Cheshire Constabulary : LGBT & Faith Event

Cheshire Constabulary : LGBT & Faith Event

On Monday 15th February Cheshire Constabulary’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) support network group, in partnership with Firepride and Cheshire West and Chester Council, facilitated an LGBT and Faith Masterclass to celebrate and support LGBT History Month.

LGBT History Month is a national event which takes place every February and the theme this year focussed on Religion, Belief and Philosophy; which was a theme that ran throughout the Masterclass.

The Masterclass aimed to provide an understanding on how Faith and LGBT can impact an individual, to detail the support available and for attendee’s to gain an understanding of the challenges facing LGBT individuals in retaining their faith.

The Masterclass was organised by Kat Stock, a PCSO and the Chair of the Cheshire Police LGBT Network. The event saw a range of speakers share their personal and heart-warming experiences, including representatives from Liverpool Open Table Kieran Bohan, the Equality & Diversity representative from 5 Boroughs NHS Partnership Tara Hewitt, Rose Neelam discussing LGBT and being a Muslim and Khakan Qureshi from Finding a Voice in Birmingham. Showing his support, the Masterclass was introduced by Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner, John Dwyer.

One attendee touched upon his experience of being part of the first couple in the UK to hold their marriage in a place of worship, and another attendee shared his heart warming tale of being banished by his family, and how they managed to rebuild their relationships after finding common ground.

“The Masterclass aimed to provide an understanding on how Faith and LGBT can impact an individual, to detail the support available and for attendee’s to gain an understanding of the challenges facing LGBT individuals in retaining their faith.”

More heart-warming experiences were shared throughout the Masterclass, as an award-winning young activist shared her story of being out in Islam and the social and religious guilt placed upon her, and a husband and wife shared their experiences as fundamentalist Christians who have a transgender child, and how love, acceptance, understanding, and support has led to a stronger relationship with their child.

The Masterclass was attended by a large number of individuals from Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire Police, Cheshire Fire, Cheshire West and Chester Council, The Proud Trust, The University of Chester, National Health Service (NHS) and College of Policing CKP Providers.

WHAT AN AWESOME GROUP OF PEOPLE. SAY HELLO TO THE AWESOME MASTERCLASS SPEAKERS AND CONTRIBUTORS. WELL DONE TO KAT FOR MAKING THE EVENT A REALITY.

Michelle Markaret from Cheshire West and Chester Council said : “I found the session really interesting and the speakers extremely inspirational, especially as they spoke about their personal experiences so openly and honestly to the group.”

“The questions and answers at the end were also very informative, and great to see a strong partnership approach working together.”

“Working so closely with the community it is vital for us to ensure we build our knowledge to help support or provide information to individuals or groups. I look forward to attending any sessions in the future.”

This Masterclass was the first session of 2016, and it is hoped that after the success of this event, they become more regular with each organisation providing one per year. The next Masterclass will be held in May to fall in line with International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

SOME TWEETS FROM THE DAY :

Keep connected with Cheshire Constabulary LGBT Network on Twitter :

About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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