Members of the LGBT+ community now have their own support base in Chesterfield thanks to the opening of a specialist hub.
Derbyshire LGBT+, who have been a ‘crucial’ presence in Derby since the 1980s, have branched out with a new centre in the town.
LGBT+ residents can access support services via phone or email as well as face-to-face listening sessions and social support groups.
The centre, based at 51 Rutland Road, was officially opened by the mayor and mayoress of Chesterfield, Stuart and Anne Brittain.
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins, who attended the launch, said: “We have made huge progress as a society and it is fantastic that a facility like this is here.
“However, it is important to remember and recognise campaigners in more difficult and less enlightened times.
“They were the pioneers who enabled us to get where we are today.
“Although things are hugely better people are still attacked or discriminated against because of their sexuality and it is because of that, that centres like this are so crucial and to have this here in Chesterfield is a source of tremendous pride for us.”
Unfortunately, there are still inequalities facing LGBT+ people in today’s society.
The number of LGBT+ people who have experienced a hate crime or incident in the last year because of their sexual orientation has risen by 78 percent since 2013.
Two in five trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months.
More than four in five trans young people have self-harmed- as have three in five lesbian, gay and bi young people who aren’t trans.
Nearly half, or 45 per cent, of LGBT pupils - including 64 per cent of trans pupils - are bullied for being LGBT in UK schools.
This is down from 55 per cent of lesbian, gay and bi pupils who experienced bullying because of their sexual orientation in 2012 and 65 per cent in 2007.
Half of LGBT people (52 per cent) said they’ve experienced depression in the last year.
Almost half of trans people (46 per cent) have thought about taking their own life in the last year, 31 per cent of LGB people who aren’t trans said the same.
One in eight LGBT people (13 per cent) have experienced some form of unequal treatment from healthcare staff because they’re LGBT.
One in twenty LGBT people (five per cent) have been pressured to access services to question or change their sexual orientation when accessing healthcare services
One in seven LGBT people (14 per cent) have avoided treatment for fear of discrimination because they’re LGBT.
“I know that the more people get to know about the centre, the more it will provide the crucial support that is still required for people at all ends of the journey,” added Toby.
For more information contact Derbyshire LGBT+ at email@example.com, call 01332 207704 or visit our website at www.derbyshirelgbt.org.uk.