Ahead of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, Green Councillors remind city of need for more support to city’s LGBTQIA+ people.
Green Councillors will this Sunday mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) calling for support from community for LGBTQIA+ people suffering with lockdown.
While the traditional IDAHOBIT service cannot take place, a virtual service is being organised by The Rainbow Hub and Brighton and Hove City Council’s LGBTIQ workers forum.
Cllr Steph Powell, Green Group lead on Equalities commented:
“While we celebrate progress, we must also remember that inequality and hate towards LGBTQIA+ people is still rife here and around the world – with serious consequences. With the onset of ‘lockdown,’ vulnerable people in our communities have become even more vulnerable; for some, staying at home can also mean staying hidden, or being more at risk of abuse. Since lockdown began, calls to the national LGBTQIA+ helpline ‘Switchboard’ have increased by 35%.
“This year, as we mark IDAHOBIT, we also turn our focus to LGBTQIA+ people who are disproportionately affected by current measures, including those who are disabled, who have chronic illness, refugees and asylum seekers, or those in abusive households, or who are feeling unsafe to come out to those they live with. There are also those on low incomes, or otherwise more disadvantaged, and at risk. There are also a great many people who are now in caring roles, unseen at home.
“People are already struggling with their mental health and LGBTQIA+ people will be facing even more difficulties at this time. As we show solidarity, we must all be reminded to look out for one another and stand with our LGBTQIA+ community.”
Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty, Convenor of the Green Group added:
“The theme of IDAHOBIT this year is Breaking the Silence, an apt slogan for the experience of the LGBTIQA+ population during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Without the presence of a life-threatening pandemic, LGBTIQA+ people are fourteen times more likely to be homeless than straight and cisgender people. We know that 1 in 3 homeless people is estimated to be LGBTIQA+  while the health of homeless people suffers more with much lower life expectancy. On this day, we must ask what is happening to LGBTIQA+ homeless people, and ‘Break the Silence’ for all LGBTIQA+ people who have been unable to have a safe place to call home during this awful crisis. We must also push Brighton and Hove City Council to identify itself as an organisation that will help the LGBT+ homeless during the pandemic.
“Greens stand shoulder to shoulder with our city and our global LGBTIQA+ community to remember all of those worldwide who have lost their lives to bigotry and needlessly died as a result of being LGBTIQA+ and homeless during the pandemic. We once again commit ourselves to the international battle against transphobia, biphobia and homophobia.
“While this year the traditional community event cannot take place, I look forward to joining the #VirtualIDAHOBIT2020”