OUR NAMED CHARITY 2014
Established in 1985 as part of the lesbian and gay centre, PACE was formed by a group of volunteers to provide counselling support to lesbians and gay men who faced discrimination and homophobia. Since 1985 PACE’s services have continually developed, to encompass work with lesbian, gay and bisexual women, gay and bisexual men, trans people and those exploring their sexual or gender identities. We are committed to responding to the changing needs of LGBT people, and offering appropriate, sensitive, LGBT-delivered support services to help people move through their difficult times.
In 2014 PACE is undergoing a new strategic planning process to ensure the organisation is sustainable for the next ten years and we are proud to be supporting them. Bristol Pride is a free and not for profit event, we usually just about break even and we lost money last year but we have already donated £250 and hope to be able to donate at least £500 to PACE.
HIV and AIDS
HIV is one of the fastest-growing serious health conditions in the UK. Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK and of these 22% are undiagnosed (do not know about their HIV infection.
We run events every year for World AIDS Day (1st December) to help:
Raise Money for the THT and other HIV and AIDS charities in the local area
Raise Awareness – We want more people to find out more about HIV and AIDS, to get tested and find out the HIV status and to wise up to safe sex – HIV isn’t the only ‘nasty’ disease you can catch from unprotected sex you know!
Combat Stigma – As well as raising awareness of HIV and AIDS we want to show support to those who are HIV+ and to demystify
Nearly half (47%) of people diagnosed with HIV in 2012 were diagnosed late (they should have already started treatment!) and 51% of new HIV diagnoses in 2012 were among men who have sex with men.
Visit THT Bristol to find out more, talk to an advisor or to get tested
Earlier this year there there was a lot of media attention on something that has been growing, developing and festering in Russia for years. We’ve seen discrimination in countries across the globe but obviously with all eyes on Sochi for the Winter Olympics now is the time to raise the profile of persecution and do what we can to support LGBT Russia, but let’s not forget that once the skis have been packed away and the media attention is lost the LGBT community in Russia will still need your support.
We do want to say our thoughts are with those brave people who will risk beatings and arrest to protest and also with athletes who will flout IOC rules to make a stand.
It is also important that we all use this moment in history when eyes are being opened to raise awareness but to realise that Russia is not an isolated country and that even here in the UK, even here in Bristol, people are the victim to violent hate crime attacks. Once the camera’s are turned off and company logos are de-rainbowed we need to ensure that this stops.
SO what’s it all about?
This has all been brought to a head by new anti gay ‘Propaganda’ laws and following on from a controversial law signed by President Vladimir Putin in June of 2013. As we were preparing for Pride Russia was banning the promotion of “non-traditional” relationships, which whilst not defined is understood as LGBT relationships. In real terms this means penalty fine for anyone or any organisation found to be doing so, however it has exposed a growing level of homophobic incidents and attacks and a general undercurrent of discrimination and hatred.
In September of 2013 a bill was drafted that would remove parental rights from LGB&T people meaning that people would have their children taken away from them. The bill was not tabled but instead taken for redrafting and is said to be being considered after the Sochi Winter Olympics, and the media attention, has passed.
SO what’s it like for LGBT People in Russia
I think we will have mostly all seen footage from Russian neo-Nazi groups who have taken to social media to publicise images/videos of LGBT being brutally attacked and/or lured in by the groups (on the promise of a date) and torturing them, forcing them to come out to friends and family on video (read more) and earlier this year a gay man from Southern Russia was tortured to death and as well as being violently sexually assaulted he had had his skull “smashed with a stone”.
On Wednesday 5 February Channel 4 showed the documentary exposing the cowardly victimisation of LGBT people and the sheer hatred of members of the community who are targeting LGBT people and mobilising Anti-gay groups. It also exposed the extreme bravery of people prepared to make a stand against these groups and the government to raise awareness and challenge accusations/vilification that all gay people are akin to demons and the in league with the devil or that gay people are paedophiles .
Watch some of the footage here *warning* it does contain violent images footage
What else can you do?
READ UP: on what’s happening!
Support All Out’s Campign Work and that of Stonewall International who have been given UK funding to support LGBT people in Russia (it is illegal for a Russian organisation to accept foreign money in support of LGBT causes!)
Read more and support Coming Out Russia
SEND A MESSAGE: of support either via the Russian LGBT Network Facebook Page or tweet using the #LGBT #Russia, tweet us @wearefest and we’ll RT you.
SIGN: take two seconds to sign the campaign petitions like THIS the latest from Sum Of Us to get Coca-Cola a sponsor of the Winter Olympics to speak up!
It’s hard viewing but watch footage of what is happening like this video
YOUNG AND GAY IN PUTIN’S RUSSIA
You can watch the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary HUNTED on 4OD it contains footage of attacks by these groups as well as interviews with anti-gay and LGBT people. Please be aware the footage is disturbing.
You can donate to Stonewall by texting RUSSIA to 70500 to donate £5 or online via their website
For many around the world things are a lot worse, Pride’s are banned, talking about being gay is illegal, public humiliation, beating and even murder is common place in some countries, even as we write this President Mugabe of Zimbabwe has threatened to ‘cut gay people’s heads off‘
never be complacent and support where you can sadly homophobia exists everywhere and it’s up to everyone who believes in equality to say ‘NO MORE’.