By Lyn Bowker, Equality and Diversity Manager
Today the LGBT community is celebrating IDAHOBIT, the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
This important celebration raises international awareness of LGBT rights, discrimination, and repression of LGBT communities worldwide.
At Riverside, we recognise this important day and as a committed ally to our LGBT colleagues and customers, I wanted to share with you the different types of discrimination that people from these communities can face, just going about their normal, daily lives.
Transphobia describes negative feelings or actions towards someone who’s trans. You may have heard some derogatory terms used to describe trans individuals or seen restrictions on the way that people are allowed to express their gender. It can also consist of abuse and threats or actual physical violence, sexual harassment and deliberately excluding someone because of their gender.
With homophobia, verbal homophobia is the most common form, things like name calling, rumours and abusive words.
Phrases like ‘that’s so gay’ can have a really negative effect on people as it’s comparing a person’s sexual orientation in a negative way. Homophobia also includes abusive threats or actual physical violence, sexual harassment and deliberately excluding someone because of their sexual orientation.
Biphobia is abuse towards someone who is attracted to more than one gender and even includes when that person’s identity is erased. This can be in the form of telling someone that their sexual orientation is ‘just a phase’ or even telling them to ‘pick a side’. Mental health issues are prevalent in bi people, and it’s no wonder when their very identity is mocked, doubted and ignored. Bi people often face discrimination from both straight people and LGBT people.
At Riverside, we’re proud that we have a zero tolerance approach to this kind of behaviour and any employee who is found to have harassed or bullied a colleague would face disciplinary action.
We want every colleague to feel they can be their true selves at work, and believe this helps people perform at their best in the workplace, making for happier, more fulfilled employees.