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Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

16 Oct 2023

Diversity Lens - Issue 195


Now that both the Labour and Conservative Party conferences have come to an end, it is clear that the lives of trans people in the UK are increasingly at risk.

Both conferences touched on a wide range of subjects - some even positive, including the promise of a trans-inclusive conversion therapy ban from the Labour Party. Yet this entire year has been marked by an increased focus on “the transgender debate” where the mere existence of transgender people continues to be questioned and their rights denied

Rishi Sunak’s unabashed anti-trans speech at the Tory Party Conference and ongoing transphobic rhetoric aren’t just dangerous (hate crimes against trans people have risen by 11% in the past year) - in my opinion, they’re also a deeply cynical political tactic, using transgender people as scapegoats to create fear and allow his party to cling to power.

If we truly must ‘stand up and fight’, as Penny Mordaunt called on her Party to do, it is against hatred and bigotry, and against the use of people simply trying to live their lives as political pawns. We need to stand up and fight for the lives of trans people in this country.

🚢 Asylum seekers to be sent back to Bibby Stockholm barge
✊ 12 Forgotten Black heros who redefined modern Britain
✍️ UK finance professionals urged to sign diversity code
🇿🇦 Replica 1960s Black Country infants’ centre celebrates Windrush and NHS
Party Conferences kick off in the North 🗯️

What's happening?
Last week, the Conservative Party had their conference in Manchester, and this week Labour held theirs in Liverpool. The Conservatives' was strewn with controversy, with damning statements such as “multiculturalism has failed” by Home Secretary Braverman, and objectively anti-trans declarations: “we shouldn’t get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be. They can’t; a man is a man, and a woman is a woman” from none other than the PM. Labour have not condemned these statements and are, at best, inconsistent in their support of trans rights.

Why does it matter?
The Conservatives are planting their stakes in the ground where they think the election battlegrounds are going to be: climate, trans healthcare and immigration. They're already attacking vulnerable groups, and reneging on promises that the UK desperately needs to be kept.  

What can I do?
It can sometimes feel like you're powerless to change things; but an election is on the horizon. Make sure you register to voteWrite to your MP about things that matter to you. And donate to causes and campaign groups that align with your beliefs. Your community is counting on you, and your voice has, does and will always matter.

Mental health and reality TV 📺 (TW: Death/Suicide)

Big Brother is back, and no doubt there'll be no shortage of drama, but ITV have also announced what they're doing differently to try and protect the wellbeing of the contestants. As this week also saw Mental Health Awareness Day, let's chat about the changes.

Tell me more
After the awful news of three people involved in Love Island dying by suicide, ITV have since introduced a whole load of measures and aftercare procedures for everyone involved; from medical screenings by GPs and mental health professionals, to background checks and respect and inclusion training. ITV have also required that participant's social media accounts be deactivated for the duration of their appearance; upon recommendation from experts hired for the show.

It's encouraging to see that mental health is being taken a lot more seriously by ITV - arguably far too late - but better late than never. Protections like these are essential to prevent anything tragic from happening ever again. However, the issue is a lot bigger than just mental health support. It revolves around the culture of reality TV; the people we see on TV are still people, with thoughts, feelings and the same challenges in life as you and I. They deserve our respect, and understanding. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves to reconnect with the meaning of the genre itself. After all, it is called "reality."


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Call to Action
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.