LGBTQ+ staff, volunteers and allies were proud to represent Caring in Bristol at Bristol Pride. It’s great to see how far things have come, and how the fight for visibility and equality has had a massive impact. But there is still a long way to go. During the event, we had conversations with many people which revealed their sexual or gender identity was the reason for their precarious housing situation. For some it was the fear of the consequences of coming out. For others, it was discrimination, or fears for their own safety and wellbeing. Sadly, this is not news to Caring in Bristol, and is a theme that we are familiar with in our work to solve homelessness in Bristol.
Everyone has a right to safe and appropriate housing. As the push for greater equality continues, it’s important for housing providers, whether social or private, to remember their responsibility to the LGBTQ+ communities. Their needs are different, and despite advances made in legislation, discrimination in the housing system is still creating precarious situations and misery for too many people. This is particularly so for younger LGBTQ+ people who have less options in housing than others.
As Pride Season comes to a close, it has been amazing to have a reminder of the positive changes secured. It is also a reminder that there is still a long way to go before the housing needs of LGBTQ+ people are met. This is reflected in our work to ensure that no one in Bristol has to face or experience homelessness.