Recent initiatives have let the City demonstrate its continued strong support for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.
In early May, the City joined the NSW Gender Centre and NSW Police to launch the Transgender Anti Violence Project. The first of its kind in the world, the project encourages transgender people to report transphobic violence and abuse to NSW Police and the NSW Gender Centre.
The three year project, funded by a $37,800 grant from the City of Sydney to the NSW Gender Centre, builds on the protection provided by the transgender anti-discrimination and anti-vilification provisions in the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act. I first attempted to amend the Anti-Discrimination Act to include transgender discrimination and vilification in the Act in 1994, two years before the government amended the Act.
The Project's launch coincided with the NSW Police Force's launch of its updated Policy on Sexuality and Gender Diversity, also a world first and the first to include and recognise intersex people.
The NSW Police Force policy:
- formally acknowledges that people from the GLBTIQ community are vulnerable to abuse, violence, homophobia and transphobia
- identifies the role of police in supporting victims of crime to move through the police system with respect, dignity and acceptance, encouraging people from the GLBTIQ community to report crime
- includes strategies for internal capacity building so all police officers are aware of the potential issues facing this diverse community.
Connect Sydney, another City initiative that aims to build the capacity of community organisations, is being used by a number of GLBT community groups. In April, the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby joined other community organisations for a facilitated leadership workshop, and this Saturday the City will join with Camp Co-op to present a day long workshop for small GLBT organisations.
The City also took part in the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) on Tuesday 17 May by supporting the exhibition 'Fragility' at the Pine Street Gallery and we will support the annual Pride Festival celebrations by flying Rainbow Banners along Oxford Street, Taylor Square until Saturday 2 July. For the first time we will also fly the Rainbow Flag at Sydney Town Hall for the Pride Week celebrations.
- Transgender Anti Violence Project: http://tavp.org.au/
- NSW Police Force Policy on Sexuality and Gender Diversity: www.police.nsw.gov.au/community_issues
- Sydney Pride Week events: http://sxnews.gaynewsnetwork.com.au/feature/sydney-pride-week-2011-event-calender-008981.html