Birmingham City Council’s LGBT Employees Network
Happy LGBT History Month
February is Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans History Month, celebrating the lives and achievements of the LGBT community throughout history www.lgbthistorymonth.org.uk.
Tell us what you are doing in your team or workplace! - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are some of the events happening in council buildings or being arranged by employees throughout February. Join our LGBT Employees & Allies mailing list this month and you can claim a FREE rainbow lanyard or LGBT History Month badge. Click here to sign up as an Ally of the LGBT community http://eepurl.com/Ddy_b
Throughout February: Woodcock Street
Gay Birmingham Remembered Exhibition
The Gay Birmingham Remembered Exhibition (funded by Heritage Lottery Fund) will be based in Woodcock Street throughout February. The project by Birmingham LGBT has been collecting memories, documentation, photos and memorabilia in order to preserve the history of the city's LGBT community. Some of the topics displayed will be: Coming Out, Politics and the Council House, Birmingham Pride and memories dating as far back as 1940s. If you are unable to make it down to Woodcock Street in February, an online version of the history and memories can be found here http://gaybirminghamremembered.co.uk/
6th February: All teams and locations
A Time to Talk Day
We want to everyone to play an active part in Time to Talk Day, which aims to inspire a million conversations - to show that mental health problems are common and having those conversations needn’t be as hard as people sometimes fear. Get involved and get your colleagues/teams involved. Visit the website www.time-to-change.org.uk/talkday to find out how you can order conversation starting tools (including Time to Talk teabags), follow Time to Change on social media and get inspiration from other organisations and individuals who will be taking part in the big conversation. This is an opportunity to highlight the incidence and causes of mental ill-health in the LGBT community. The Birmingham LGBT Centre for Health & Wellbeing are currently promoting a health campaign which has found that 48% of the LGBT community have experienced suicidal thoughts. See their website for more details. http://www.blgbt.org/centre/rainbow-health-campaign/.
6th February all day: Lancaster Circus
Educate & Celebrate – Free training
How to make your workplace LGBT-friendly – a FREE 1-day course with Elly Barnes, Birmingham City Council’s LGBT Schools advisor who will demonstrate some of her successful techniques which have made Birmingham schools LGBT-friendly and show how these can be applied to other workplaces. For more information and to book email email@example.com
11th February 1-2pm: The Library of Birmingham
Fred Barnes: Music Hall Star and Queer Pioneer – a talk from David Viney of Birmingham LGBT
Find out more about Brummie-born Fred Barnes, star of the music hall in the early twentieth century. For more information and to book your FREE place see http://www.libraryofbirmingham.com/event/Events/fredbarnes-11feb
12th February 11-2pm: ‘Street’ area of Woodcock Street
LGBT History Month promotion
The LGBT Employees & Allies Network will be joined by staff and volunteers from the Birmingham LGBT Centre, the TOPAZ Older LGBT Project, Moseley Day Centre LGBT Group and Elly Barnes’ Educate & Celebrate Programme which will show us how to make schools and workplaces LGBT-friendly. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
12th February 6-7pm: Barber Institute, University of Birmingham
Elly Barnes, Birmingham City Council LGBT Schools Advisor will give a 1 hour lecture to celebrate LGBT History Month. Everyone is welcome
For more information and how to book your free place click herehttp://barber.org.uk/educate-and-celebrate
26th February: The Library of Birmingham
Educate & Celebrate Schools Showcase - with Elly Barnes, Andy Moffatt & Round Midnight Theatre group
Workshops in the day will culminate in an evening showcase of what Birmingham schools are doing to celebrate LGBT History Month "Music". More details and how to book your FREE ticket can be found here http://www.ellybarnes.com/2014/01/birmingham-showcase-2014
Until 15th March: Birmingham Museum, Community Gallery
Mapping My Journey
A celebration of the history, heritage and personal stories of the transgender community in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Through compelling sound, photos, video, artwork, poetry and artefacts, ‘Mapping my Journey’ brings to life the places, events and personal journeys - for some decisive and swift but for others spanning decades - which make up the heritage of the West Midlands’ transgender community over the past sixty years. These stories represent part of our community’s heritage and aim to capture, record and preserve unique individual experiences of being transgender. For more information see http://gender-matters.org.uk/projects/mapping-my-journey-0
What is the LGBT Employees’ Network?
Birmingham City Council LGBT Employees’ Network was set up in 2002. The network is made up of employees who either identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or anyone who is supportive of the issues faced by this diverse community.
