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The Equality Network is working in partnership with sportscotland, sports governing bodies (SGBs), local authorities, sports clubs, leisure trusts and other providers of sport to improve the involvement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Scottish sport.

We know through our ground-breaking research that LGBTI people still face some barriers to participation in sport, and that for some homophobia, biphobia, transphobia or interphobia has meant that they don’t see sport as welcoming to them.

We can provide training or resources for SGBs, clubs, leisure trusts or sports providers – should you be interested in training please fill out our training enquiry form

You can find out more about our work on LGBTI sport by clicking the links below.

Out for Sport Logo

Click here for more information on our ‘Out for Sport’ research.


Click here for more information on the Scottish LGBT Sports Charter

You can also find out more about what we’re doing around LGBTI inclusion in football here, and rugby here.

Support for LGBTI groups during COVID-19

Since the crisis emerged we’ve been working to continue our capacity building support LGBTI groups around Scotland.

In the first instance we set up a facebook group for LGBTI groups to join, share good practice and network. If you run an LGBTI group in Scotland please consider joining, the group can be found here.

To help reduce social isolation we have secured funding from the Scottish Government Covid-19 Relief Fund to provide free Zoom Pro accounts, for a period of 4 months, along with training, to a number of LGBTI groups. If your group/sports club/organisation would like a free zoom account please fill out this expression of interest.

So far we have received an expression of interest from almost 50 LGBTI groups. We have also held zoom or phone conversations to assess the needs of 42 LGBTI groups so far. We’ve supported 6 applications for funding, delivered one-2-one training for 8 groups and continue to support pride organisers around the country with contingency planning.

Training for LGBTI Groups

We have four online training events planned in the next few weeks for groups trying to get up to speed on how to use zoom and how to run their online meetings. Please register using the links below.

Zoom 5.0 for LGBTI Groups – Thursday 11th June, 6.30pm

Zoom 5.0 for LGBTI Groups – Tuesday 16th June, 6.30pm

Marvellous Online Meetings – Thursday 18th June, 6.30pm

Marvellous Online Meetings – Tuesday 23rd June, 6.30pm

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia – UK Alliance for Global Equality Statement


The UK Alliance for Global Equality (The UK Alliance) stands in solidarity with the millions of LGBT+ people around the world who are consistently denied justice and safety – the two interlinking themes of today’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT). As a coalition of UK-based civil society organisations working together to promote and support progress in global LGBT+ rights, we use our collective resources and influence to promote the human rights and equality of LGBT+ individuals and communities outside the UK, to end persecution and discrimination.

Across the world LGBT+ people are refused justice and denied safety. In 73 jurisdictions LGBT+ people are criminalised for who they are and who they love. They face discrimination, violence and exclusion from health services, education and employment and in some cases, the death penalty.  

Members of The UK Alliance understand that ensuring that LGBT+ people can access safety and justice requires a range of skills. Working with LGBT activists across the world, our members are fighting for justice for LGBT+ people by:

  • Challenging and supporting changing the laws that mean that currently more than a billion people live in countries where same sex relations are illegal.
  • Working with the UK Government and international bodies to challenge the impunity enjoyed by those who torture and murder our community, such as in countries like Chechnya.
  • Providing psychosocial support, legal advice and advocacy to get a better deal for LGBT+ people in search of sanctuary in other countries.
  • Developing partnerships and networks with LGBT+ organisations in countries around the world to support their efforts to build capacity, attract resources and become sustainable.

But even when laws are improved, LGBT+ people around the world continue to be denied protection. Our members work to support those forced to live in fear including through:

  • Using research, communications and public campaigning with our global partners to change the conversation about LGBT+ people, moving hearts and minds.
  • Working with employers of all sizes to ensure that they do their part to eliminate discrimination in the workplace against LGBT+ people and help improve the lives of all LGBT+ people.
  • Providing crisis support to LGBT+ people being denied the right to health, including access to condoms, lubricants, ARVs and other appropriate HIV services.
  • Offering safety and security training for LGBT+ activists in hostile environments to protect human rights defenders against violence and abuse.

The UK Alliance brings together organisations that deploy a diverse set of tools and tactics. What unites us is our vision of a world where everyone can participate fully in their society, whatever their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.


Find out more about what individuals members of the UK Alliance are doing to mark IDAHOBIT, by visiting their websites.

Signed by:


All Out – http://www.allout.org/

Equality Network – http://equality-network.org/

Frontline AIDS – https://frontlineaids.org/

Human Dignity Trust – https://www.humandignitytrust.org/

Kaleidoscope Trust – http://kaleidoscopetrust.com/ 

Stonewall – https://www.stonewall.org.uk/

STOPAIDS – http://stopaids.org.uk/

UK Black Pride – https://www.ukblackpride.org.uk/

UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group – https://uklgig.org.uk/


2022 sees the large scale return of Pride events across Scotland. Here’s what dates have been announced so far:


Trans Pride Scotland 21st May Paisley
Grampian Pride 28th May Aberdeen
Arran Pride 4th June Brodick
Porty Pride 18/19th June Portobello
Pride Edinburgh 25th June Edinburgh
Pride Glasgow 25th June Glasgow
Shetland Pride 2nd July Lerwick
Fife Pride 2nd July Kirkcaldy
Mardi Gla  16th July  Glasgow
Bute Pride 23rd July  Rothsay
West Lothian Pride 30th July Livingston
Perthshire Pride 13th August Perth
Pride in Moray 3rd September Elgin
Oban Pride 10th September Oban


2019 was the biggest year of pride in Scotland so far with a huge 21 pride events across the country and over 72K people attending a pride event. As well as supporting a number of prides through strategic and financial planning, training, guidance and with resources the Equality Network attended every pride to talk to thousands of LGBTI people about their rights and to spread the message of LGBTI equality. We’re looking forward to doing it all again in 2022!

