented singer and songwriter Claire Mooney. We will be holding a one minute silence during the Vigil for people to reflect and lay flowers. A rainbow wreath will be placed on the Beacon of Hope. Everyone is welcome to the event and groups and organisations are encouraged to wear their kit/uniform as a show of solidarity within the community.

Hate crimes or incidents can be reported in a number of ways, including third party reporting centres such as LGBT Foundation, by popping into our building on Richmond Street, phoning our helpline on 0345 3 30 30 30 or you can use our easy access Hate Crime Reporting Web-app (anonymously if you wish) at https://lgbt.foundation/report.

The event is supported by LGBTV, Gaydio, Serenity Security and Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd. For further information, you can join the Facebook event here and you can follow us on Twitter @LGBTfdn using #IDAHOBIT2015