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LGBTQ+ awareness

Find out more about LGBTQ+ issues, rights and other useful information.

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Useful LGBTQ+ information Available support

A little about LGBTQ+ issues

All workers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity at work. However, too often this is not the case for LGBTQ+ workers.

Harassment & unwanted behaviours 

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We know that LGBTQ+ workers can face harassment and often subjected to offensive, intimidatory or humiliating behaviours. TUC research found that 39% (two in five) LGBTQ+ workers have subjected to these behaviours from a colleague and 42% had heard colleagues make unwelcome comments or ask unwelcome questions about their sex life. Some useful toolkits are available from the TUC to help us tackle these issues, including preventing sexual harassment.

Accord signed a joint letter with the TUC and many other union's calling for improvements to workplace legislation to end violence in the workplace.

Domestic abuse

Anybody can be subject to domestic abuse regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age, or other socio-economic or personal characteristics. Abuse is most commonly within domestic relationships, but it can also be within close family groups such as parents to children. We often think of violence and threats when we think about domestic abuse, but there are many forms including financial abuse and emotional abuse such as gaslighting.

While domestic abuse can occur in all types of relationships, there are some specific issues which occur in an LGBTQ+ context such as threats to 'out' someone, undermining their gender or sexual identity and isolating them from their networks or support groups. In same sex relationships, abuse may seek to use stereotypes to deny violence is taking place or suggest it's a normal part of that type of relationship. In the transgender community, a form of abuse could be withholding medication such as hormone therapies, misgendering or using a 'dead name' purposefully to undermine the individual's sense of self.

LGBTQ+ rights

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Accord joined a join call with the TUC and other unions, calling on the government to promote equality and eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and build an inclusive culture in words and deeds that supports LGBTQ+ people’s safety, dignity and equality so that LGBTQ+ people can thrive and live authentically.

There are currently some significant issues such as protecting LGBTQ+ people from the dangerous practice of 'conversion therapy', standing up for the rights to transgender people, and the protection of LGBTQ+ people from forced deportation and detention to unsafe countries.

Transgender people

Hate crime and online abuse has been rising in recent years against Transgender people, and public discourse has sown division and suspicion about trans and non-binary people. Some educational institutions have been subjected to targeted campaigns seeking to misinform parents and the communities they serve. But it's not all doom and gloom. We've worked progressively with employers to promote Trans friendly policies. The TUC have created some useful tools that can help reps and members to tackle these issues head on.

Gender pronouns

Gender pronouns are words used to identify a person’s gender identity. Whether you’re trans, non-binary, or cisgender (identify as your assigned sex at birth), being referred to by your preferred pronouns is a sign of respect, and inclusivity. By displaying your pronouns, you create a safe, accepting environment and normalise the conversation around gender identity. It shows that you care about individual preferences and is a very simple solution to accidental misgendering. And on that, we all make mistakes, so if you say the wrong pronoun, apologise, correct yourself and move on. Find out more about pronouns.

There’s one great, simple way to find out somebody’s preferred pronouns if you’re unsure…just ask!

Non-binary people

Non-binary people want to be treated with respect in their workplace. It often comes down to simple things like being referred to by the correct pronoun - more on that above. A small change we can all make is to include our own pronouns in our email signatures. It's a welcoming sign and will enable conversations for non-binary people.

Another simple but effective thing we can all do is to think about the language we use - why do we need to bring gender into a conversation where it has no place. For example, instead of saying ‘good morning ladies and gentlemen’ say ‘good morning everyone’. It's a simple, effective and inclusive change.

Workplaces and facilities are often not equipped for people who don't conform to their assigned sex at birth. So workplace policies and provisions can be a challenge.

The TUC have published 10 steps towards LGBTQ+ inclusive workplaces.

"LGBTQ+ workers have faced unprecedented pressures during the pandemic, often because of being isolated from support networks and specialist services. Some have endured the lockdown period with hostile and discriminatory family members. LGBTQ+ workers have also faced increased risks of domestic abuse over the lockdown period, with scarce support services available." - TUC Congress statement 2020

Dates for the diary

LGBT+ support

General LGBT+ support

Mental health support

Domestic abuse support

Support from Accord

About the ED&I Group

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The Accord Equality Diversity & Inclusion group’s aim is to maximise our members' potential, regardless of background, and ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect. It’s a place where diversity is celebrated, without prejudice or judgement. It’s a chance to collectively learn from our experiences, and enrich all our lives.

The group get involved in a broad spectrum of events across the year. If you’re interested, why not get involved — email us at [email protected] or register to join online.

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