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We’re back! After a few hectic weeks at the Space office we are returning to our regularly scheduled programming with a Weekly News Roundup!

This week we will cover all major LGBT+ news since September 24th (our last roundup!)

Protests in North America

British Airways’ Swap to Gender Neutral Language NHS Carries Out Trial Screenings for Essential Trans Medical Care

Celebs Call for More Funding Against HIV in the UK

Jubilee Line Stops Renamed For Black History Month

UK Conversion Therapy Ban To Go Ahead in 2022?

Protests in the USA

We’re starting off our roundup across the pond in Northern America & Canada where numerous protests have taken place calling for LGBT+ rights.

Several states in the United States have banned or are in the process of banning trans healthcare for under 18s, despite the ruling of the Tavistock vs Bell case in the UK. An anti-puberty blockers protester began to campaign outside of a high-school in Ottawa in Canada, however the city came together and over 200 people gathered to chant “trans kids matter”. The immediate crowd was mostly made up of allies, but the local LGBT+ group, Rainbow Carleton, has also organised a counter-protest.

Nearby in Vermont, Burlington High School’s volleyball team were subject to racist and transphobic abuse from their rival team. In response to this, students and staff organised an incredible ‘drag ball’ during the halftime of their homecoming football game. 30 people took part in the performance, while the crowd was packed with people in rainbow colours and pride flags cheering them on.

Finally, in Los Angeles, Netflix staff banded together to protest against the transphobic David Chapelle show which was uploaded to the platform on October 5th. The comedy special features Chapelle saying that “"gender is a fact" and LGBT people are "too sensitive" and he responded to criticism by saying "If this is what being cancelled is about, I love it."

Over 100 people gathered outside Netflix HQ, including celebrities, activists and Netflix staff who had walked out of their offices. Jameela Jamil, Jonathan Van Ness, Elliot Page, and Lilly Wachowski were among the high profile faces who supported the campaign on social media. The demonstrators asked Netflix to channel more money into trans and non binary creators and to take measures against hate speech.

British Airways use Gender Neutral Language

British Airways is the latest airline to remove the gendered greeting “ladies and gentlemen” from its vocabulary.

Their statement said that the change will “reflect the diversity” of their passengers. In their announcements, pilots will no longer use “ladies and gentlemen” but rather, “travellers”, “passengers” or “guests”.

British Airways will be joining many other airline companies who have already made the switch to gender inclusive language, including EasyJet, Japan Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and American Airlines.

NHS Carries Out Trial Screenings for Essential Trans Medical Care

The UK’s cervical screening programme for trans men and nonbinary people has been such a huge success that it may become the world wide model.

Weekly cervical screening clinics were offered, staffed only by healthcare professionals with experience in treating trans and non-binary patients. 100% of the patients said they were happy with the service they received and 60% said they would not have received the treatment otherwise.

This means we are one step closer to closing the gap for trans people to access the essential healthcare they require without risk of misgendering, deadnaming or elevated levels of dysphoria.

Celebs Call for More Funding Against HIV in the UK

On October 19th, Prime Minister Boris Johnson disappointingly confused HIV and AIDs when discussing the advancements made in modern medicine. Matthew Hodson, executive director of Aidsmap, said that “It is disappointing that the prime minister cannot distinguish between HIV and AIDS” because “Ignorance leads to fear and stigma, which creates barriers to HIV testing and treatment and helps to perpetuate this disease.”

This occurred just a week after It’s a Sin’s Olly Alexander joined forces with the rest of his cast and the one and only Elton John to create a powerful new film calling for the government to take further action against HIV.

The government has promised to end new transmissions of HIV in the UK before 2030, however 1,000 days after making this promise, they are still to take any action. The campaign urges the government to increase funding for HIV testing & prevention, support those living with the virus, and establish a national prevention programme.

You can join the campaign by writing to the Chancellor and Health Secretary here:

Watch the video here:

Jubilee Line Stops Renamed For Black History Month

This month, Transport for London collaborated with the Black Cultural Archives to launch the first Black History Tube map, which renames every tube stop to honour Black British figures from throughout history.

Each line of the tube has a different theme for example athletes, performers and scientists. The Jubilee Line is dedicated to LGBT+ icons.

