- According to the Government national survey on LGBT+ people, over two thirds feel ashamed, fearful and scared to be out and open about their sexual orientation and gender. The lanyard scheme visibly and clearly demonstrates that BSUH NHS Trust will not tolerate homophobia, biphobia or transphobia. It shows that BSUH NHS Trust is using different initiatives to deliver on its duties under equality legislation and representing the needs of different population groups.
- The majority of LGBT+ people change how they look, what they say and who they are for fear of being bullied, held back from promotion and having to deal with negative reactions. This is quite common across marginalised people, who may have faced discrimination in the past – for example refugees, migrants. For younger LGBT+ patients, this means they feel anxious/afraid and isolated when they come to hospital. Patients should feel safe, so those caring for them have the information they need to treat them as best they can and deliver high standards of patient care.
- If our staff are afraid of being themselves then how can we expect patients and other service users to feel safe in the environment? To feel included? To feel that they will be treated with care regardless of their sexual orientation and gender. Wearing a rainbow lanyard or pin takes the responsibility and anxiety away from the person having to guess if it is safe to disclose their gender and/or sexual orientation.
- Some healthcare providers may make assumptions about the sexual orientation and gender of patients, families and carers. This means that specific healthcare needs may be ignored. Rainbow signifiers are a way to get people to think about their own attitudes about sexual orientation and gender. Are we using inclusive language? Do we actively learn about LGBT+ people from different communities – for example LGBT+ people with disabilities, those who are Black and Minority Ethnic, those who are from faith backgrounds, those who are homeless.
- Rainbow signifiers also help deliver cancer services and end of life care where some LGBT+ patients feel less able to speak up about their needs and include their partners in discussions.
Downloads to print out, display and discuss at staff meetings.