The Mayor of Wirral along with the Leader and Chief Executive of Wirral Council have come together to show their support for LGBTQ+ residents and staff.
The progress pride flag is flying above both Wallasey and Birkenhead Town Halls to acknowledge International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
This annual celebration is an important day for LGBTQ+ people as it commemorates the World Health Organisation removing homosexuality from their International Classification of Diseases on 17 May 1990. It was previously listed as a mental health disorder.
Since then, LGBTQ+ organisations have marked the occasion by celebrating sexual and gender diversities through several events and commemorations, big and small, on 17 May.
Since 2020, Wirral Council has had an active LGBTQ+ Staff Network group who have helped to shape internal policies and share stories about LGBTQ+ history and awareness. This includes introducing a campaign to encourage staff who feel comfortable to do so sharing their pronouns in their email signatures, adapting policies to be LGBTQ+ friendly, and using pride months to share their stories of equality.
Chief Executive Paul Satoor said, “I have worked in a variety of different organisations during my management career and having a background in HR, I have always sought to ensure the contribution that a really diverse workforce can bring, is valued by the organisation and its teams.
“I’m convinced more than ever that creating a working environment that values and supports individuals to be themselves can only build self-confidence and ultimately makes us an organisation that reflects the community that we serve. I extend my support and gratitude to LGBTQ+ residents who can celebrate themselves, their family, and their community.”
Cllr Janette Williamson added, “As leader of Wirral Council, I want to express my unwavering support for LGBTQ+ staff and residents in Wirral. We are currently witnessing human rights being stripped back across the globe, and people challenging prejudice and hate can help us progress forward.
“I’m passionate about equality for all, and I’m hopeful that one day there will be no barriers for any LGBTQ+ person in Wirral through discrimination.”
Mayor of Wirral, Cllr George Davies concluded, “Flying the rainbow flag shows that as a borough; we celebrate diversity, inclusiveness, and respect. We celebrate all residents and will continue to tackle any prejudice that they may face.”
A spokesperson for Wirral Council’s LGBTQ+ Staff Network said, “As a staff-led group, we’ve helped shape the organisation to further celebrate equality and diversity. Our aim is to raise awareness, knowledge and understanding around terminology, and to promote activities relating to LGBTQ+ people within the organisation. The ongoing encouragement we’ve received from senior council leaders has been motivating.”
The rainbow progress flag is an internationally recognised symbol of LGBTQI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer/Questioning and Intersex) pride. This updated version of the pride flag is more inclusive as it celebrates people of colour, trans people and those living with HIV/AIDS within the community. This is shown as an arrow pointing right to symbolise forward movement. Wirral Council has raised the rainbow pride flag since 2010.
As an equal opportunity employer, Wirral Council is committed to supporting and celebrating all the diverse people who make up the organisation.