Politicians and LGBT+ campaigners gather at the Welsh Assembly for the PinkNews summer reception in Cardiff
A host of politicians from across the political spectrum gathered alongside LGBT+ activists on Thursday (June 7) at the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff.
Politicians and campaigners from across the political spectrum came together to hear the First Minister and other prominent politicians speak on current LGBT+ issues, celebrate the achievements of Wales’ LGBT+ community and highlight what is still to be done.
Jones told the audience: “Too often we just assume the LGBT community know politicians are on their side.”
He urged his fellow politicians to speak up and align themselves with the community. “We’re going in the right direction but we are committed to going further,” Mr Jones said, addressing inclusive sex and relationship education in the Welsh curriculum.
“We want an education system based on equality.”
As well as hearing from leading politicians and campaigners, the nominees for the public sector equality award at this year’s PinkNews Awards were announced.
The award aims to recognise the contributions of public sector organisations in championing the inclusion and rights of LGBT+ employees and those in the wider community.
Speaking at the reception Nick Ramsay of the Welsh Conservatives said: “Britain has changed. Wales has changed… Everyone should feel free to be themselves without fear.”
Welsh Labour Assembly Member Jeremy Miles talked of his experience being an openly gay man in politics.
Aligning himself with those fighting for transgender rights he said: “We should all be aware of the fragility of the battles we have won.”
During an impassioned speech, Plaid Cymru’s Fflur Elin said: “We still have a way to go. The trans community in Wales suffers.
“50 percent can’t be honest about their trans identity in the workplace, 25 percent will suffer homelessness, and three in every four trans person will self harm.”
Speaking of the reality of being LGBT+ in the workplace Chief Executive and Clerk to the National Assembly for Wales, Manon Antoniazzi recalled a story a Welsh Assembly colleague once told her.
“It took three years for me to come out in my previous role. It took three weeks for me to come out here at the Welsh Assembly. I was the new guy, not the new gay.”
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Ahead of the reception, Benjamin Cohen, Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief, PinkNews, said: “There has been a fantastic response from the Welsh political sphere… showing that Wales continues to lead the UK in terms of LGBT+ inclusion.”