Greater Manchester is the highest and most densely populated area of the North West.
Greater Manchester is the highest and most densely populated area of the North West. The political and community response to the HIV/AIDS crisis and Section 28 in the 1980s established some of the longest running LGB&T VCS organisations and public sector LGB&T engagement and involvement mechanisms in the country.
The expansion of the commercial scene in the 1990s and the high national profile of Canal Street and Manchester Pride has established Manchester as an LGB&T destination of choice.
Despite the relative successes the area has enjoyed, problems do exist. LGB&T populations in boroughs and cities outside of Manchester itself can feel neglected. Areas of deprivation exist throughout Greater Manchester. Canal Street can be seen as a ‘ghetto’, dominated by younger white gay men, drugs, crime and heterosexual ‘tourists’.
The proliferation of LGB&T VCS groups has been beneficial in terms of a relatively strong LGB&T infrastructure but has also led to competition and mistrust between groups.
What did Greater Manchester say?
“There is a big risk of complacency. The assumption is that LGB&T people have got their rights. There is a lack of motivation to make changes.”
“Socialising on Canal Street, working for an LGB&T friendly employer – you can live in a ‘gay bubble’. The reality is that even in ‘gay Mecca’ Manchester, as soon as I leave Canal Street I might get abuse for holding hands with my boyfriend.”
“Front line services are still not good enough. There needs to be more funding for LGB&T specific services and more training and education for mainstream services.”
“Having LGB&T inclusive policies is great but how are they made real? Are LGB&T people confident and empowered to challenge people when they experience problems?”
“Why should people disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity? What will the information be used for?”
How will Greater Manchester use the Strategy?
- Share the Strategy with colleagues; speak to senior decision makers regionally and nationally. Get feedback.
- Use strategy as a starting off point – look at Commissioning cycles, could be a way of getting private sector to look at LGB&T issues.
- Spend time looking at specific LGB&T issues, not just general Equality and Diversity.
- Use contacts from event to share best practice.
- Link Strategy with existing policies.
- Explore problems of faith and sexual orientation.
The project was funded by Greater Manchester Voluntary Sector Support, with a focus around supporting and promoting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voluntary and community sector in the area, whilst developing community engagement and participation within Tameside. All with a key focus on raising awareness of LGB and T people within the wider community.
Initial research identified that there was very little provision for the LGB and T communities within Tameside, with the only current specific support group offered through Tameside Youth Services. However, some other voluntary and statutory organisations had elements of support available to staff and/or service users.
The core aims of the project were to:
→ enable the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities in Tameside to have better access to and increased knowledge of infrastructure services available.
→ to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans issues are considered and embedded within the policy and strategic environment.
→ to raise awareness and the profile of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities needs within Tameside.
In addition, a key focus of the project was to identify and establish community activities and groups, to engage the LGB and T voluntary and community sector in the area and develop relationships with existing groups and networks.
To ensure fair and equal representation within Tameside, a policy group was established to lead and deliver the project through a plethora of local organisations from all sectors.
This involved attendance at policy meetings and supporting a policy group with the responsibility of influencing the strategic direction of the project, ensuring sustainability and supporting the delivery of the outcomes and outputs.
Whilst there is no official census data available, it is conservatively estimated that approximately 9% of the community in Tameside are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Within Tameside, this would account for 19,174 people. This is based on government estimates that 3% of the population are gay and 3% lesbian, with at least a further 3% identifying as bisexual.
The Office for National Statistics estimates that 91%* of the population of Tameside are White British; this therefore indicates that the proportion of black and other minority ethnic communities in the area is the same percentage of people as the LGB and T communities. (*Office for National Statistics – Neighbourhood statistics; Resident Population Estimates by Ethnic Group, (Percentages) 2006)
Sexual orientation is not consistently monitored across services in Tameside, although some services delivered by the local authority have begun developing a framework of regular monitoring. Some services are looking into developing this area and have initiated trials of sexual orientation monitoring.
