Pride Month is an annual global event which recognises and celebrates the influence LGBTQ+ people have had around the world. As well as being a month-long celebration including parades, parties, and community events, it’s also an opportunity to raise awareness with the aim of creating a more inclusive community. Our homes and communities are our safe spaces and it should be a place where people can be themselves without the fear of prejudice, regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Last year, we signed up for the HouseProud Pledge Scheme to demonstrate our commitment to achieving the aim that our homes should be safe spaces where people can be themselves. We’re now working towards our first HouseProud accreditation that will give LGBTQ+ customers a greater voice; ensuring we understand how they’re affected by housing issues and learning what we need to do to support them. Education and training are key in changing ignorance and prejudice, so we will be working closely with John and other Engaged Customers to codesign projects that will help us bring positive change to all our communities.
We’re proud allies to our LGBTQ+ community all year round and are delighted to take the opportunity this Pride Month to share stories from your communities and give you the opportunity to hear from them directly:
“Research has been conducted which shows that older LGBTQ+ persons face higher rates of loneliness and ill health, as well as prejudice and misunderstanding. This is particularly true with those who have transitioned. I’ll be looking to the [LGBTQ+ customer engagement] group to work with Orbit to understand the issues that might arise, initially in Independent Living schemes and then more generally across our wider communities.”
Read John’s full blog here.
Sandra was around eight years old when she felt she was ‘different’. At the age of 80 she knew she wasn’t living life as her true self and decided to act on it. Hear about Sandra’s inspirational story in the video below:
Earlier this year caught up with Maurice, a member of OLGBT Stoke, to chat to him about his life’s journey since coming out in the 1980’s and his experience of living with HIV. What followed was an incredible story of resilience, determination and, ultimately, joy as he now lives his life as his authentic self, supporting others in the LGBTQ+ and HIV community. Listen to the podcast below:
We have also recently created a LGBTQ+ forum for customers to get involved and help us become more inclusive. Verity from our Customer Engagement team said:
“We were delighted to set up our first LGBTQ+ group for customers to be part of and held our first meeting on 30 March 2022. We were joined by LGBTQ+ customers and agreed our terms of reference for the group. We’ve got meetings booked in for the year ahead, where we’ll be getting the group to look at equality impact assessments on our policies, reviewing of engagement opportunities to help us be more inclusive and to help us increase LGBTQ+ visibility”.
If you’d like to know more about this group or anything detailed in this blog, please email email@example.com.