We got soaked in Stornoway, sunburnt in Perth, we went on the rides in Inverness, listened to the marching bands in Glasgow, waved from the bus in Edinburgh and journeyed through the forest in East Kilbride. We also marched down countless high streets with our placards and our huge trans flag.

2020 was set to be a record breaking year of pride across Scotland, but sadly COVID-19 took its toll. We produced initial guidance for Pride organisers to support them in their response to the restrictions and through our COVID funding support packages distributed over £25,000 to support online events to bring LGBTI communities together during the pandemic.

In 2021 we continued to support Pride organisers with ongoing capacity building support and with funding to ensure Prides had the technical resources going forward through our Pride support fund.

A number of pride events have yet to announce their 2022 plans. We’ll update this page shortly with more information.

Pride History

2020 marked the 25th anniversary of the first major pride event in Scotland, it’s organisers then helped set up the Equality Network! Have a look at our Pride in Scotland History page as we look back over 25 years.

Supporting People

The Equality Network supports the development and sustainability of LGBTI groups across Scotland and has done since 2001. We provide one-to-one support, develop leaders, deliver training and residential events; and publish resources focused on the priorities of groups.

We know from experience that LGBTI groups are often the first point of contact for those looking for support. While we as groups or individuals may want to help, we do not always have, or may not feel we have, the knowledge, training, and confidence to provide such support.

Signposting people to organisations with professional experience is one of the most important things we can do. We should do this wherever we feel out of our depth, or if we feel someone else may be better equipped to help. This should not prevent us from being able to listen and make space for others.

In this resource, Supporting People, we explore the theme of mental health, how it affects LGBTI people, and the techniques we can employ to talk to those living with mental ill-health.

Click the image above to download (PDF).

Caribbean and Americas

OF 13 COMMONWEALTH MEMBER COUNTRIES IN THE Americas, only Belize, Canada and Guyana lie on the main continental landmass; all the others are islands or archipelagos. Every Commonwealth nation can be found around the middle of the American continent with the exception of Canada which is in the north. Canada also has thirty times more land mass than all the other Commonwealth nations in the region put together. All members have an equal say in the Commonwealth – regardless of size.

LGBTI people throughout the region have differing rights and responsibilities due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex, but many face the same challenges in overcoming draconian anti-LGBTI laws and seeking protections from discrimination. In Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean, Central and Southern Americas, LGBTI people face the harshest penalties in the whole region, but they are campaigning hard, forming civil society alliances, and perusing strategic litigation, to ensure new rights and freedoms.

Orin Jerrick (second from the left) is the founder of MESH, a new activist group for LGBT people in Antigua


LGBTI people in Antigua and Barbuda are not equal under the law and face harsh penalties for consensual same sex activity. The Sexual Offences Act 1995 prescribes the punishment for buggery from fifteen years (between adults) to five years (for minors). 

There are also laws around indecency, which affect both women and men and carry a maximum penalty of five years. MESH, an organisation working for LGBTI human rights (see below), indicate that these laws are not actively implemented.

It is not only in the law that LGBTI people face discrimination on the island nation. For the Antiguan Resilience Collective Inc. (ARC), an organisation working for an Antigua and Barbuda where people do not experience social exclusion or marginalisation based on nationality, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender or class and have equal access to sexual reproductive health and HIV services, the most important issues facing LGBTI people are social stigma and discrimination.

While there are daily violations of the human rights of LGBTI people in Antigua and Barbuda, ARC says things are changing: “Life for LGBTI people has changed in the sense that the issues are now being discussed via media and NGOs have been lobbying for better services as it relates to health care and other social services.”

In 2012 the government in Antigua and Barbuda was criticised by a prominent human rights lawyer, Sir Clare K. Roberts, KCN, QC, for voting against a historic UN resolution committing countries to take steps to end acts of violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Sir Clare said the government should have taken the lead in the local fight to reduce stigma and discrimination against sexual orientation discrimination by signing a recent United Nations statement on LGBT Rights.

This frustration is shared by ARC, who say that LGBTI people and organisations in Antigua and Barbuda are tired that government has signed conventions and treaties which support changes to anti-LGBTI laws, but does not follow through and make changes to the law, while LGBTI human rights are violated on a daily basis and there is no political will to make changes to the constitution.

Another organisation working for LGBTI human rights in Antigua and Barbuda is Meeting Emotional and Social Needs Holistically (MESH). MESH has received support for their work, and in 2011, the organisation was represented at a three-day Safety and Security Training Workshop for Human Rights defenders in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

Both MESH and ARC recently took part in United, a two-day workshop organised by the US Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean and the Caribbean HIV/AIIDS Alliance (CHAA). The event focused on improving media and communications skills for grassroots LGBT civil society groups.

“Members of the LGBTI community experience rejection and alienation by the society at large based on sexual orientation and or sexual identity. Our cultural norms dictate that homosexuality is a sin and our laws seek to invade the privacy of our homes by dictating with whom and the nature of sexual activity is allowable. Safe spaces for socialising are minimal and as such the LGBTI community is forced to meet in secluded places and to dress in keeping with traditional norms. These societal gender biases are indeed affecting the well-being of the LGBTI community and severely impacts on their mental status.

“Because of my profession I find life for me as a gay man in Antigua and Barbuda very unique from the rest of the population. I am able to go into areas where person would normally have challenges going. However, this does not say I do not faced with some degree stigma and discrimination. The discrimination I faced is from some of my colleagues. For example, my supervisor clearly identify my sexual orientation as an abominable sin and urged me to get into a relationship that is right in the sight of God and man or I will go to ‘Hell’.” Orin Jerrick

Miss Teen Bahamas 2005, Gari McDonald, was stripped of her title after coming out as a lesbian

 THE BAHAMAS pop. 371,960

The Bahamas decriminalised homosexuality in 1991 however it still maintains an unequal age of consent, 16 for mixed-sex acts and 18 for same-sex acts.

There is no legislation that provides protection from human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Constitutional Review Commission set up in 2006 “found that sexual orientation did not deserve protection against discrimination.”