However, whilst there are no specific datasets available within Tameside, we are able to identify that there are a proportion of service users at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation who live within Tameside (see information details below).
Throughout this project, both Tameside Third Sector Coalition and The Lesbian & Gay Foundation have developed strong links with many organisations within Tameside: we have offered direct support to Age Concern Tameside supported the work of Outloud (the LGB and T group co-ordinated by the dedicated team at Tameside Youth Services) and we have also delivered a resource in partnership with Tameside and Glossop Primary Care Trust to celebrate LGBT History Month.
This work has provided the foundations to enable us to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Tameside. Your commitment and support to sustain and develop this essential work will ensure that Tameside is working towards meeting the needs of its diverse communities and becomes a model of best practice for other areas.
Around 19,174 people in Tameside are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Of these people, many access the services delivered by the Lesbian & Gay Foundation each year.
→ 7% of people accessing the LGF Groupwork programme were living in Tameside
→ 3% of helpline calls were from people living within Tameside
→ 6% of face to face counselling clients lived in Tameside
→ 3% of individuals attending the LGF Outreach Sexual Health Clinic were living in Tameside.
(% of people is based on the Lesbian & Gay Foundation service users from within Greater Manchester)
These statistics strongly reinforce the need to support the local LGB and T communities and provide specific services that meet the needs of the community where appropriate, whilst providing training for staff in mainstream services around the issues faced by the LGB and T communities within Tameside and informing the wider community.
The Tameside Report
To read the full overview of the project incuding comments from Tameside organisations and service users, as well as in-depth key recommendations, download the report.
In order to ensure that LGB&T people are considered, included, valued and supported in Trafford, a group of public, private and voluntary sector organisations have come together to raise awareness and understanding across the borough, together with providing information and support to LGB&T people.
The intention of this work is not to develop new, specific services for LGB&T people in the borough (unless a very specific need is identified); we just want to make sure that LGB&T people have the same access to services in Trafford as everyone else.
We aim to steer local services effectively to ensure that they are inclusive. Whilst promoting equality for LGB&T people in Trafford, addressing any specific issues and identifying any specific needs of LGB&T people living in the borough.
To ensure that we have maximum impact, we need the people who live, learn, work and relax in Trafford to take an active role in ensuring that LGB&T people in the borough are included.
Below we’ve identified some suggestions around what YOU could do in Trafford to support the LGB&T community. The suggestions are based around four key areas: Live, Learn, Work and Relax.
Also, if you’re not LGB&T, you can still get involved by using the suggestions... and of course if you’ve got any other ideas, please let us know.
When organisations monitor your sexual orientation and gender identity; ensure you answer the questions in order to develop the evidence base around the number of LGB&T people in Trafford.
Get to know your local councillor; what is their stance around equality and diversity and specifically supporting the LGB&T community in Trafford? Would that potentially influence your vote?
Read information, access training, attend awareness raising sessions or take part in community events focussed around LGB&T issues in Trafford.
Challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic comments in education; whether it is from a student or teacher.
Challenge your employer if you’re unable to get onto LGB&T specific websites or can’t access information to support yourself or support others; The Lesbian & Gay Foundation can support you with this.
Be aware of the legislation that protects LGB&T people.
Check out other sections on this website, review our LGB Rights Guide and also check out www.pfc.org.uk for trans legislation.
If you do not feel safe, comfortable or welcome in places or areas for relaxation as an LGB&T individual, you need to tell the staff at the time or follow it up with a letter or email afterwards. That’s the only way to bring about change.
Why not volunteer for an LGB&T organisation, look into setting up a specific LGB&T group in Trafford or offer support as an LGB&T volunteer to other organisations with your free time.
If you ever feel that you have been treated unfairly, unjustly or inappropriately as an LGB&T individual in Trafford, it is essential that you say and do something about it.
The Trafford Report
To read the full overview of the project incuding details of related Trafford organisations, download the report.