The twenty six Black LGBT+ groups, pioneers and icons who have been honoured by a stop on the Jubilee line are:

  • Claude McKay (Author)

  • FannyAnn Eddy (LGBT+ Activist)

  • Exist Loudly (Black LGBT+ Youth)

  • UK Black Pride

  • Joseph St Clair (Dentist)

  • Zami 1985

  • Shim Sham Club (Jazz Club)

  • Carmel Stuart

  • Cecil Belfield Clark (Doctor)

  • Ivor Cummings (Colonial Official)

  • Princess Tshai (Nurse)

  • Leslie Hutchinson (Singer)

  • Black Trans Alliance

  • Thin Black Lines (Art)

  • James Berry (Poet)

  • Francis Barber (Draper)

  • Richie Riley (Basketball Coach)

  • Black Out UK

  • Michael Akintano

  • Barbara Buford (Scientist)

  • Justin Fashanu (Footballer)

  • Harold Jackman (Model)

  • Reginald Forsythe (Composer)

  • Jimmie Daniels (Performer)

  • Edna Thomas (Actress)

  • Pearl Alcock (Artist)

UK Conversion Therapy Ban To Go Ahead in 2022?

Nick Herbert, the Prime Minister’s LGBT+ envoy has put forward a potential time for the banning of Conversion Therapy in the UK.

In a retweet of a legal report on October 1st he made reference to the Queen’s speech at the State Opening of Parliament in May 2021 in which she promised that a conversion therapy ban would be brought forward. Herbert’s tweet said:

“I welcome this - a useful and constructive report, and timely as the Govt’s consultation will be published shortly on *how* (not whether) conversion therapy should be outlawed.I know the Government remains committed - as set out in the Queen’s speech - to bringing forward legislation next Spring to ensure that the abhorrent practice of conversion therapy will be banned”

We will be keeping our eyes peeled for further updates!

At Space Youth Project, we strongly support National Hate Crime Awareness Week and their campaign to make our country a #SafePlaceForALL.

This year they are focusing on providing support to the victims of transphobic hate crimes, which have unfortunately risen in number over the past couple of years.

#WeStandTogether with Dorset Police and Prejudice Free Dorset to prove that our local area is #NoPlaceForHate

So what is a Hate Crime?

Prejudice Free Dorset defines a Hate Crime as “a crime which is targeted at a person because of prejudice towards their race, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

This is sometimes a physical assault, such as hitting or kicking someone, but also includes verbal attacks & harassment, domestic abuse, or damage to property (e.g. vandalism)

Why is it important to report Hate Crimes?

Hate Crimes are massively under-reported because people are afraid of the consequences if their attacker finds out, or because they think their experience wasn’t “serious enough”

Victims of Hate Crimes are more likely to suffer repeated abuse from the same person or group and suffer long-term emotional effects.

Reporting a Hate Crime prevents it from happening to anyone else, improves the accuracy of local Hate Crime statistics (which helps the local authority to accurately provide funding for prevention) and helps you to get the support you need. Did you know that Space Youth Project is a Hate Crime Reporting Centre?

A Hate Crime Reporting Centre is somewhere you can go if you think you have been the victim of a Hate Crime. The staff there will be trained to help you process your thoughts and feelings about what happened and to help you pass information on to the relevant authorities.

At Space Youth Project, we work alongside Prejudice Free Dorset to help tackle hate crimes across the county.

How do I report a Hate Crime?

If you think you have witnessed or been the victim of a Hate Crime, there are multiple ways you can report your experience.

The team at Space Youth Project are more than happy to help you decide which route is best for you and support you throughout the reporting process.

Hello everyone, I hope you're ready for your weekly News Roundup! Here’s what’s been happening this week…

Tavistock & Bell - High Court decision overturned!

EU Clashes with Poland and Hungary over LGBT+ Rights

Pride March in Ukraine Scotland is the first country to add LGBT+ education into their national curriculum.

Tavistock v Bell - High Court decision overturned! The Court of Appeal has overturned the High Court’s decision from December 2020 which stated that trans people aged under 16 would have to go before a judge in order to access puberty blockers.

Tavistock v Bell - A summary

Tavistock v Bell is a High Court case between the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust and Kiera Bell, who was bringing her case forward on behalf of Sue Evans, a former nurse at the Leeds GIDS, and “Mrs A”, the parent of a 15 year old on the GIDS waiting list.

