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Emergency services join together to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

16th May 2018

Joint Press Release

Emergency services join together to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia 

Thursday 17 May 2018 marks International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

Since 2005, 17 May has been dedicated to raising awareness and shining a light on the stigmatization and violence still sadly faced by many LBGTQ people, both here in the UK and around the world.

The day is observed worldwide in over 120 countries and here in North Yorkshire, the emergency services are joining together to mark the day, raise awareness of the challenges faced by our local LGBTQ community and provide support and advice.

To mark the day, officers from the North Yorkshire Police LGBT support network will be holding  public engagement event on Parliament Street in York City Centre from 11am to 2pm, to provide information around LGBT hate crime, how to report it and support services available from Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire.

Alongside them will be representatives from Yorkshire Ambulance service and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue services.

The event will be the first outing for the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue newly ‘wrapped’ fire engine, which will be forming part of the York Pride parade which takes place in the city on Saturday 9 June 2018.

Speaking about the rainbow wrapped engine, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Group Manager for York, Stuart Simpson said:

“Our decision to have a fire engine wrapped with this design shows our commitment to being an inclusive organisation both in terms of recruitment and also when engaging with our local communities. I would like to say special thanks to the design students from York St John University who worked hard to produce a range of designs for us to pick from.Pride wrapped fire engine

He added: “It’s great that the Service is taking part in this year’s Pride events and I firmly believe we can have a positive impact ensuring people feel comfortable and safe enough to be themselves whether that’s members of our staff or members of our community. If you’re coming along to the Pride parade on the 9 June look out for us and be sure to give us a wave!”

Speaking about International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, Sergeant Sandy Scott from the North Yorkshire Police LGBT support group said:

"It's important that we remember that there are many people, both within the UK and around the world, who are still being persecuted for their gender identity and/or their sexual orientation. Most LGBTQ people within the UK will have experienced some kind of exclusion, targeted aggression or physical violence at some point, just for being who they are.

"International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia is a great opportunity to highlight some of these issues and provide a forum for members of the public to come and speak to us about hate crime, ways to report, victim support and what you can expect from us.

"We are proud to have a vibrant and motivated LGBTQ network that provides support and advice to officers, staff and volunteers within North Yorkshire Police as well as engaging with our local communities, and we are looking forward to participating in this year’s Pride events alongside our colleagues from the fire and ambulance services.

"It isn’t lost on us that when we take part in Pride, we do so not only for ourselves but for  those who fought for our rights before us and also for those who continue to be denied the opportunity to lead authentic lives. It serves as a reminder of how far we as a country have come in terms of LGBTQ equality, but we recognise that there is still a long way to go."

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