LGBT History Month is a month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer history, as well as a means of raising awareness for the issues faced by LGBTQ+ people. This year’s theme is Peace, Activism and Reconciliation and the calendar of events run through to March. You can find what’s going on here.
On February 1, the government pledged £2.6million towards 12 organisations who are working to improve the lives of LGBT in the UK as part of the LGBT Action Plan.
This week a blue plaque was unveiled by English Heritage at Butler’s Wharf for film maker Derek Jarman marking 25 years since his death, and this February’s LGBT History Month. This are just a couple of many events happening around the UK, in the capital and in various Investment Management companies.
So what has been happening around LGBT History Month in our Investment Management community?
We’ve visited some events this month: here's a digest of two of them and thanks to @Andy Milner for his input and photos
LGIM organised together with InterInvest, a panel discussion around “Trans inclusion in the workplace”. A very interesting panel discussion around the personal experience of the panel members in the workplace and some very valuable insights in how we all can be more inclusive. The main take away being to be an ally in the workplace by standing up against incorrect behaviour, discrimination, being thoughtful and of course inclusive. You could say that this should be in general the case, nevertheless the trans community, due to the many stigmas and biases linked to it, deserves more of it.
Schroders organised another event, with the main speaker Tim Hailes (Managing Director & Associate General Counsel in the Investment Banking Division of JPMorgan Chase & Co and first openly gay Alderman for the Ward of Bassishaw in The City of London), linking his experience as a gay man to the major events in the LGBT history in the UK.
Some great history facts with quotes of Tim Hailes - you can see the timeline in the photo below.
In 1988, 75% of the UK population thought that being gay was “always or mostly wrong”. Just a year earlier the Pet Shop Boys had a Number 1 hit with “It’s A Sin”. Clearly tapping the social mood - as well giving deeply personal testimony.
By 1993 - when I was an Articled Clerk - some progress had been made with merely 65% of the UK population taking that view. And it wasn’t party political: 68% of Conservative Party Members, 63% of Labour Party Members and 57% of Liberal Party Members. Freddie Mercury had sadly died and had a posthumous Number 1 hit “Living On My Own”.
By 1999 - when I first stepped foot on a trading floor as permanent staff as Junior Counsel - the view was down to 49%.
50 years after decriminalisation of same sex between two men - 2017 - 64% of the UK population think that gay relationships are “not wrong at all” and we flew the rainbow flag over the Central Criminal Court for the first time in history. The very place where Oscar Wilde was sentenced in 1895.
A story of challenges, moving back into the closet and confidently stepping out of it again, humour and unexpected support of people and colleagues around him. All over a self confident and uplifting talk.
LGBT History Month has traditionally gone unmarked in the investment industry but this year LGBT Great is calling on all firms to embrace it by showing continued support for the #hereiam campaign.
LGBT Great, is the organisation focused on improving equality and inclusion in the investment industry, In November it launched #hereiam with a goal to identify over 1,000 LGBT+ individuals within the industry over five years to ally with and promote as role models. The campaign also highlights existing LGBT Great Role Models, with Schroders, Legal & General Investment Management, Lane Clarke & Peacock LLP, AGG Wealth Management and The Investment Association.