Scotland’s first LGBTI Awards launched

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Leading politicians, journalists, public services, businesses, staff networks, community groups, and individuals who have been outstanding supporters of LGBTI equality all to be recognised

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28th May 2015 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

Scotland's first lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) awards are to be held in Glasgow later this year.

The LGBTI Awards, the brainchild of the Equality Network, aim to recognise and celebrate those who have made a positive contribution to LGBTI equality and human rights over the past year.

A glittering red carpet awards ceremony on Thursday, 10 September at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel will welcome over 300 guests and will mark 12 award categories, with recognition for leading politicians, journalists, public services, businesses, staff networks, community groups, and individuals who have been outstanding supporters of LGBTI equality.

In what has been a milestone year for LGBTI rights in Scotland, the charity’s first annual awards will recognise and celebrate those who have made a positive contribution to LGBTI equality and human rights in Scotland over the past year.

Nominations for the awards have now opened at equality-network.org/nominate and will close on 2 July, with the shortlist announced on 16 July and public voting to begin on the same date.

This has been a year of historic progress and inspiring work for LGBTI equality in Scotland, and the first Scottish LGBTI Awards are a chance to recognise those that have made important contributions to that work

The Equality Network anticipates several thousand nominations for the awards, in what it says has been “a year of historic progress and inspiring work for LGBTI equality in Scotland”.

Progress has included the first same-sex marriages, the launch of the Scottish LGBTI Sports Charter, the first Commonwealth Games LGBTI Pride House, and most recently the news that Scotland is now rated the best country in Europe for LGBTI legal equality.

Scott Cuthbertson, development coordinator for the Equality Network, said: “This has been a year of historic progress and inspiring work for LGBTI equality in Scotland, and the first Scottish LGBTI Awards are a chance to recognise those that have made important contributions to that work.

“Despite the advances made, we know that there are still big challenges ahead to ensure full legal and social equality for LGBTI people in Scotland, and we hope that as well as celebrating the work that has been done so far these awards will also inspire others to work for progress in the future.”

Meanwhile, a new report about bisexual people’s experiences of accessing services has found nearly half have experienced biphobia.

The Complicated? report, launched by the Equality Network, spoke with over 500 bisexual people from across the UK and found that bisexual people had experienced higher levels of discrimination within health services than any other public services.

One respondent even told of a nurse refusing to treat them because of their sexuality.

Surprisingly, the research also found that over a quarter of bisexual people have experienced prejudice when accessing LGBT services.

One respondent reported being told bisexuals are "confused" and not as good as "real gays". 

Tim Hopkins, director of the Equality Network, said: “Unfortunately, as the report findings show, bisexual people are often misunderstood and discriminated against by many services. This leaves them at high risk of not getting appropriate information and support. 

“We hope that this report will help services to better understand and assist bisexual people.”