LGB&T issues have not always had a high priority on Merseyside; attendees felt this was possibly due to the focus given to racial and religious issues.
For such a significant UK city as Liverpool, there has been a relative lack of an independent LGB&T infrastructure, mainly due to historical, political and cultural reasons.
This is now changing and there are groups active across Merseyside, and statutory agencies are becoming more open to dealing with LGB&T issues. Established services for LGB&T populations do exist.
The decentralised nature of the non-Liverpool boroughs means that their LGB&T populations can lack visibility.
What did Merseyside say?
“There exists a hierarchy of equality strands – the perceived consequences of ignoring LGB&T issues are less than for other strands.”
“LGB&T people advocating LGB&T rights may be criticised for ‘protecting their own’ – this wouldn’t be said to a BME person advocating BME issues.”
“The Strategy’s content and imagery is far too Manchester-focused.”
“The Strategy doesn’t speak to/for LGB&T families.”
“Resistance to change and bureaucratic inertia are big issues to overcome. Monitoring sexual orientation remains particularly controversial; LGB&T people themselves are also not comfortable disclosing sometimes.”
“Big successes have taken place in Merseyside but high-profile hate crimes/incidents give the incorrect impression Merseyside in homophobic.”
“LGB&T infrastructure on Merseyside remains under-resourced, what role can the LGF play?”
How will Merseyside use the Strategy?
- The aims of the Strategy fit into the aims of the Liverpool LGB&T Network.
- Increase partnership working with other organisations.
- Speak to my colleagues about the Strategy’s messages.
- Use LGB&T research to help affect change.
- Encourage LGB&T groups to apply for funding.
- Use as lever to start conversations around LGB&T rights.