LGBT*

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…

Touchstone featured in Stonewall’s LGBT careers guide

Touchstone is more than proud to be featured in “Starting Out” a career guide published by Stonewall for LGBT+ job seekers and graduates. For many people entering the job market, it’s hard to know how open to be about their sexual orientation. However, research from Stonewall shows that workers who are comfortable to be out at work also…

Choosing to be a positive role model – an article by Stonewall’s Josh Willacy

Josh Willacy is an Account Manager at Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity. He manages the housing sector and looks after the Yorkshire and Humber region, advising organisations on policy-making decisions and helping them to ensure their workplaces are as inclusive for LGBT staff as possible. Growing up mixed race and gay…

National Coming Out Day

Coming out – speaking the truth that we’re not sure others want to hear – it’s a courageous act. What reaction will we meet? Celebration, condemnation, curiosity or indifference? Will people stand by us, or will they walk away? Will we, maybe, inspire someone else to have the courage to speak their hidden truth? What…

The rainbow flag – what it means and where it comes from

As businesses and communities prepare for Leeds Pride this weekend, we can expect to see a plethora of rainbow flags adorning the buildings of Leeds city centre. The flag has been a symbol of LGBT unity and strength for nearly 40 years – so much so, that we rarely think about what they flag’s origins…

#IDAHOBIT A long history of oppression and resistance

On International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, we look at the chequered history of the ongoing quest for equal rights and legal recognition.   1533 – During the reign of Henry VIII, all sexual intercourse between two men was made illegal, punishable by death. Between 1533 and 1558 the law was repealed and then…