In June 2011, despite not having a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, The Bahamas supported a resolution which affirmed equal rights for LGBTI people. “Our record is clear, we continue to support freedom of expression and the right for people to express their opinions”, said then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette.

There is a growing debate about LGBTI issues in the Bahamas. In June 2013 the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Michael Barnett told lawyers that “Bahamian courts will soon have to address the issue of samesex marriages” and in 2014 after a number of comments and speeches in support of the rights of LGBTI people, the current Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell said that he felt his career had suffered because of his support for LGBTI equality, “Do we as a society, for example, condone violence against people simply because of their sexual orientation”, he asked.

Bahamas LGBT Equality Advocates are a non-profit LGBT support and advocacy organisation based in Nassau. They stand against homophobia, agitate for the removal of laws that discriminate against LGBT people, and fight stigma and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV status. Established in July 2011, they are members of the Bahamas Human Rights Network and Civil Society Bahamas, an umbrella group for non-governmental organisations.

“I am a victim of both crime and discrimination. I am a victim of stalking, for more than four years. I am unable to convince the Royal Bahamas Police Force [RBPF] that it is their duty to fully investigate these matters. I have reported both the crimes and the instances of discrimination to the RBPF, to the Commissioner of Police and directly and to the Prime Minister.

“We [members of the LGBTI community] have been unable to convince the Royal Bahamas Police Force that it is their duty to record this information… when processing a crime. The fact that our government does not have the capacity to record instances of crime, violence and discrimination against the LGBT community does not mean that members of the LGBT community have not attempted to have these instances recorded by official mechanisms.” Erin Greene

LGBT 101 session in Barbados, presented by the Rev. Tom Decker of Rochester, N.Y.

BARBADOS pop. 277,821

The country’s Sexual Offences Act (2002) includes the heaviest penalties for same-sex activity in the Western hemisphere. Section 9 of the Act imposes a sentence of up to life imprisonment for ‘buggery’. 

Section 12 includes a provision against “serious indecency” – which can be taken to apply to both male and female same-sex activity. Like many anti-LGBTI laws in the Commonwealth these laws were originally imposed during the period of British colonial rule and appear to be constitutionally entrenched and difficult to challenge. In February 2013, the Universal Periodic Review again recommended that Barbados repeal antigay laws; this was rejected by the Government, although they did accept recommendations to “implement measures to protect the LGBT population from harassment, discrimination and violence.”

It is important to note that Barbados is the only Commonwealth Caribbean country that recognises the binding jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In a landmark case by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2010, the Court ruled in that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation was a violation of the American Convention on Human Rights. As Barbados recognises the jurisdiction of the IACHR, the retention of anti-LGBT laws, which can be argued to disproportionately affect LGBT people, means it is effectively in violation of its obligations under the American Convention.

In August 2013, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, at the opening of the Anglican Church Province of the West Indies Provincial Congress, said “whether homosexual behaviour derived from nature or from nurture, it does not lie within our competence to sit in seats of judgement and to condemn those who pursue that practice.”

Despite harsh laws, LGBTI people are active in pursuing rights. United Gays and Lesbians against AIDS Barbados (UGLAAB) are an organisation in Barbados formed for the gay and lesbian community to help support those who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, and to educate and build the self-esteem of LGBTI people in Barbados.

“As a Transgender woman living in Barbados, I always have this to say for myself: It’s interesting, being me. But it’s not always fun. Many of my friends and acquaintances don’t always understand what I mean by what I’m saying, until they observe or hear about what I go through from day to day.

“In recent weeks, I have faced situations where my photo was taken (under the assumption that I was unaware of it) and posted on the internet, with captions and descriptions intending to ‘expose’ me as a biological male. On some of these posts, threats are made by persons, expressing intentions to shoot, burn, or run me over with a vehicle if I were ever seen again (sure enough, if a moving vehicle is near me, some persons do urge the driver to attempt to hit me with the vehicle. Fortunately to date, no such incident has taken place).

“As an activist for LGBT equality, with special focus on that of the Trans community, many would say that I’m facing a losing battle here in Barbados. But it is my determination to be seen and treated just as any other ‘ordinary’ member of society which keeps me going.” Alex D V Hoffman

Campaigners against the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Belize

BELIZE pop. 324,060

Belize is the only Central American nation that outright prohibits male homosexual activity. The criminal code outlaws same-sex conduct with a punishment of 10 years imprisonment.

The country even denies entry into the country for “Any prostitute or homosexual or any person who may be living on or receiving or who may have been living on or receiving the proceeds of prostitution or homosexual behaviour”.

While there isn’t much reporting of incidents of discrimination and violence, LGBTI people continue to be affected by sexuality based discrimination in this self-identifi ed Christian country where many leaders are socially and politically aligned to the Church.

LGBTI people from the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) have started a legal challenge to the country’s colonial era anti-buggery laws on constitutional grounds. In May 2013, the Belizean judiciary started hearing a case where it will be asked to weigh up whether or not laws that penalise homosexuality in the country are constitutional. However the Belize Council of Churches and Evangelical Association of Churches, along with the Belizean Government, argue that the elimination of Section 53, which outlaws “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal”, would spur further laws advocating gay rights. No major political parties have supported the decriminalisation. The last hearing in the case was in May 2013 and a decision on the matter is expected later in 2014.

Also in 2013, the Belizean government launched a National Gender Policy to promote the empowerment of all people, particularly women and girls. However, religious denominations have begun campaigning that the language is “ambiguous and may be interpreted as giving rights to homosexuals” and organised an ‘Orange walk’ tour of the country to promote the message that persons who are LGBT should not enjoy the same rights as heterosexual men and women.

“I have lost two teeth, had my family property invaded and car damaged by two mask men… I have had stones thrown at me, experienced simulated gun shots, insults and physical harm on public transportation, threats that speak to, ‘Caleb You have no right to breathe!’” Caleb Orozco

Toronto hosted the World Pride celebrations in June 2014

CANADA pop. 35,158,300

LGBTI people in Canada enjoy some of the most progressive laws in the Americas and the world.

