Wakefield Council announces first LGB&T Champion

​Date:22/07/2016

Ref: PR 8295

Wakefield Council has appointed its first ever Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Trans* (LGB&T) Champion.

Cllr Ryan Case who represents Wakefield West ward will take responsibility for working with individuals and organisations across the district to tackle prejudice and promote tolerance and inclusivity for all residents.

Welcoming the new appointment, Cllr Peter Box CBE Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “It is important that we live in a tolerant and open society, where everyone feels included and valued.  Having our new LGB&T Champion in our district will help promote these essential values.”

The 33-year-old proposed the new role after the recent events in Orlando, Florida where 49 people were murdered in a homophobic terrorist attack.

Cllr Case said: “The LGB&T community globally was shaken to the core by the events in Orlando.

“Vigils took place worldwide and here in Wakefield a minute’s silence was held and the Town Hall clock tower was lit up in the rainbow flag, which is associated with gay rights.

“Although significant progress has been made, for example with the right to same-sex marriage, the attack showed there is still hatred in the world towards the LGB&T community. For this reason I want to take a more pro-active role to encourage greater understanding of the issues that affect people in the community.”

Cllr Case will be working across the district to promote LGB&T friendly workplaces. He will work across the community with different organisations and workplaces to highlight LGB&T issues and address them together.

His role will involve promoting LGB&T History month, which takes place every February, and working with different organisations in the area to support and build Wakefield Pride. The event which celebrates the LGB&T community is on August 14 this year and takes place in the city centre.

Wakefield Council has been proudly supporting for many years, Yorkshire MESMAC, one of the oldest and largest sexual health organisations with strong roots in the LGB&T community; Fruitbowl, one of the largest LGB&T youth groups in West Yorkshire; TransWakefield, a popular Wakefield support group for Trans people; and Wakefield LGB&T Pride.

Tom Hunt, Yorkshire MESMAC Wakefield's Local Services Coordinator said "At a time of change, we welcome positive steps in meeting the specific needs of our Trans youth in our schools and educational establishments, increasing the safety of our LGB&T* youth and the wider LGB&T* community and reducing HIV-related stigma.

Yorkshire MESMAC is delighted that the role of Wakefield Council's LGB&T* Champion has been announced and is looking forward to working with Councillor Ryan Case, building on the success of Wakefield's LGB&T* communities and creating safe spaces in Wakefield District for everyone regardless of sexuality and gender identity."