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Sheffield Hallam students make some noise about discrimination

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Issued:16/05/18

Students and staff from Sheffield Hallam University are joining forces with city youth charity SAYiT and Sheffield City Council to raise awareness of biphobia, transphobia and homophobia.

They are holding an event to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on Thursday, May 17, in the city's Peace Gardens from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. The event takes place every year and is open to the public - while in other cities there is a minute's silence, those attending in Sheffield will make one minute of noise to mark the occasion and highlight the cause, showing the city will not be silent about homophobia, transphobia or biphobia.

There will also be speakers, and Britain's Got Talent star, Kyle Tomlinson, from Sheffield, will lead a sing-along. The annual awareness day started in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBT+ people around the world.

It takes place every May 17 - to commemorate the date in 1990 on which the World Health Organisation took the decision to declassified homosexuality as a mental health disorder. This year's theme is Alliances for Solidarity. The movement is calling on people from LGBT+ communities around the world to strengthen alliances in order to help secure safety, campaign against violence and lobby for changes in the law.

James Laley, from Sheffield Hallam University's employability team, who is also co-chair of SIGNAL the staff LGBT+ network, said: "We are delighted to be supporting this year's event. It is an opportunity for members of the LGBT+ community to come together, make some noise about the discrimination and violence they suffer simply because of their sexual preferences on a daily basis and change this for the better."

Steve Slack, CEO of the young LGBT+ people’s charity SAYiT said: “We are delighted to be hosting the IDAHOBIT event this year in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University. As a charity which sees at first hand the impact of homophobic, transphobic and biphobic bullying we have been hugely impressed by the positive steps being taken by SHU to improve the lives of LGBT+ students and young people in the city – including their Allies programme. We hope that as many people as possible will come along and support this event.”

Councillor Neale Gibson, LGBT+ champion at Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield is an inclusive city where diversity is celebrated, but we know that some people are still subjected to bullying or violence because of their sexual orientation. On international day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia we don’t go silent, we shout about it because that’s how we raise awareness and change behaviours. We’re proud to support this event and I hope people across our communities will come along and stand together against this kind of discrimination.”

For press information: Contact Polly Mosley in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 3224 or email p.mosley@shu.ac.uk