Our steering group is made up of officers who volunteer their time to work with the organisation on behalf of Network members.
We aim to:
- Improve the quality of working life for those who identify as LGBT, promoting equality across the organisation
- Improve the quality of services we offer our customers, especially those who identify as LGBT
We value the fact that our membership includes employees from across the organisation with a wide range of skills. If you think you can help us, please get in touch!
We also welcome contact from other organisations and LGBT networks, including citizens or service users.
How can I join the network?
To join the LGBT employees’ & allies network, please register by clicking here. We welcome applications from any LGBT or straight/heterosexual employees, other organisations, citizens or service users who would like to help ensure our workplaces and services are inclusive of LGBT people. We will then send you a regular monthly newsletter packed full of ideas about how you can help achieve equality and celebrate diversity.
Why do we have a network?
The LGBT network aims to be the voice of employees who identify as LGB or T. We consult with the organisation to ensure that the needs of the LGBT community, both within Birmingham City Council and outside are considered when important decisions are made, and that our voice is heard. We can also provide advice and signposting to members and colleagues around the needs of LGBT employees and the services available for the community.
We want to encourage a working environment where LGBT employees can feel safe and confident to be themselves and perform to the best of their ability within the organisation.
Why should I join the network?
There are a number of benefits to joining the network. As a network, we offer a unique opportunity to meet other lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans employees within the council, to make new contacts, and to share our knowledge. We have four networking events each year, including the Annual General Meeting. These usually have a theme, relevant to the community.
We also have a range of additional social events. If you’re new to the organisation, coming out at work, or if you just feel like you don’t know any other employees that identify as LGBT, these are a great way to network with colleagues in a non-formal environment.
We are also active social networkers! Our details are at the bottom of the page. Please join the discussion! We also keep our members up to date with news about the community.
The network provides the unique opportunity for members to work with the Chief Executive, the LGBT Equality Champion, Senior Managers and elected Councillors to develop a better understanding about the needs of the community and to promote better outcomes for the community.
In addition, the network provides mentoring, coaching, and training for staff to raise awareness about issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.
I don’t identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender – can I still join the network?
Many non-LGBT people who identify as heterosexual or straight may have an interest in supporting the network due to their work, a fellow colleague or service user who they are managing or supporting, or because of a friend or family member. We sometimes refer to these people as ‘Allies’. We particularly encourage membership from colleagues who work in HR, Equalities and Communications, customer facing roles, plus any external organisations or LGBT Networks who are interested in working collaboratively to improve services for Birmingham’s citizens.
Regular events for your diary
There are a number of network and community events that happen regularly throughout the year. This is a list of some of the bigger events:
Annual General Meeting
As a constituted group, our network is required to hold an AGM each year. We normally do this around the end of the financial year. In this meeting the Chair, Vice Chair and Steering Group resign, and a fresh group is elected to set the direction for the network for the next 12 months. We also provide a round up of the work that has been done throughout the year, and hear from important speakers such as the Chief Executive and the LGBT Equality Champion. We usually invite a guest speaker to highlight a relevant issue. Recent guests have included Elly Barnes and Vince Laws. We would love our members to come to all of our meetings in the year, but if you can only make one, this is the one to make!
Birmingham Pride takes place every year on the last bank holiday in May. It is a major event celebrating the LGBT community. Covering the whole three days, the event starts with a march through the city centre, culminating in a festival in the Hurst Street area. The event has a genuine community feel with something for everyone. If you’ve not been to pride before, why not come along next year.
Launched in 2009, the Shout Festival is a relative new-comer to Birmingham’s LGBT Community. Acting as a showcase for LGBTQ art and culture, this festival has rapidly become a key event on the LGBT calendar. If you have an interest in LGBT culture, or simply an appreciation of art, film and music, this is an event not to be missed.
LGBT History Month
Every February is LGBT history month. The month is dedicated to celebrating the contribution the LGBT community has made to society. Each year, the month will have a theme. Recent themes include Maths and Science, and music. There is a programme of events each year. Keep your eyes open for next year’s details closer to the time.N
Throughout the year, Birmingham City Council’s LGBT network holds 3 meetings. These usually have a theme and / or a guest speaker. They are a great opportunity to meet and network with colleagues, and find out what is happening in the network and the community at work. If you’re looking for a way to meet like minded colleagues or to get involved more, this is a great place to do it. Members of the Steering Group will always be around for you to talk to at these meetings. We look forward to seeing you there!