Because of this, Canada is currently one of the main countries that LGBTI people from around the world go to when seeking asylum because of the discrimination they face in their own countries.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Canada in 1969, when remaining British colonial antigay laws were repealed. Eight years later in 1977, Québec became the first jurisdiction in Canada to amend the province’s Charter of Human Rights to include sexual orientation as a prohibited ground for discrimination. Today, sexual orientation is explicitly mentioned as a ground of prohibited discrimination in the human rights acts of all jurisdictions in Canada. In July 2005, Canada became the fi rst Country in the Commonwealth, and fourth country in the world, to legalise same-sex marriages nationwide.

Internationally, Canada is one of the most prominent and credible voices advocating for the fair treatment of, and an end to stigma and discrimination faced by, LGBTI people across the world. Foreign Minister John Baird has consistently denounced the callous treatment of LGBTI people and has contended that “The rights of gays and lesbians are tremendously important. It is completely unacceptable that homosexuality continues to be criminalised in a majority of Commonwealth countries.”

Trans people and allies are currently campaigning for Bill C-279, which has seen a number of setbacks in four attempts and eight years of trying to pass the law. The bill would explicitly add gender identity and expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act. Additional provisions were added in 2009 to include gender identity and expression in the hate crimes provisions of the Criminal Code. The bill has currently stalled in the Canadian senate; civil society organisations across Canada are lobbying hard for its successful passing.

One of the organisations fighting for Bill C-279 is Egale Canada Human Rights Trust (ECHRT). They are Canada’s only national charity promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) human rights through research, education and community engagement. Egale’s vision is of a Canada free of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and all other forms of discrimination so that every person can achieve their full potential, unencumbered by hatred and bias.

The Lambda Literary and Scholarship Foundation is a Canadian non-profit organisation with charitable status that is devoted to education about the human rights of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people in all their diversities. Their awards are open to all eligible recipients regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, racial or ethnic background, etc. So far, they have annual awards at nine universities across Canada from New Brunswick to British Columbia.

In June 2014 Toronto held the first World Pride event in North America. Over 2 million people took part in 10 days of events which included a Human Rights Conference, the first World Pride Trans Rights March, as well as a huge parade.

Campaigners welcome the appointment of an openly gay US ambassador to the nation

DOMINICA pop. 71,684 

Dominica made world-wide headlines in May 2012 when two passengers were arrested aboard an international cruise liner for having gay sex on the balcony of a ship docked in a Dominican port.

The pair, from the United States, were charged under ‘buggery’ laws. The law in Dominica criminalises all forms of same sex conduct under the Sexual Offences Act 1998. The Act imposes criminal sanctions for ‘gross indecency’ with sentences up to five years and for ‘buggery’ with sentences ranging from five to twenty-five years.

CHAP Dominica, an HIV organisation, has found that negative statements by key opinion leaders such as politicians have contributed to reinforcing negative attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. There are several allegations of harassment, bullying, home invasions and other types of abuse perpetrated against LGBTI people in Dominica. There are no laws to protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.

In May 2013, Bishop Michael Daniel, President of the Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches called upon Dominica’s political leaders “to take a unifi ed stand and oppose the LGBTI agenda to legislate their sinful behavior.” The Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit had previously said the laws criminalising same-sex intimacy will not be repealed because no “compelling” argument has been posited in that regard.

Minority Rights Dominica (MiRiDom), an LGBT rights advocacy group, has been lobbying the government to protect and promote the rights of LGBT people. MiRiDom has launched a campaign to decriminalise same-sex intimacy. Their campaign has been bolstered by a number of high-profile political figures coming out in support of decriminalisation. In 2011, Sir Brian Alleyne, Former Attorney General and former Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, calling for changes to the law said “What a person does in the privacy of his home with another person is his business.” In July 2013, Willie Fevrier, outgoing head of the Dominica Planned Parenthood Association (DPPA) said that discrimination against LGBT people is “a major concern” and that people should be more tolerant.

“Being a lesbian in Dominica embodies one word – Invisible. To the average eye being a lesbian in the Commonwealth of Dominica is just as easy as being a straight man. No real pressure from society. This is false.

“As a lesbian in one of the most rapidly growing homophobic countries in the Caribbean, I have learnt that I have no real rights as a member of the LGBTQI community, and barely that of a straight woman. I have been the victim of sexual harassment, discrimination and often the butt of a threatened man’s joke; with no law enforced for my protection. My sexuality and preference are not accepted in Dominica, but instead simply tolerated.” Anonymous

GrenCHAP staff and supporters at the opening of their new centre in St George, Grenada

GRENADA pop. 105,483

Grenada has a relatively vibrant LGBTI community despite the discrimination faced in Grenadian society. This is evidenced by a number of civil society groups that advocate on behalf of the community.

GrenCHAP is the Grenada chapter of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Partnership (CHAP), a network of groups in small Caribbean countries working to promote human rights and health, with a focus on marginalised populations such as LGBT, sex workers, and persons living with and affected by HIV. Their objectives are to promote the health of key populations through education for prevention and the building of skills; to build support networks of key populations; to engage in public education to sensitise and humanise issues; and to advocate for policy and legal reform and to promote equality and universal access to health.

Male same-sex conduct is not legal in Grenada according to the Criminal Code, which views anal sex as an ‘unnatural act’ punishable with of up to ten years in prison. Female same-sex conduct is not specifi cally mentioned in the law. Even though the anti-gay laws are rarely enforced, there have been incidents such as the May 2011 arrest of two adult men for engaging in consensual sexual activity.

“Marginalized populations start off at a stage of questioning and paranoia. Then there’s this long journey where you go along until you eventually are comfortable with yourself and you can function as a ‘normal’ person. And I think if we can speed up that process (in Grenada) as much as possible so that people can start living their lives and be comfortable sooner than later, then that would have a big impact on peoples’ lives. Ultimately, we want people to have a better life.” Nigel Mathlin

LGBTI Campaigners in Guyana calling for decriminalisation

GUYANA pop. 795,369

Guyana is the only country on the mainland South American continent where male same-sex conduct is illegal. The Criminal Law (Offences) Act of Guyana prescribes punishment of imprisonment of 10 years or more.

