LGBT+ History Month 2024: Supporting your LGBT+ colleagues

It’s February which means we’re celebrating LGBT+ History Month 2024! This year’s theme #UnderTheScope highlights the contribution of LGBT+ people to the world of healthcare. In this blog, we discuss what you can do to support your LGBT+ colleagues and help create a more inclusive environment for all. 

 

Respect pronouns

 

Be respectful towards gender identity by not assuming a colleague’s pronouns based on appearance alone. Normalise asking for pronouns when unsure, avoiding the term ‘preferred pronouns’ as it may be problematic. If unsure or if someone prefers not to disclose, default to ‘they/them’ pronouns or use their name.

 

To demonstrate allyship with the LGBT+ community, make it a habit to share your pronouns when introducing yourself and include them in your email signature. Encouraging colleagues to do the same fosters a more inclusive environment where everyone feels valued.

 

Harvard has a great range of resources available on everything from using inclusive dialogue to 

 

Educate yourself 

 

If you encounter something unfamiliar, don’t hesitate to ask a trusted source or consult reputable online resources like Google to clarify definitions or learn more about LGBT+ history.

 

Challenging discrimination

 

Confront discriminatory behaviour when observed and report it to your supervisor/manager, regardless of whether it originates from patients or colleagues. It’s crucial to emphasise zero tolerance for homophobic, transphobic, or discriminatory language within healthcare settings.

 

Learning from mistakes

 

In the event of unintentional misgendering or inappropriate comments, apologise sincerely and commit to doing better. Being open to learning from others’ experiences fosters understanding and growth.

 

Recognising privilege

 

Understanding one’s privilege, whether related to ability, wealth, or education, fosters empathy towards marginalised groups. For instance, recognising that some individuals may not grasp the significance of pronouns due to lack of personal experience with misgendering helps cultivate empathy and understanding.

 

Actions speak louder than words

 

Merely claiming allyship is insufficient without tangible actions. Speak out against offensive remarks, acknowledge and rectify mistakes gracefully, and demonstrate support consistently. Collective efforts are key to combating LGBT+ prejudices effectively.

 

By prioritising inclusivity and actively supporting the LGBT+ community, social workers can create environments that prioritise the well-being of all individuals, leading to positive outcomes for both service users and colleagues.

 

Social Personnel is dedicated to ensuring staff, clients and candidates feel safe and empowered in the health and social care sector and appreciate your commitment to making this happen.

carlette Isaac

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