The case began in October 2019 and brought forward the subject of whether puberty blockers could be prescribed to under-18s with gender dysphoria. This relates to the concept of ‘Gillick competence’ - a term used by medical professionals to describe whether a person under 16 is mature enough to fully understand and consent to treatment by themselves.

Mrs A and Sue Evans suggested that advice around hormone therapy is “potentially misleading” and an under 16 year old could not give “true informed consent”. Kiera Bell joined their case as she was prescribed puberty blockers at 16 and had her top-surgery at age 20 but later regretted her transition. Despite the fact that puberty blockers are considered safe, reversible and the best-practice for young trans people, in December 2020 the High Court ruled that it was unlikely that a person under the age of 16 could be Gillick competent to consent to this type of treatment. This meant that the NHS had to immediately pause GIDs referrals for puberty blockers.

Starting in January 2021, the NHS appealed to have this decision overturned.

In March 2021, the Family Division of the High Court changed the ruling so that under-16s were able to access puberty blockers if they had parental consent. Although this was better than nothing, it still left the most vulnerable young trans people without options.

The Court of Appeal

Last Friday, the Court of Appeal overturned these decisions!

The Court of Appeal stated that the High Court “was not in a position to generalise about the capability of persons of different ages to understand what is necessary for them to be competent to consent to the administration of puberty blockers.”

The judges pointed out that there is very little difference between under 16s consenting to taking contraceptives and under 16s consenting to puberty blocking treatment. In summary of the decision, a Tavistock spokesperson said ““It affirms that it is for doctors, not judges, to decide on the capacity of under-16s to consent to medical treatment.”

In their statement, Mermaids, the UK’s biggest charity for young trans people, called for the NHS to “ensure access to healthcare is reinstated” as soon as possible but overall deemed the decision “wonderful news” and “a victory for common sense and young people’s bodily autonomy”.

EU Clashes with Poland and Hungary over LGBT+ Rights

Meanwhile, in Europe, Poland and Hungary have both been called out by the European Commission (the bit of the EU which enforces laws).

The European Commission announced in July that it was taking action against Poland and Hungary for “violations of fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people.” This came after Hungary passed a law which bans the “promotion” of the LGBT+ community to minors in media, advertising and education and several Polish regions & cities declared themselves “free from LGBT+ ideology”.

The “LGBT+ free zones” in Poland began to appear in 2019, officials believed that the violated the EU’s law surrounding non-discrimination due to sexual orientation. In March 2021 the EU declared itself an “LGBT+ freedom zone” in a direct response these regions in Poland. In July the European Commission said Poland will face legal action after it “failed to [...] respond to its inquiry regarding the nature and impact of the so-called LGBT ideology free zones”

The sanctions seem to be having some effect, as in April the small community of Kraśnik in eastern Poland became the first town to withdraw its ‘LGBT-free’ status.

On Wednesday 22nd September, another region followed suit as the rural community of Swietokrzyskie in southern Poland also voted to abolish these anti-LGBT+ resolutions. Their new statement guarantees parents the right to raise their children consistent with their beliefs and views but says that the constitution ensures “equality and fair treatment for all”. Many more regions and cities are expected to make similar moves in the next few months.

Pride March in Ukraine

On Sunday 19th September between seven and eight thousand people attended the Kyiv Equality March to bravely stand up against opposition from religious and political groups and march peacefully for LGBT+ rights in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

Several hundred anti-LGBT protesters gathered nearby in a park but their numbers were small compared to the LGBT+ community and their allies. Ukraine currently does not permit same-sex marriage or adoption and LGBT+ people are not protected from workplace discrimination.

Fortunately no violence broke out and the Pride celebrate-ers continued peacefully through the city

Scotland is the first country to add LGBT+ education into their national curriculum.

Starting in 2021, all public schools will have LGBT+ inclusivity and history added to their curriculum.

All school staff will be given basic training in LGBT+ inclusive education and a number of LGBT+ education resources. A dedicated website will also be launched with resources to help support LGBT+ students and young people. The resources were developed by parents, teachers, young people and LGBT+ organisations.

Subjects covered across all age groups will include:

  • LGBT+ Identities

  • Same Sex Marriage

  • Same Sex Parenting

  • Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

  • LGBT+ History including the AIDs Epidemic