LGBT*

Seeking refuge from an oppressive anti-gay regime

Touchstone staff and volunteers recently had the opportunity to hear the story of a gay asylum seeker from Uganda. To protect her identity, we have not included her name or photograph here. At the time that she was growing up in Uganda, people simply did not talk about being gay, because it could cost your…

May 17th – International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is observed on May 17th and aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide. Commemorations have taken place in over 120 countries, in all world regions. Despite some legal and social advances in the past…

Trans Day of Visibility 2018

International Trans Day of Visibility falls on 31st March every year. The aim is to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people around the globe and to counter prejudice by spreading knowledge of the trans community. This year’s theme is “surviving, thriving” (#TransThriving). Below, Touchstone volunteer Rachel talks about her experience and work. Originally from York,…

LGBT History Month – Vicky Beeching

    Victoria Louise “Vicky” Beeching (born 17 July 1979) is an English musician and religious commentator. She is best known for her work in the American contemporary worship music genre, and has been described as “arguably the most influential Christian of her generation” due to of her Twitter following and appearances on BBC’s Thought…

LGBT History Month profile – Lewis Hancox

To mark LGBT History Month 2018, Touchstone is profiling different LGBT role models during the month of February.  This week we are proud to tell you about a fantastic film maker and comedian – Lewis Hancox who has featured in Stonewall’s Come Out For Trans Equality campaign. Here are Lewis’s own words, reproduced from Stonewall’s…

LGBT History Month – bi role models

Drew Barrymore Drew Barrymore (born February 22, 1975) is an actress, producer, writer, and director. As a child actress, she became well-known for her performance in E.T.. Since then she starred in many films and, along with Nancy Juvonen, has started her own production company, Flower Films. In 2003 in and interview with Contact Music…

LGBT History Month

This February, LGBT History Month will celebrate the life of Harvey Milk, 40 years after his murder.  2018 also marks 30 years since the introduction of Section 28, the legislation banning the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ in British schools. Despite his short career in politics, Milk became an icon in San Francisco and a martyr in…

LGBT History Month Profile – HARVEY MILK

To celebrate LGBT History Month in February 2018, Touchstone will profile an LGBT person each week. We are choosing to profile Harvey Milk once again as 2018 is the 40th anniversary of his murder and his remarkable life is being commemorated this year by the LGBT History Month organisers http://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/ Harvey Bernard Milk was an…

LGBT History Month

LGBT History Month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. It originated in the United States and was first celebrated there in 1994. It first took place in the UK in February 2005. It now takes place in…

Touchstone in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers for 2018

Touchstone has been placed 20th in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers, which lists the best employers for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff.  Now in its fourteenth year, the list celebrates the pioneering efforts of leading organisations to create inclusive workplaces and is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index. “Touchstone is delighted to be…

Leadership Masterclass for #LGBT History Month 2018

Weds 14th February 12noon – 2pm (free lunch included) Hillside, Beeston Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 8ND Guest speaker panel Rachel Smith Rob Wilson Eleanor Broadbent Jen Wilson Follow the link to book a FREE ticket https://lgbtleadershipmasterclass.eventbrite.co.uk

LGBTIQ+ service user steering group – 1st February

LGBTIQ+ steering group service user led. For those with lived experience of mental health issues and those at risk. HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD! We are looking to the LGBTIQ+ community who want to help make changes towards our better future.  Buffet, Refreshments, Workshop, Wellbeing therapies.  If you would like to be involved come along to our event on:-…

Bayard Rustin activist #BlackHistoryMonth

Bayard Rustin was an American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, pacifism and non-violence, and gay rights. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania where his family was involved in civil rights work. In 1936, he moved to Harlem, New York City and earned a living as a nightclub and stage singer, and…

Bi-Visibility Day 23rd September

Bi Visibility Day, also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day, has been marked each year since 1999 to highlight biphobia and to help people find the bisexual community. It happens all over the globe. First observed in 1999, Celebrate Bisexuality Day is the brainchild of three United States bisexual rights activists: Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida, and Gigi…

