SEVEN members of Sussex Police staff have taken part in a national video released today (Friday, May 17) as part of this year’s International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).
Entitled It Gets Better, the video has been put together as part of the global campaign to end homophobic hate and reduce suicide among young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
Sixteen police forces – including Sussex – have participated in the video which tells the stories of 36 LGBT police officers and staff.
It offers messages of support and encouragement to LGBT youngsters who are struggling with their sexual identity or bullied for being ‘different’.
The officers tell their collective story about the challenge of growing up and living their lives as LGBT people.
They say suicide is not the answer, suggesting people seek the help of trusted people around them if they are being bullied and call the police if they are experiencing hate crime.
Deputy Chief Constable Giles York said: “We’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to take part in the It Gets Better video, which recognises the struggle that young lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans people can face on a day to day basis.
“We have to make our organisation a place where everyone can feel safe to work, being themselves.
“Days such as IDAHO provide a useful focus for us to consider our on-going support and commitment to engaging and building trust with diverse communities, not only among the people of Sussex, but also from within our own ranks.”
Three officers from Brighton & Hove’s Neighbourhood Policing Team will also be speaking at the city’s LGBT community safety forum event, which is being held at the Old Steine to mark IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia).
The video is being released by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and The College of Policing.
It can be viewed at http://youtu.be/LewPhMPUcJU.