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.