Female same-sex conduct is not explicitly criminalised. In Guyana, LGBTI people are at risk of discrimination and violence. In April 2012, the government established a select committee to facilitate a national consultation around repealing the law. The Guyana Equality Forum, a collective of justice related organisations, has prepared a submission to the parliamentary committee in this regard. In 2000, a constitutional amendment prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was unanimously approved by the National Assembly of Guyana. However, some religious communities fiercely opposed the provision and successfully convinced then President Bharrat Jagdeo not to give his assent to the bill.

In 2012 three human rights organisations: Guyana RainBow Foundation (GuyBow), the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), and the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), came together to publish an LBT-specific shadow report for submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The report ‘Human Rights Violations of Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (LBT) People in Guyana’ said that despite the right to protection from discriminatory laws, stereotypes, and cultural attitudes for all women, “the Government of Guyana has taken no steps to repeal laws that impact LBT persons or to modify cultural attitudes that lead to climates of fear, harassment, and discrimination. Many LBT people experience discrimination by the police and law enforcement officials. Discriminatory laws against cross-dressing have led to detentions and fines for transgender women. Because of cultural attitudes against LBT people, there have been documented incidences of police intimidation, detention, and the failure to investigate homophobic assaults.”

SASOD has been active in campaigning for a better Guyana for LGBTI people and in February 2010 fi led a lawsuit contesting Guyanese laws against ‘cross dressing’. In September 2013, Chief Justice Ian Chang ruled that men can crossdress as long as it is not for an “improper purpose”. Kemraj Persaud, program coordinator of SASOD, provided advice concerning poverty of LGBT people during the annual gathering of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) which took place in Washington in October 2013. The World Bank took evidence on what it could do to alleviate poverty among millions of LGBT people around the world.

In January 2014, on the first anniversary of the murder of 19-year old Wesley “Tiffany” Holder, LGBTI people came together to organise a ‘March for Justice’ against the slow police investigations of killings of LGBTI people in the country.

“I have reached a point in my life where I could care less of what people think. Today, I am living my best life ever and I owe it to myself as well as society out there to come clean as it were.” Leon Suseran

Jamaica’s Chief medical offi cer Dr. Kevin Harvey with graduate of JFlag’s public health workers training

 JAMAICA pop. 2,889,287

Male same-sex conduct is illegal in Jamaica and punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Female same-sex conduct is not criminalised.

Sexuality-based discrimination continues to be commonplace and impacts on LGBTI people in a number of ways, including their right to work, education, health, life, and equality before the law, among others. The law does not protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity and many LGBTI Jamaicans have been forced to seek asylum abroad as a consequence of the discrimination and violence they face.

In April 2011, the Jamaican government passed the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedom but ignored calls to include sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for non-discrimination. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller stated during her 2011 general election campaign that LGBTI people should not be discriminated against and that she intended to facilitate a conscience vote in parliament on the matter, however in recent comments she stated that decriminalisation of LGBTI people ‘was not a priority’ for her government.

J-FLAG, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays, is an LGBT rights organisation in Jamaica, founded in 1998, and works for the human rights of LGBT people in Jamaica and the world. To raise awareness within, and increase visibility of, the LGBT community, J-FLAG has developed some social media campaigns that provide LGBT persons and allies with opportunities to share their personal stories with the public. It is part of the Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities (CariFLAGS).

According to J-FLAG, “Jamaica is a very classist society, and this is manifested in the way we treat members of the LGBT population. Stigma, discrimination, violence, and crime affect all minority and vulnerable populations disproportionately when compared with the general population. LGBT people experience several layers of homophobia or homonegative attitudes. We experience this in homes, schools, churches, at healthcare facilities, at the workplace, in policy, in law, and in our communities. Crime and violence in particular primarily affect young poor males more than the rest of the LGBT population. This is not unique to the community, as it represents the trend in national crime statistics.”

In January 2013, J-FLAG noted that despite the continued discrimination and violence perpetrated against LGBTI people, there was some progress in Jamaica. A 2012 survey commissioned by J-FLAG found that one in five Jamaicans respect LGBTI people and one in five would support a Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms that includes sexual orientation as a ground for non-discrimination. Also, one-third of the population believes the government is not doing enough to protect LGBTI people from violence and discrimination. Among these were what it described as an “unprecedented” move by the University of Technology to address anti-gay attitudes and violence (in response to the savage beating of a male student allegedly found in a compromising position with another male in November 2012); improved relations with the Jamaica Constabulary Force; and calls by the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson for the buggery law to be amended.

Sadly, anti-LGBTI violence in the country remains high. In July 2013, 16 year-old Dwayne Jones who attended a party as female was murdered by a mob in St James after being identified by another patron as trans. After the murder of a gay activist in Montego Bay, former Prime Minister PJ Patterson called for more tolerance for homosexuals in Jamaica.

Supplementary to J-FLAG, in January 2013 Quality of Citizenship Jamaica (QCJ) was formed. QCJ came out of the need for an organisation specifically working on issues surrounding lesbian, bisexual and other women who have sex with women. Quality of Citizenship Jamaica is primarily a research and education organisation.

“I am free and happy now, accepted by my family (including my dad who is a Minister of Religion) and friends but it was not always the case. In my earlier years I was verbally assaulted because I was perceived to be a lesbian. I was asked by the then Warden for Taylor Hall, UWI [University of West Indies], to vacate the hall mid- semester because it was reported to him that I was engaging in illegal activities, that is, sexually engaging a woman. I resisted the move but was not awarded a space on Hall for the following academic year.

