Written evidence from Lanse Kendeh (RHR0020)

 

Black LGBTQIA issues

 

 

By Lanse kendeh – junior legal assistant /supervisor Jennifer Obaseki

Organisations:- Obaseki Solicitors & Affirm Human Rights

 

RESPONSE ON BEHALF OF AFFIRM HUMAN RIGHTS AND PROFESSIONALS AGAINST GBV

Introduction:

 

There is Currently many problems in 2020 as protests all across the world have been going on sparked by a brutal and uncalled for death of George Floyd. It brought many people of all colours, races and religions to all come together, while some protests were peaceful other , a complete contrast as there have been violence and people brutally attacked and targeted because they are asking for equality. Some of those being targeted are in the LGBTQIA community, an example of this was seen in America as there was a trans woman by the name of Iyanna Dior who was shown in a video been surrounded by a group of 20/30 men being attacked while calling her a homophobic slur, she was left with bruises but managed to get away as people of the public stopped the attackers as she was able to escape from the back and managed to get away. For many years they have faced inequality and general support that people deserve as basic human rights being mistreated in many different environments such as in the work space, in detention and common public places.

Racism within the LGBTQIA+ Community

 

The LGBTQIA in today’s society is going through a change as they are constantly fighting for equality but as studies show those who are BAME LGBTQIA are 51% more likely to face discrimination from the LGBTQIA community which shows more then half are not only dealing with the pressure of their colour but they are also being criticised and stereotyped by people who are also in LGBTQIA. The abuse BAME LGBTQIA people face from the community includes feeling excluded from LGBTQIA specific spaces and hurtful comments. Racist language and behaviour leaves already marginalised members of the LGBTQIA community feeling shut out and isolated as three in five (61 per cent) have experienced discrimination from other LGBTQIA people, according to the Stonewall study, research from YouGov polling of over 5,000 LGBT people, exposes the extent to which BAME LGBT people face discrimination based on both their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and their race also known as ‘double discrimination’. Research also gives a serious problem with the prejudice with in the LGBTQIA community where people of BAME LGBTQIA are having to be familiar with facing phrases on dating apps like ‘no blacks, no asians’ and ‘No chocolate, no curry, no rice, no spice’ becoming the modern-day versions of ‘ No blacks, no dogs’ both online and in their daily lives, BAME LGBTQIA are excluded and face stereotyping from their white peers. This leaves BAME LGBTQIA people feeling unwelcome within the wider community.

The risk of LGBTQIA in prison and detention

Prison is a risk for many LGBTQIA detailee as there are often the targeted of violence and harassment and exploitation. Also of they are in the process of gender reassignment where they should be imprisoned could be an issue. In 2016 the Ministry of Justice reviewed the way transgender people are treated in prisons. The review resulted in new guidance, Prison Service Instruction (PSI) 17/2016 The Care and Management of Transgender Offenders. A study of immigration detainees also gave insight:-https://idcoalition.org/wpcontent/uploads/2016/06/LGBTI-Position_web_June-2016.pdf

 

LGBTQIA detainees must have support needs identified as soon as possible and where applicable risk evaluations carried out with objective and objective factors. Open population may have high levels of cultural prejudice as many detainees from counties outside the EEA that still criminalize relationships and intimate acts outside that of heterosexual nature. This can leave the detainee at risk. However, isolating a detainee for their own protection is not an option but in only an emergency protective measure. Further supporting sensitivities should not mean offending behaviour and risk to all others within detention facilities is not overlooked. It may also be hard to allocate appropriate rehabilitation or reintegration programs for LGBTQIA detainees.

 

The risk of harm outside the UK is overlooked as failed asylum applicants who are also not successful under human rights or humanitarian provisions can face serious risks of harm when returned to their countries of origin. Even when there is supposed to be legislation to protect them society deep centered bias and as such they are unable to rely on their own countries government agencies for protection or even support.

 

In the UK, statistically there is more social economic struggle for LGBTQIA people, particularly LGBTQIA people of color and low-income households. They are disproportionately more likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system. Bias, abuse and profiling toward LGBTQIA people by law enforcement, also adversely effects this community and may cause disproportionate contact with the justice system, leading to higher levels of incarceration. The Home Affairs Committee have asked the government to realise the current vulnerability in detention but it appears the government refuses to acknowledge the situation. The lack of support may be seen as neglect and breach of duty. The lack of support protection and welfare can be seen numbers looking for sanctuary those calling from detention centres reportedly to have said they have committed self-harm and even describing to detail in how they would kill themselves, many before entering had not experience any mental health problem prior to being detained.

 

The safety of those on the outside as well is neglected as four in five anti-LGBTQIA crimes and incidents go unreported and a third of BAME LGBTQIA people (34%) have experienced a hate crime based on their sexual orientation or gender identity with some not even being confident enough to even report it to the police, which may cause further mental health problems.

Struggles in the Workplace

For some, coming out or self-expression around orientation are an issue as they face multiple problems. Some tend to still get treated ostracized or suffer other adverse treatment due to prejudice and other factors. All processes from recruitment to redundancy need to have policies that ensure the equal treatment of LGBTQIA employees. Also as the changing nature of work relations and patters, fairness and equality should also extend to contractors, zero hours and agency workers.

Some LGBTQIA individuals may not be free to expresses themselves at all or may be restricted by certain professional codes of conduct. This can be as a result of regulation and tradition e.g. Law. One in ten BAME LGBTQIA employees (10 %) have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year and more than a third of LGBTQIA staff have hidden they are LGBTQIA at work for fear of discrimination. There is also further research from YouGov that suggests that with 3,213 LGBTQIA employees, found that an astonishing 35 % of LGBTQIA people at work have hidden their identity in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination; a figure that rises to 42 per cent for BAME and 51 per cent for trans staff. Workplace bullying continues to be a serious problem for LGBTQIA employees. Almost one in five (18 %) have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues in the last year because they are LGBTQIA. Nearly one in five LGBTQIA people (18 %) who were looking for work reported that they were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The issue is still at large and change needs to happen, there are LGBTQIA who are BAME were all found to be more likely to experience harassment and abuse in the workplace. There needs to be a change and employers need to develop zero-tolerance policies on homophobic, biphobic and transphobic discrimination and harassment, alongside communicating clear routes to report anti-LGBT bullying.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there has been progress but the improvement is slow. Advance of Covid1, means social education tolerance and understanding of gender types in encumbered. Better definitions within legislative scope and awareness is imperative also acknowledgement of the ‘double discrimination’ of BAME LGBTQIA while simultaneously addressing LGBTQIA challenges, ensuring are more comfortable with their sexual orientation and gender identity. Everyone must be able to work without fear and danger from others in places where we all should be treated equally. 

By Lanse Kendeh – junior legal assistant /supervisor editor Jennifer Obaseki

On behalf of Affirm Human Rights and

Professionals Against Gender Based Violence

12/09/2020

 

 

 

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