Yesterday morning I attended the first event held this week in Nottinghamshire for IDAHoBiT 2015.
Representatives from the council, police, emergency services, unions, colleges, universities, and local LGBT groups and organisations made their way to Notts County Hall to watch the rainbow flag being raised by the river.
It was wonderful to see so many in attendance and to see people of all age ranges there too. The organiser Richard Townsley did a great job in bringing together a diverse range of people from the LGBT community from all over the county. A lot of us ended up doing some speedy networking and swapped emails whilst we slurped tea before we all walked outside to the flag poles for the speeches, flag raising, and photo taking.
Thankfully it was a windy morning so the flag was flapping merrily whilst it was being hoisted to the top. Very photogenic.
The short ceremony was quite a moving and auspicious moment for me. One of those speaking (Sorry, I’m terrible with remembering names!) mentioned the launch of a new anti-hate crime campaign run by the police, as well as how any homophobia, biphobia and transphobia would not be tolerated. Another also spoke of how the LGBT community needs to unite and stand together to support each other.
I’m sure these kinds of sentiments get mentioned every year at these kinds of events. :P But it felt particularly relevant to me as the LGBT community in my area does feel very fragmented at the moment. Lots of smaller groups exist in Nottinghamshire/the East Midlands without ever working together, talking to each other or, in some cases, being aware of each other’s existence at all.
After the flag had been raised, the leader of Notts Trans Hub and I were discussing these things, along with how so much prejudice and discrimination exists between different groups of LGBT people. How discrimination and prejudice causes LGBT people to turn on each other. One thing that we talked about was how some pansexuals have appropriated the meaning of bisexuality, then wrongly labelled bisexuals as transphobic and upholders of a gender binary.
Yesterday made me glad BiTopia, QT Notts and the Notts Trans Hub support each other and are forming close relationships. It also encouraged me to overcome the fear caused by previous biphobic incidents of discrimination and harassment at LGbt events and engage more with LGbt organisations in the future.