The world’s largest global conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights is expected to take place in London, and it is going to be hosted by the British government. The two-day event, called ‘Safe To Be Me,’ will be attended by many guests from around the world, including ministers, officials, activists, and policymakers.
Safe To Be Me
In 2019, the UK took on the role of co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC), alongside Argentina and this upcoming conference is said to be an extension of their commitment to protecting and promoting LGBTQ+ rights. The event will focus on ‘making progress on legislative reform, tackling violence and discrimination, and ensuring equal access to public services for LBGT people.’ Nick Herbert, Lord Herbert of South Downs, has been appointed as the chair of the conference and also as the UK’s Special Envoy on LGBTQ+ rights. He said:
I am committed to the cause of advancing LGBT+ rights worldwide and I look forward to continuing that in my role as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy and as the Chair of the Global LGBT Conference. At a time when Covid has pulled many of us apart, the conference offers a real chance to bring people together and drive change for good.
This is the first time the UK will host a global LGBTQ+ event of this scale, and it comes right in the nick of time.
The 2021 Rainbow Europe Map, an annual benchmarking tool that ranks 49 countries in Europe on their LGBTQ+ laws and policies, has revealed that over the past 12 months, work on human rights for the community has come to a shocking standstill. Furthermore, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has repeatedly come under fire for reversing progress made so far for the rights of the community. Last autumn, the government got rid of reforms under the Gender Recognition Act that would have allowed trans people to self-identify, and last month Johnson was put in the spotlight for delaying the ban on gay conversation therapy.
Amelia Abraham, author of Queer Intentions told The Guardian:
The prime minister should deal with some of the huge issues facing LGBTQ+ people here before holding the UK up as a bastion of progress.