We've come a long way baby!
We've only just retrospectively pardoned Alan Turing a genius of considerable fame prosecuted for his sexuality in the 1950s. Whilst there's much talk in parliament today about finally banning controversial 'conversion' therapy.
The relationship between sexuality and mental health has long been a complex and interesting area of research. It's apparent that any differentiation from the heterosexual model of normality can be a significant cause for stress and any negative judgements by wider society can have the impact of adding shame and fear to a person's psychological burden.
Tragically many studies have revealed that gay people are considerably more likely to attempt suicide.
We know that LGB (sic) people are at higher risk of suicidal behaviour, mental disorder and substance misuse and dependence than heterosexual people. The most reliable indicators of suicide risk are self-harm, suicidal thoughts and prior suicide attempts. Among LGBT youth in the UK, one in two reported self-harming at some point in their life and 44% reported having thought about suicide.
With legal and attitude changes more people are comfortable coming out. In 2016/17 less than 1% of our clients self-identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or other non-heterosexual sexuality. In the following year the figure was 2.5%. We hope that reflects the wider trend that a more tolerant and progressive culture is enabling more people to be open about their orientation without fear of discrimination.
We are proud that within our staff team this figure is over 7%, given that the latest ONS figures suggest that just 2% of the UK population identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) we think it's great that we are doing so well in providing a non-discriminatory recruitment approach and gay friendly working environment.
To all our colleagues, clients and supporters who identify as LGBTQ we want to wish you a very Happy Pride. There's no pink ceiling at Twining Enterprise and we look forward to supporting more LGBTQ clients to thrive in work in 2019!