Engaging The LGBT Community
In order to gain a perspective of severe and multiple disadvantage, from LGBT point of lived experience. We had to connect feedback from The Manchester LGBT Core Group, to members of The LGBT NECG Core Group. In Greater Manchester we have heard many experiences of LGBT asylum seekers. Who have come to the UK, fleeing persecution,imprisonment and death. Leaving behind every connection to who they are as a person, then having to prove they are LGBT, or face deportation. The problem lies in providing evidence, of something that can be unprovable.
We have found people who have presented at services, or been detained on a statutory level and been told there mental health condition, or disorders are a direct result of their sexual and/or gender identity. When in fact,the issue is the issue and they just happen to be LGBT as well.
Staff rarely being malicious,but lacking training in these areas,make incorrect assumptions about people’s gender and sexuality. This can lead to repeated awkward moments, when that person has to come out, again and again.
Drug and alcohol services are appallingly uninformed about Chem Sex, what it is and how to provide treatment for it.People involved in this phenomenon, are not likely to attend a standard drug and alcohol group and discuss how their sexual habits, go hand in hand with their substance use. Admitting you’ve a drug problem, to a group of new people can be hard enough, without having to discuss your sex life with them as well. On meeting the other members of The LGBT NECG Core Group, we got a better picture of multiple and complex needs, from those transitioning their gender. The sheer lack of support in some parts of the UK, for people undergoing this process. The daily verbal acts of transphobia, that a person disengaged already, will have issue reporting as a crime of hate and will probably go on to tolerate.
We discussed many other issues, that present a snapshot of LGBT person’s living with severe and multiple disadvantage, how we are disenfranchised in other ways and how and why we are disengaged.
From this we presented this graphic novel between us, which put forward our ideal solution. We asked for a service, which would cater solely for LGBT disenfranchised individuals. Watch our video clip below:
We recognise that this is a big ask and so have put forward a temporary solution, not included in the graphic novel. We would suggest that service provision could include one or two hours a week, which would focus on issues for LGBT person’s trying to overcome multiple adversities.
I would like to thank all those involved in this piece of work, The Manchester LGBT Core Group and particularly Kim and Tess. For without the team effort involved here’s, this wouldn’t have been possible.