The Welsh government has outlined ambitious plans to make Wales “the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation” in Europe.
Glitter Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru have been aiding the Welsh government by listening to the experiences of LGBTQ+ people across Wales. The plan aims to tackle inequalities experienced by queer communities and challenge discrimination.
The plan was launched by Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn, who explains the “authenticity of her experiences” as a gay person had helped create the process.
“As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, these values are even more central to creating a fairer, a more prosperous and more equal Wales. Support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning people (LGBTQ+) (with the + representing other identities including non-binary) is at the heart of this commitment.” Read the report.
The move is an important milestone for queer people after a year of global, political injustice towards LGBTQ+ folk. Just last year, #QUEERPROTESTATHOME began trending on social media to ensure that issues facing queer people around the world weren’t forgotten during the global outbreak of COVID- 19. In Uganda, police raided shelter housing members of the LGBTQIA+ community, falsely arresting them for allegedly breaching COVID-19 distancing rules. Poland also saw parts of the country declared “LGBT-free” zones amid a rise in anti-queer propaganda. It’s refreshing to see a government putting queer and trans lives at the forefront of an agenda.
Davinia-Louise Green, Director of Stonewall Cymru said of the Plan; “This Pride season alone has shown how we can’t become complacent in the journey to full LGBTQ+ equality. Since devolution, we have seen some key milestones for advancing LGBTQ+ equality; from the launch of the Welsh Gender Service to ensuring that the new curriculum is LGBTQ+ inclusive. However, as our research and the recent news headlines sadly show, we still have a long way to go until everyone can be free to be who they are.
Support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning people (LGBTQ+) (with the + representing other identities including non-binary) is at the heart of this commitment.
The announcement also comes at a pivotal point for queer and Trans Welsh independence activists who have tirelessly battled for their own safety during pro-indy campaigning this year with little support.
“It’s fantastic to see this pledge to make education LGBT+ inclusive in Wales, and we would love to see this commitment to improving the lives of LGBT+ young people right across the UK.” Says Dominic Arnall, Chief Executive of Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity. “This is vital for LGBT+ young people in Wales, 80% of whom said in our independent research that their mental health has worsened since the pandemic began. We really welcome this news – LGBT+ inclusive education has the power to transform the lives of all young people in Wales.”
The plan includes:
Ensuring LGBTQ+ rights are “recognised and mainstreamed” across the public sector
Seeking to devolve powers in relation to gender recognition and support transgender people
Ensuring strong relationship between LGBTQ+ people and the police and reviewing the under-reporting of LGBTQ+ hate crimes
Designing a fully inclusive curriculum and ensuring colleges and universities are LGBTQ+ inclusive
You can read the full plan over on the Welsh Government website here.
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