Lewisham Homes marked the end of LGBT+ history month took place this Thursday (27 February) with a talk from Cllr Tom Copley AM, the incoming deputy mayor for housing at the Greater London Authority.
Cllr Copley, who represents Sydenham ward on Lewisham Council and is also a member of the London Assembly on the London-wide list, reflected on the changes in society in the UK since he came out as gay in 2001.
While there have been a number of positive legislative changes since then, and social attitudes have improved, there are still many areas in which discrimination continues, not least in the treatment of transgender people.
Cllr Copley also looked at LGBT+ rights in other countries, many of which have much more draconian laws, including 12 countries where homosexuality in men is still punishable by death. The new deputy mayor for housing then talked about how LGBT+ issues relate to his brief, noting the disproportionate impact of homelessness on young LGBT+ people rejected by their families, and the prejudice some older LGBT+ people face in sheltered accommodation, as well as highlighting some positive schemes to counteract these problems. There was then time for questions at the end.
The talk capped LGBT+ history month celebrations at Lewisham Homes, which included a staff quiz last week and a series of blogs. We also showed our support through posters around the office, email signature banners, and rainbow flag merchandise from our staff arts and crafts group, the Catford Crafters.