Great news from last weekend’s LGBT Labour AGM: the organisation has passed a motion to affiliate to our campaign. This is a really important step, particularly as so many people end up without a home due to being rejected by their families simply for being LGBT. As part of this new partnership, we plan to host a joint event at Labour conference in September.
Chris Wills from LGBT Labour’s National Committee, and Chair of LGBT Labour North West, said: “The homelessness crisis is worsening. I live in Manchester, where every day I see more and more people sleeping rough – and that’s just the ones we know about, let alone the “hidden homeless”, who are reliant on hostels or going from one friend’s couch to another’s floor night after night.
“2017 marks fifty years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, and huge advances were made for LGBT equality under Labour between 1997 and 2010. Society as a whole has become more tolerant. Yet even now, coming out as LGBT to your family can still often result in you being kicked out on to the streets, or forced to flee the family home due to verbal and physical abuse. Indeed, a 2015 study by The Albert Kennedy Trust showed that figure could be as many as 26% of all young homeless people aged 16-25.
“This issue is personal for me. Some years ago, a close friend of mine came out to his parents, who are very religious. They threw him out on to the streets, and he then spent several months sleeping rough or relying on the charity of friends – a distressing experience made worse by him living in a city with no dedicated service for homeless LGBT people.
“So at the LGBT Labour AGM on 18 February, I was proud to move that LGBT Labour affiliate to the Labour Campaign To End Homelessness – a proposal that was unanimously carried. I believe there is plenty of great joint work our two organisations can do to help tackle homelessness and the impact of this on LGBT people, and I look forward to being involved in that work.”