“Thankfully, I no longer suffer this degree of victimisation but everyday I live with the fear of being harmed on the basis of my sexual orientation. I spend my days advocating for a more rights-based approach to development, one in which Jamaica respects the right of all persons. I am a proud Jamaican lesbian and I applaud the incremental progress being made in Jamaica as I believe it has directly impacted my survival as a lesbian.” Latoya Nugent

United and Strong members say its #timetoact on sexual violence

ST LUCIA pop. 180,870

The United and Strong (U&S) LGBTI rights organisation was founded in 2001. It has been active at a national and international level, campaigning for human rights, raising consciousness and lobbying the government for law changes.

Their mission is “to provide an enabling environment for the advancement of human rights for the LGBTI community in Saint Lucia.”

In May 2012, United & Strong organised a demonstration at the Office of the Prime Minister and Minister of Education around the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). It was the first of its kind undertaken by U&S members and human rights supporters, and highlighted to St. Lucia that the LGBTI community will not remain unseen, nor unheard. U&S have also, in partnership with AIDS Free World and CariFLAGS, produced human rights violation documentation training for human rights defenders in the Eastern Caribbean. In August 2013, United & Strong partnered with AIDS Free World, to host an LGBTI sensitivity training for police officers.

The work of U&S remains so required in St Lucia because of the country’s laws which criminalise LGBTI people. According to the Criminal Code, consensual same-sex sexual activity is illegal under indecency statues, and some same-sex sexual activity between men is also illegal under anal intercourse laws. Indecency statutes carry a maximum penalty of five years, and anal intercourse carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. LGBTI people in St Lucia enjoy varying levels of tolerance; discrimination remains commonplace.

Christian evangelical groups continue to lead anti-gay movements to block efforts by human rights defenders to advance the rights of LGBTI people in St Lucia. In July 2013, the Caribbean Centre for Family and Human Rights (CARIFAM) published a letter in The Voice, the national newspaper of St Lucia, outlining ten reasons why the government should not decriminalise buggery.

Working against this message is the AIDS Action Foundation (AAD), which works with minority groups such as men who have sex with men to advocate for their basic right to “live and love as they want” without fear of legal or social retribution or incarceration since homosexuality is a criminal offence in the country.

“Coming out as a lesbian in Saint Lucia was definitely an overwhelming experience as I did not know what to expect from my family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers and even the everyday man on the street who just randomly says hi as I would walk around the busy streets of Castries. For me it was definitely an emotional roller coaster especially having to break the news to my grandparents who raised me in a Christian home where a lesbian lifestyle was not part of the norms, tradition and culture in Saint Lucia society. However, I managed to break the silence to my friends and family. While some were accepting others were not as supportive. Surprisingly my mom accepted me and like she told me “once you’re happy, I am happy” and I have always kept this with me as my strength.” Jessica St Rose

ST KITTS AND NEVIS pop. 53,584

LGBTI people in St. Kitts & Nevis continue to experience discrimination and acts of violence based on their sexual orientation and/or their gender identity. There are no laws that prohibit discrimination against a person on the basis of sexual orientation and the act of buggery remains illegal.

This carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison. Over the last 5 years there have been a few charges of buggery against men. Female same-sex activity is not explicitly criminalised.

In August 2013, Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas, who has lead responsibility for health within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) cabinet, gave his support to a debate in parliament regarding the buggery law. He argued that, “As a country, we have been called upon to look at some of the existing laws that we have on our law books. The buggery law for example, we believe that the time has come for debate to take place in our country with regard to whether these laws, which continue to perpetuate discrimination and stigmatisation against certain people.”

Societal attitudes against LGBTI people impede the operation and free association of LGBTI organisations and the openness of LGBTI people in the country.

“In a word life as a gay man in St.Kitts is complicated. You need to have real strength of character in order to live a happy life here. There are no ‘meeting spots’ such as clubs or bars where you can meet like-minded men. So it’s a constant guessing game if you see someone you’re attracted to. And while the homophobia here isn’t as blatant as other islands, it still exists.

“It’s really hard to summarize so much hate and ignorance in such a small space. The life of a gay Kittitian (male) is one that needs the mental strength of a thousand Vietnam soldiers. Being ambushed verbally and sometimes physically by “Christ following” men and women who are under the impression that somewhere along the line of choosing what shirt we’d wear to work today, we also chose to be aroused by the simple features of a male. Plain and simple, the life of a gay man let alone a young man, who is already struggling to find his identity in the world, is a tough road to walk, but it’s a road we have to take.” Junior


Same-sex relationships, either between men or women, are considered illegal. Although rarely enforced, indecency statutes carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, and anal intercourse carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in imprisonment.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines rejected the recommendation of the 2008 UN Human Rights Committee to repeal section 146 of the Criminal Code that criminalises sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex.

Although no statistics are available, anecdotal evidence suggests there is social discrimination against LGBTI people in the deeply conservative society. An example occurred recently when the President of the Scouts Association of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Morrison Baisden, said gay and lesbian scout leaders will not be tolerated in the organisation.

Baisden, speaking to reporters on plans by the local scouting association to celebrate its 100th anniversary later this year, said, like the World Scout Movement, the local body has been affected by “the spectre of homosexuality”.

Unlike many other islands in the region, St. Vincent and the Grenadines does not have an LGBTI organisation that can act as a reference point where advocacy and/or social services are concerned. This is done indirectly and through HIV organisations, such as the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Alliance, which attempt to bridge the gap between HIV prevention and social support services for at risk groups such as MSMs and sex workers.

“As a gay young Caribbean citizen, I have experienced both sides of the coin. I have been bullied especially in high school because of my perceived sexuality as well as been subject to physical attacks. I was beaten in fights and was even once stoned.