Bi Visibility Day 2017

Bi Visibility Day started was first marked in 1999 and is now celebrated yearly on 23 September. It is a chance for the bi+ community and allies to come together and celebrate as well as helping to raise awareness and correct misconceptions. Bi+ people are often under-represented in the media and when discussing LGBT+ issues;…

“PROUD” – A Story of Touchstone at Leeds Pride 2017

Once again this year Touchstone staff celebrated all that is “Pink” about Leeds during Pride 2017. Not only did staff march tall with our Pink Pals banner in the parade, we also had a stall in partnership with Leeds Mind and Community Links to raise awareness of mental health amongst the LGBT+ and non-LGBT communities…

Leadership Masterclass: Steph Calvert

Steph Calvert will be speaking at the Touchstone Leadership Masterclass on Wednesday 26th July 12noon to 2pm at Hillside, Beeston Road, Leeds, LS11 8ND Steph was born in 1958, and only realised she was officially a boy on seeing her first brother in the bath when she was two. Decades of confusion and distress followed, along…

#MoreThanVisibility: Celebrating Trans Lives

International Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) is an annual event occurring on March 31st each year. The day is dedicated to celebrating Trans people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by Trans people worldwide. Trans Day of Visibility is a time to focus on the positive elements of Trans people’s lives. Here are 8 things…

Understanding Gender Identity: Titles and Pronouns

In the run up to Trans Day of Visibility (31st March), Leeds City Council have released a series of short video presentation about gender identity. Watch the third video on “Titles and Pronouns” below.

Understanding Gender Identity: Sex or Gender

In the run up to Trans Day of Visibility (31st March), Leeds City Council have released a series of short video presentation about gender identity. Watch the first video on “Sex or Gender” below.

I am me

I AM ME My colour is brown It tells the world I am Asian But I am me. My Love is same sex It tells the world I am gay But I am me My age is 47 Tells the world I am middle aged But I am me My religion is Islam Tells the…

Leadership Masterclass for LGBT History Month

To celebrate LGBT History Month, Touchstone will be holding a special Leadership Masterclass on Tuesday 28th February with a panel of LGBT BME speakers. 28th February: 12 noon – 2 pm (lunch included) Hillside, Beeston Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 8ND   Guest speaker panel Khakan Qureshi (founder of Birmingham South Asians LGBT – Finding A Voice)…

LGBT History Month – Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Elizabeth Manning is a Trans woman and a former United States Army soldier. Born Bradley Edward Manning on December 17 1987, Chelsea was convicted by court-martial on July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act, after disclosing nearly three-quarters of a million classified or unclassified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeak’s founder Julian Assange….

Touchstone wins Employee Engagement award

On Thursday 26th January, the 2016 UK Employee Engagement Awards in association with People Insight, announced its winners – the companies that put workforce engagement at the heart of their business strategy. And, of course, Touchstone was in there, scooping the award in the Inclusion and Diversity category. We were recognised for our allies programme “Pink…

LGBT History Month 2017

This year, LGBT History Month – celebrated in February every year – will look at Citizenship, PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and Law as it marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales. The overall aim of LGBT History month is to promote equality and diversity for…

Touchstone in Stonewall’s top 100 employers for 2017

Once again, Touchstone has been placed in the Stonewall top 100 employers – highlighting out commitment to maintaining diversity and challenging prejudice. The Stonewall Top 100 Employers are the best performing employers on Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2017, an annual audit of workplace culture for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff The Workplace Equality Index…

Mental Health within BAME and LGBT communities

To celebrate LGBT History Month, but also to acknowledge the impact of bullying and discrimination on people from LGBT communities, Touchstone chief executive Alison Lowe has written a blog on this issue. This article also appears in 2017’s LGBT History Month magazine. Mental health amongst minority communities is a political as well as an ethical…

Transgender Day of Remembrance

20th November is Transgender Day of Remembrance – a day to look back at Trans people’s struggle for acceptance and particularly to remember those who’ve lost their lives because of the intolerance of others. There are two remembrance services planned in Leeds for the day, one at the Leeds General Infirmary chapel from 11am to 1pm…