A word from one of our Inclusion Champions: Hannah Palmer

Hannah Palmer

Inclusion Champion representing: LGBTQ+

I wish I could say that volunteering as the LGBTQ+ Champion was a no-brainer, but that wouldn’t be the whole truth. It took some time for me to confront my reservations about standing up for this community at work, despite the fact that I’ve been a part of it and have supported it in my personal life for nearly two decades. Fear of judgment, the potential for gossip, and the risk of being reduced to nothing more than one’s sexuality or gender identity are just a few of the many reasons why LGBTQ+ individuals often choose to remain silent. Although it might have been more comfortable for me to stay quiet, I recognised that if I was feeling this way, others may be too.

The power of discussion and visibility should never be underestimated. ABC were vocal in their desire to create a diverse organisation that embraces and celebrates the unique talents, perspectives, and contributions brought to the table by individuals with a wide range of lived experiences. It was this simple commitment that fuelled my determination to get involved. The sincere discussions I’ve since had with the wonderful team have only reaffirmed my decision to be LGBTQ+ Champion.

Though there have been significant improvements over the last few years, our society is still one in which LGBTQ+ individuals face stigma and discrimination. You probably won’t have to look – or scroll – very far on any social or mainstream media to find some form of homophobic or transphobic rhetoric. These harmful attitudes affect the well-being and experiences of members of this community, both in terms of their health-seeking behaviours and their day-to-day interactions at work. It’s safe to say these are two topics in which ABC have a keen interest.

But here’s the thing: talking openly and raising awareness can make a world of difference. When we engage in open conversations, we create space for education, empathy, and understanding. By shedding light on the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, we can challenge stereotypes and debunk misconceptions, not only within our organisation but in the wider community. It’s through these discussions and the sharing of personal stories that we can nurture a supportive environment where everyone feels accepted. So, let’s keep the conversation going, because through awareness and understanding, we can make a real impact in the lives of our LGBTQ+ colleagues and the environments they work in.

Just as having these conversations have helped me, I want to emphasise that I am here to offer confidential support to those that need it. Together we can explore ways to improve situations and navigate any challenges, to help foster a safer space for members of our team to bring their authentic selves to work.

As with most things, this discussion can only benefit from more voices and numerous lived experiences. By getting involved to help support a workplace where everyone feels valued and respected, you can help create a more inclusive future for not only ABC staff, but also the communities we serve. By completing the following short survey, you’ll be helping us identify any areas for improvement. Please note that the results will be kept confidential.