LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning), and others, while the ‘plus’ represents other sexual identities. The first four letters of the acronym have been used since the 1990s, but in recent years there has been an increased awareness of the need to be inclusive of other sexual and gender identities to offer better representation.
DBTH’s Pride Week was organised by the Trust’s LGBTQ+ Staff Network, with co-chairs Christine White and Adam Evans, curating a programme of guest speakers to host presentations and discussions throughout the seven days of the event.
The first session was delivered by Heather Paterson of SAYiT, an organisation which supports young people between 11 and 25 years old, focused upon LGBTQ+ history. The second was presented by Phil Hill, a writer and vlogger who specialises in mental health and gender, centring on the concept of ‘allyship’ towards the trans and non-binary community. Finally, the third hour-long seminar was provided by Eva Echo, blogger and activist, who led a discussion about being transgender, sharing her experiences of gender transition and her journey to self-acceptance.
Speaking in a joint statement, Chris and Adam, who work within the Trust’s People and Organisational Development directorate, said: “The purpose of the week, as well as the LGBTQ+ Staff Network, forms part of our wider commitment as a Trust to help create a safe, inclusive and diverse working environment that encourages respect and equality for all, whoever you are and whoever you love.
“Throughout the week colleagues had the opportunity to join virtual events where we heard from a range of speakers, as well as providing a space at both Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw Hospital for individuals to come together to speak about LGBTQ+ issues, as well as find out more about the related Staff Network and how to get involved.
“We want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to our guest speakers, as well our colleagues who attended these virtual sessions. The presentations were informative, insightful and moving, and led to fantastic discussions. Based on the success of this week, we hope to add DBTH Pride to our annual calendar of events, and we can’t wait to celebrate it once again next year.”
The Trust’s LGBTQ+ Staff Network was formed in 2020, and works in partnership with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee to ensure that, as an employer, DBTH values and recognises the differences between sexual orientation and gender identity, fostering an environment of respect and inclusivity.