A mental health Trust that provides services in Norfolk and Suffolk is today <17 May> showing its support for lesbian, gay and bisexual rights by supporting International Day of Action against Homophobia (IDAHO).
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust will be flying a rainbow flag at its headquarters in Norwich as a show of solidarity to those suffering homophobic abuse.
The day marks the anniversary of a landmark in lesbian, gay and bisexual rights, when the World Health Organisation renounced homosexuality as a mental disorder on 17 May 1990.
Maggie Wheeler, Trust chair, said: "It is remarkable that less than 25 years ago the WHO still classified homosexuality as a mental illness.
"While a lot of progress has been made in this short time, we know from reports of bullying and violence that there is still a lot of prejudice around today.
"The International Day of Action Against Homophobia is about saying a firm ‘no’ to this prejudice. We’re proud to support this cause."
The flag was raised by Maggie together with Kirsty Scales, Unison LGBT officer at the Trust, who said: "We know that there are still staff and service users who do not feel safe to come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, because of fear of homophobia and transphobia from others.
"Flying the rainbow flag is an important part of acknowledging this issue, and showing a commitment to counter homophobia and transphobia."
The Trust, who are Stonewall Diversity Champions, are well known supporters of LGB rights in Norfolk and Suffolk, and will be at LGBT Pride events in both counties as well as the Norwich Transgender conference at UEA.
Maggie added: “As the key mental health provider in Norfolk and Suffolk we’re pleased to support community events that promote positive messages to all of the people we serve.”
Notes to editors:More information about IDAHO can be found here:http://www.dayagainsthomophobia.org/-May-17th-around-the-world,89-