“There is also the acceptance which I have received in parts of my society. I have found that the more educated you become and the more you climb the social ladder especially in a small society as St. Vincent and the Grenadines that you become more accepted. After returning from my studies at university, more persons look at you now as an upstanding citizen with something to contribute rather than a deviant. There is still a struggle for total acceptance of my lifestyle and the understanding that LGBT rights are human rights rather than a fi ght for choice especially in a close-minded society as mine.” Anonymous

Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO) members campaigning during IDAHOT

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO pop. 1,225,225

Neither male nor female same-sex relationships are legal in the country and are punishable by up to 25 years imprisonment. However the laws criminalising LGBTI people are rarely enforced except when paired with more serious offences such as rape. Trinidad and Tobago’s immigration laws also bar the entry of homosexual people into the country; again the legislation is not enforced.

In 2011, the Data Protection Act became the first pro-LGBTI legislation in the country. The Act sought to “ensure that protection is afforded to an individual’s right to privacy and the right to maintain sensitive personal information as private and personal”. The legislation is significant as the law provides heightened protections for “sensitive personal information”, which is defined to include one’s “sexual orientation or sexual life”.

In August 2012, Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar sent a letter to the Kaleidoscope Trust, in which said she wanted to “put an end to all discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation” in the country. Mrs Persad- Bissessar said the stigmatisation of LGBTI people had to be “addressed on the grounds of human rights and dignity to which every individual is entitled under international law.”

The LGBTI community is centred in the capital city of Port-of-Spain. The main advocacy groups opposing anti-LGBTI prejudice are the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO) and the Trinidad & Tobago FreePride Foundation Project (FreePride). CAISO was founded in 2009 as a public forum in order to raise awareness among lay people and elected officials about the needs of LGBT people and the issues they face. In 2013 a survey commissioned by CAISO revealed that a little over half of the population is tolerant towards LGBT people.

Another vital group is the Women’s Caucus. It is not a political organisation; rather, it provides gay women with a forum to chat and express themselves beyond the party scene. It was formed to unify these women throughout Trinidad, and aims to help women of the LGBT community to know that they are not alone in their struggles. The Women’s Caucus also hosts social gatherings, using proceeds to aid the needy within the community.

Maurice Tomlinson, a gay rights activist and lawyer from Jamaica who is active across the Caribbean, is contesting the section of anti-gay laws which prohibit homosexuals from entering Trinidad and Tobago. On 8th May 2014 the Caribbean Court of Justice granted special leave, saying that it was arguable that the mere existence of laws such as these could constitute a violation of a person’s rights under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (which established the Caribbean Community). The governments of Trinidad and Tobago, and Belize, the only two countries in the Western hemisphere which continue to prohibit the entry of gay people, had argued that the laws were not enforced in practice. The case will now proceed to a full hearing.

In June 2014, LGBT youth leaders from across the Caribbean united in Trinidad to push for lingering anti-gay laws to be repealed. At a ‘Generation Change’ event, representatives from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago came together to discuss the problems they face on a day-to-day basis as a result of homophobic laws, which are often colonial-era remnants.

“It was 1997, she was Ellen, I was eleven, and I realized I was not alone. I had never heard the word lesbian until then and instantly I knew what it meant. I was young but I wasn’t stupid and I knew I was ‘different’, I liked girls the way I perceived that my mom liked boys. It would take seven years for me to tell my mother, and when I did, I came out as bi. I did this as a way to ease her into the idea, while trying to convince myself that there was still a little ‘normal’ in me. Fact is I was as normal as anyone could be, and I was bi.” Candace Moses

Public Body Initiative of the Year


LGBTI people use public services like any other section of the community, but there are many specific needs that LGBTI people have. Our public services have huge influence on inclusive change here in Scotland  The Public Body Initiative of the Year, sponsored by Unison Scotland will celebrate and recognise the best initiative.

The six short-listed nominees in this category are;

Judicial Institute of Scotland for thier work on transgender training and review of the Equal Treatment Bench Book

National Gender Identity Clinical Network for Scotland for the foundation of a new body to coordinate gender reassignment activity in Scotland

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for thier LGBT inclusive training for staff

Scottish Prison Service – New training DVD and policies around transgender prisoners

Scottish Government for the One Scotland Campaign

Travel and International Health Team, NHS National Services Scotland for their work on inclusive LGBT travel information

Attending Equality Network Events: Access

The Equality Network makes every effort to ensure that all events we organise are accessible to everyone who wishes to attend. To assist us in achieving this, when we organise an event we will ask about access requirements.

Often our events are free to attend, though we ask people to register in advance. For some events we may be able to waive the cost of admission for people for whom the cost would be a barrier to attending.

If you need a personal assistant/support worker to be with you during an event, please let us know: we will provide them with a free place.

If you have a query about attending an Equality Network event, please contact us.


Blind/Visual impairment

All Equality Network printed resources are provided in 14-point arial text, in accordance with RNIB guidelines for visual impairment. If you require soft copies, Braille transcriptions, large print, or other accommodation for your vision, please let us know when you book for the event: we will always try to provide our material in a readable format.

Deaf/Hearing impairment

If you need a BSL translator, electronic notetaker, or other support to be able to take part in our events, please let us know when you book for the event: we will always try to accommodate you, but translators and notetakers need to be booked well in advance of the event: we cannot normally book unless we know that someone is attending who will make use of this support.


If you need the printed resources for the event on a different colour of paper for ease of reading, please let us know when you book for the event: we will always try to provide our material in a readable format.


We make every effort to find venues accessible to people with mobility impairments for our events. If you have specific access needs, please let us know when you book for the event.


We may be able to help with the cost of childcare and/or family support if this would be a barrier to you attending an event.


Where a meal is provided at our events, we always ensure vegetarian and vegan options are provided, and we always ask the caterers to clearly label the plates. If you have other diet needs – such as halal, wheat-free, nut allergy – please let us know when you book for the event.

Travel costs

If the cost of travel or, if you live a long distance from an event, accommodation would be a barrier to you attending an event we may be able to help. If this is the case please let us know in advance.


Most Equality Network events are attended both by people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), and by people who are not familiar with the LGBT communities in Scotland and may not be familiar with some of the words used. People may also have very differing views on some of the issues discussed. We provide an information sheet with some short definitions and we ask all participants to behave respectfully and politely towards each other.

