An LGBT rainbow will shine on Penshaw Monument this week

This Wednesday evening (17 May) the Penshaw Monument in Sunderland is to be lit up in rainbow colours by UNISON Northern region’s LGBT group and Sunderland City Council to mark international day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

The day is celebrated every year to remind people of the huge number of hate crimes and incidents against LGBT people that are reported in the UK.

It is estimated that up to 2.1 million LGBT people in the UK have experienced hate crime in their lifetime due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.  (The Hate Crime Report, Galop, 2016).  A survey found that 4 in 5 LGBT participants had experienced hate crime related to their gender identity or sexual orientation in their lifetime (79%).

Commenting on the day, UNISON Northern regional secretary Clare Williams said: “Throughout the world LGBT people continue to be the victims of hate-fuelled crime simply because of how they identify or express themselves.

“Anyone who visits Penshaw this Wednesday evening will see the highly visible landmark lit up in the colours of the rainbow. It will send a clear message that the region is one community and stands together in the fight against hate.

“While attitudes are changing, it’s important no-one is complacent. The violence directed at gay people in Chechnya is truly alarming, and in the UK there’s been a huge surge in LGBT hate crime since Brexit.”

International day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is an annual event held throughout the world on 17 May. The day was created in 2004 and aims to raise awareness of discrimination and bigotry facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities around the world.  UNISON members will be at Penshaw Monument from 9.00 – 10.00 pm for any photo opportunities.