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Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

23 Oct 2023

Diversity Lens - Issue 196

I started catching up on the new Big Brother reboot this week, a guilty pleasure of mine since I was a kid. In its absence over the years, I've been scratching that reality show itch with the likes of Love Island and Love is Blind, but as I sat down to watch Big Brother again, I was reminded of why its such a unique and, well, pretty special show. Unlike others centred around finding love, Big Brother, I'd argue, allows for way more diversity and sense of community. Diversity of age (from 18 to 50), diversity of occupation (not just PTs and influencers but doctors, lawyers, youth workers), diversity of body size, disability, religion, politics and so much more. And watching these people from entirely different backgrounds co-existing in a house together is actually pretty life-affirming - so far. In just the first episodes we've seen one contestant come out as trans and be embraced by her cohabiters and a practising Muslim's prayer and diet be eagerly respected by others in the house. Of course, its the drama and shenanigans which'll keep me glued to the screen, but it's so much more interesting when it involves real and authentic people.
🚨 We add our voice to calls for peace in Israel and Gaza
There are no words of comfort we can give to the lives ripped apart by the horrific ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza. We condemn all acts of violence against innocent civilians and desperately hope for a peaceful resolution. We urge you to add your voice to the cause, educate yourself, and support where you can.
✋ 1 in 3 workers quit due to bad managers
😔 Australia votes against giving Aboriginal people more rights
🏳️‍🌈 LGBTQIA+ people in Poland celebrate change in government
📺 TV ads on HIV return to address worrying lack of knowledge
🎮 PlayStation create controller for gamers with physical disabilities
Are YOU 🫵 gay enough for Suella Braverman?

Excuse me?
When Braverman claimed recently that migrants were pretending to be LGBTQIA+ to gain entry into the UK many of us were left thinking, how could she possibly know that? And how does she want them to prove it?

So, how does this work?
In reality, just 2% of asylum claims submitted in the UK point to their sexuality as a reason. But for all asylum claims, "fear of persecution" must be proved by applicant, which might mean 'proving' their sexuality. Transcripts from 2013 showed interviewers asking inappropriate and frankly irrelevant sexual questions as part of this process. And in the end it is down to how 'believable' the interviewer deems the story on the day. This has led to asylum seekers going to desperate lengths to prove their sexuality, including pornography, memberships to queer gyms, being pictured in queer spaces, and message transcripts between partners. These are people who have had to hide their sexuality for their safety, suddenly being told to be completely open and vulnerable.

The Festival of Trusteeship is here!
That's right! You thought festival season was over? Oh, how wrong you were. Consider this the Glastonbury of Trustee knowledge sharing, with webinars for every stage in your Board journey. Don't even know what a Trustee is? They've got you covered. Need help diversifying your Board? This one's for you. Boards are where all the top dogs sit and make the big decisions - so stay in the know.
Love Actually director regrets his portrayal of women ❤️‍🩹

In a new interview with his own daughter, 66-year-old Richard Curtis admitted feeling uncomfortable rewatching some of his films today. Famously in Bridget Jones' Diary, the titular character's body and weight is a relentless focus, viewed obsessively as too large - despite her surely not being more than a size 12. Similar treatment was seen of Natalie in Love Actually - even more laughable considering her obviously slim and conventionally attractive appearance. Meanwhile, criticism of Notting Hill has focused on the blatant lack of people of colour in an area of London home to many Black communities.

'I’ve hung on to the feeling that I wouldn’t know how to write those parts. I think I was just sort of stupid and wrong about that.'

So are we cancelling Love Actually this year?
That's definitely not our intention. We think it's always a good exercise to look back on past actions and identify where we could have done better, and we're glad Curtis is emotionally intelligent enough to recognise this in his work. It's a personal choice whether you're done with these films or they remain classics in your eyes!

Are you a sucker for a Richard Curtis film? 🥹

I'm partial
Eh, take it or leave it
Not for me
Meet the trans Nigerians 🇳🇬 refusing to be quiet
Tell me more
Nigeria is home to one of the harshest anti-LGBTQIA+ laws. Passed in just 2014, the same-sex prohibition law criminalised same-sex unions, gay clubs or organisations, and public displays of same-sex affection. And just last summer, three gay men were sentenced to death by stoning. These are the risks of being openly queer in Nigeria. For Fola, this was no deterrent to being open about her identity as a trans woman, and she found solace and affirmation in fashion and starting her own clothing label. VICE News talk to Fola and other outspoken queer Nigerians who though tired, refuse to hide who they are.

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