Sheffield LGBTQ+ charity to host event celebrating sexual and gender diversities

A campaigning LGBTQ+  charity has organised an International day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in Winter Gardens Sheffield to celebrate gender diversity. 

Instead of a traditional minute of silence held for victims – the event will instead feature a minute of noise, to spread awareness and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. 

The SAYiT charity is an independent charity which has been running in Sheffield since 1999, supporting Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and plus young people and young people affected by HIV for 25 years. 

A representative for SAYiT said: “The main idea behind this event is  to stop any kind of phobia and to raise awareness to stop hate crimes. We want to achieve fairness, equality and to stop any kind of LGBTQ+ phobia and discrimination.

“It is a place for everyone to gather together for one day, and use resistance against any LGBTQ+ phobia and make some noise against it.”

The event will host speakers from different organisations such as: University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, LGBTQ+ Sheffield and Sheffield City Council. 

Adeola Bangoko, 26, Equality and Engagement Officer at Sheffield City Council said: “It will definitely show that homophobia and all forms of discrimination, hatred and abuse is not welcome here in Sheffield.

“It is to raise awareness and spend solidarity with LGBTQ+ individuals that have experienced violence and hatred and to have a moment to reflect and pause.” 

The IDAHOBIT event is recurring every year, and each year has a different theme. This year’s theme will be: Our bodies, Our Lives, Our rights.

Kath Housley, 68, Chair of LGBTQ+ Sheffield said: “We still have lots of boundaries as there is still homophobic attacks and problems within our society. People think that everyone is equal but we are not. 

Sheffield could do more for the LGBTQ+ community, as Sheffield is a bit backwards in the LGBTQ+ support.”

A freedom of information request made by Now Then magazine showed that between 2018 and 2021 there has been almost a 100% increase in a homophobic and transphobic hate crimes reported to the South Yorkshire police. 

For more information you can access the SAYiT Twitter page @SAYiTSheffield and their event details on their Facebook page. 

Written by Emily Hawtin

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