On May 17th watch out for rainbow flags flying across Greater Manchester to celebrate and recognise lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGB&T) people across the county on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
For the second year running The Lesbian & Gay Foundation have been encouraging public buildings and organisations across Greater Manchester to fly the rainbow flag on May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).
They are proud to announce that there will be over 150 rainbow flags flying across Greater Manchester on May 17, that’s three times as many as last year, sending a resounding message to people across the county that LGB&T people are valued and that homophobia and transphobia has no place in Greater Manchester.
Darren Knight, Development Manager at The Lesbian and Gay Foundation said: “We have been incredibly overwhelmed by the positive response to ‘Flying the Flag 2010’.
“More organisations have signed up to marking IDAHO this year; and are welcoming this opportunity to celebrate, support and raise the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in their local area.”
Flying the Flag 2010 has met with some challenges, on the one hand they’ve come up against a lack of flag poles and rigid flag flying policies, and more seriously, people not understanding why it is so important for people to see signs of visible support – like the rainbow flag – in their community.
Knight adds: “There has been such positive developments in equalities legislation and public perceptions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans individuals, but still many live in fear of homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, incidents and discrimination. Only by addressing discrimination, marking IDAHO and other events within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans calendar in a positive and visible way, will we move towards achieving true equality.”
They’ve seen organisations be extremely resourceful, coming up with allsorts of alternatives if they’ve been unable to physically fly the flag; local MEP Arlene McCarthy is even adding a rainbow flag to her website. They’ve also had lots of enquiries from outside Greater Manchester highlighting the need for such positive initiatives on IDAHO.
We will be celebrating the flags flying across Greater Manchester in our Flying the Flag gallery on lgf.org.uk/gallery-flying-the-flag-2010. If you see a rainbow flag flying in your area on May 17, please share your picture and upload it to the gallery so everyone can see the positive action that Greater Manchester is taking.
We really want to know what seeing the rainbow flag means to the people of Greater Manchester. So if you see the rainbow colours fluttering in the wind on May 17 get involved in the LGF’s “I love where I Live” project, and if you didn’t see a flag flying or don’t love where you live – you can tell us that too! For more info email email@example.com
Some of the public bodies and organisations who will be proudly flying the rainbow flag on Monday include:
Sure Start Children’s Centres
Wigan & Leigh CVS
Manchester Fire & Rescue Service
Salford City Council – Supported Tenancy
Young People’s Support Foundation
Body Positive North West
Age Concern Stockport
Equality and Diversity Centre of Excellence
Stockport Community and Voluntary Services
Greater Manchester Police
Rochdale Boroughwide Housing
Rochdale The Lesbian & Gay Foundation Metropolitan Borough Council
Longley Park Sixth Form College
Salford City Council
Her Majesty’s Prison Manchester
Manchester City Council
Bury Registry Office
Lesbian Community Project
Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale NHS Community Healthcare
Reddish Vale Technology College
Black Health Agency
Bury Youth Service & Bury Youth Services; in partnership with Bury Parks Department
Trafford Housing Trust
The Ethical Property Company Limited
Community Arts North West
NHS Ashton, Leigh and Wigan
Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council
Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust
Rochdale Community Drug Team
Manchester’s Gay Village
Wigan & Leigh College
City South Manchester Housing Trust
Guiness Northern Counties
Tameside Youth Services
Guiness Northern Counties
Piccadilly Train Station