July is Pride month and it is great to see so many opportunities for the LGBT community and our allies to celebrate. It is important to remember that homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, hate and abuse is still very much a part of life for many within the LGBT community.
#NoBystanders is the Stonewall campaign to stand up and empower LGBT people against bullying or harassment. As an inclusive organisation committed to supporting our LGBT customers and colleagues, Riverside is pledging our support to this campaign. It takes just two minutes and could help to make a difference.
The pledge is as follows: “I will never be a bystander to hateful language and abuse. If I hear it, I will call it out and report it, and if I can, I will stop it. By adding my name I promise to stand up for fairness, kindness and never be a bystander.”
You can add your name to the pledge here.
Why is this important? Stonewall reports that in the UK alone, 75,000 lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) young people will be bullied in a year just for who they are. One in four LGB young people will experience homophobic bullying online. Nearly half (45 per cent) of lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) pupils – including 64 per cent of trans pupils – are bullied for being LGBT in Britain’s schools. This is down from 55 per cent of LGB pupils who experienced bullying because of their sexual orientation in 2012 and 65 per cent in 2007, so we are going in the right direction.
Half of LGBT pupils hear homophobic slurs ‘frequently’ or ‘often’ at school. More than four in five trans young people have self-harmed, as have three in five lesbian, gay and bi young people. More than two in five trans young people have attempted to take their own life as have one in five lesbian, gay and bi students. These figures are really quite shocking so this makes this campaign even more valuable.
In 2016 it was reported by the Galop National LGBT Hate Crime Report that:
- 4 in 5 LGBT people had experienced hate crime
- A quarter had experienced violent hate crime
- A third experienced online hate crime
- A tenth experienced sexual violence as part of a hate crime
Evidence suggests that people who identify as LGBT are at a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health. This includes depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm, and alcohol and substance misuse. This higher prevalence can be related to a wide range of factors, including discrimination, isolation and harassment.
By showing our support, and pledging to not stand by if we witness hateful language or abuse, we can make a difference and change this picture for the better.