LGBTI Equality and the Scottish Independence Referendum

Referendum FlagsOn 18th September 2014 Scotland will hold a referendum on whether to become an independent country or to remain part of the UK.

The Equality Network wants to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Scotland have the most information possible about the impact that either outcome could have on LGBTI equality and human rights before casting a vote.

We asked the leaders of the six main political parties in Scotland, on either side of the debate, to outline how their party would ensure continued progress towards LGBTI equality and human rights in each scenario of  Scotland voting for independence or voting to remain in the United Kingdom. The responses from all six party leaders can be found below.

Of course it goes without saying that LGBTI people, like everyone else, will have very many reasons for deciding how to vote, but we hope you find this information useful.

The present situation

The Scottish Parliament currently has devolved powers over some, but not all, areas affecting LGBTI equality and human rights:

  • It has powers over areas including: justice, family law, education, health, and can decide how it spends its block grant from the UK Government.
  • It does not have control over: constitutional issues, equality law, foreign affairs, asylum policy, or the overall level of Scotland’s block grant, all of which remain reserved powers of the UK Parliament.

That’s why the Equality Network wants to see clear commitments from the main parties on either side of the debate (the SNP, Labour, the Conservatives, the Lib Dems, the Greens, and the Scottish Socialist Party), for each outcome, before 18th September.

The impact of each outcome on LGBTI equality and human rights

In the event that Scotland votes to remain in the UK the Equality Network wants to know whether each of the parties will commit to:

  • Supporting devolution of equal opportunities powers so that Scotland can protect the progress made on LGBTI equality in recent years and deal with the deficiencies of current equality law
  • Ensuring that Scotland is able to commit adequate leadership and resources on efforts to secure LGBTI equality through public services (for example, through the level of Scotland’s block grant)
  • Ensuring that Scotland is able to play its part in promoting LGBTI equality and human rights throughout the world
  • Supporting the improvement of the UK’s asylum processes so that LGBTI people with a well-founded fear of persecution on grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status can find asylum in the UK

In the event that Scotland votes for independence the Equality Network wants to know whether each of the parties will commit to:

  • Supporting clear protections for LGBTI equality in a written constitution, including specifically on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex status
  • Ensuring that Scotland commits adequate leadership and resources on efforts to secure LGBTI equality through public services (for example, promoting equality in schools, tackling hate crime etc)
  • Ensuring that Scotland has a strong influence promoting LGBTI equality and human rights around the world including through diplomatic efforts and the provision of aid
  • Ensuring that Scotland has an progressive asylum system that welcomes LGBTI people seeking asylum from their home country because of a well-founded fear of persecution on grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status

We asked the parties to explain how their commitments in each of these areas will be met, and why they think LGBTI people should vote either for independence or to remain in the UK, both in terms of LGBTI equality but also the wider case for each outcome.

A full list of the questions we have asked the parties can be found at: LGBTI Equality and the Independence Referendum  (PDF)

You can now see the responses from each party below: 

Further information from the campaigns

Both Better Together (the campaign to remain in the UK) and Yes Scotland (the campaign for independence) have LGBTI campaign groups advocating their different positions on the referendum. Visit their websites for more on their opinions:

Our position on the referendum

The Equality Network is deliberately neutral on the question of the independence referendum as we recognise that our supporters, and LGBTI people across Scotland, will have a broad range of views.

However, we will continue to engage with parties and organisations on both sides of the referendum debate before and after the vote in order to ensure that, regardless of the outcome, we get the best deal for LGBTI equality and human rights.

What happens after the referendum?

  • If Scotland votes for independence: Our immediate priority will be to ensure Scotland’s written constitution provides clear protections for LGBTI equality and human rights, including on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. Our work relating to independence will focus on the development of the constitution, and ensuring that the impact on LGBTI equality and human rights is fully considered during the process of negotiations between Scotland and rUK, and during the process of establishing any new policies, laws and institutions.
  • If Scotland votes to remain in the UK: Our immediate priority will be to secure devolution of equal opportunities powers so that we can protect the progress made in recent years on LGBTI equality and deal with the deficiencies of current equality law. Devolution of equal opportunities powers has been the Equality Network’s policy since 1998, and we will work with all the main parties, on both sides of the referendum debate, to make this happen.

Registering to vote

The deadline to register to vote in the Scottish independence referendum was Tuesday 2 September 2014.

To check whether you are registered and to find out more information about how to vote please visit: www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/referendum_scotland.aspx

If you would like further information about the Equality Network’s work you can contact us at: www.equality-network.org/about/contact

Asexual publications

The term asexual, or ace, refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction to other people. As part of the diverse spectrum of human sexuality, asexuality is a sexual orientation like straight, lesbian, gay and bisexual.

Here you can find publications and resources relating to asexuality. Click on the images below or the hyperlinks to view or download the publications as PDF files. You are welcome to print these resources yourself, or if you would like us to send you printed copies, e.g. for a stall at an event, please contact info@equality-network.org.

Including Asexual People in Services

Including Asexual People in ServicesDraws on asexual specific research and guidance to provide a simple intro to asexuality and a guide for service providers on how to include asexual people. This booklet will provide you with the foundations to start thinking about simple changes to your practice that can ensure you are creating an inclusive service in which asexual people can participate fully.



Asexual trifold leafletA tri-fold leaflet covering facts and misconceptions about asexuality and tips for better ace inclusion.


Some key tips for ace inclusion are:

  1. If someone comes out to you as ace, believe them, accept their relationship choices and support them. Remember, meaningful relationships don’t need to include sex. As with anyone else, don’t ask intrusive questions about their sex life.
  2. Remember that ace people can also identify as gay, lesbian, bi or pan romantic.
  3. The language we use has power to include or exclude. If you want to include ace people, mention them by name, and don’t use language which implies that everyone is seeking sex or romance.
  4. Learn to recognise ace-erasure and acephobia and challenge it when you witness it. Speaking out helps to educate others and make environments more inclusive.