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Dorset’s LGBT Community Comes to the Support of the National Trust

This year, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of non-heterosexuality, the National Trust launched its ‘Prejudice & Pride’ educational initiative. The ‘Exile’ exhibition, with its sombre but striking ‘In Memoriam’ installation at historic Kingston Lacy, highlighted not only the enforced exile of its owner in the early 19th Century, William Bankes for non-heterosexuality, but the 50+ known LGBT people who were killed/executed due to the homophobic laws of the land, that started to be dismantled 50 years ago.

The LGB&T Dorset Equality Network (www.lgbtdorsetequality.network) has received many contacts in support of the inclusion and educational work of the National Trust, and also many contacts regarding the condemnation of the NT in certain national newspapers with historically known homophobic perspectives, and one MP in particular. The Network believes the views of these latter breach the provisions of the Equality Act 2010, can be reasonably construed as having incitement to homophobic hate crime effects, and certainly are uncomfortably close to bullying of the NT, a national institution.

We recommend all those in the teaching professions, especially headteachers, and those in faith schools, as well as those in healthcare, particularly GPs and those in mental healthcare, to visit the Kingston Lacy ‘Exile’ exhibition so that they can learn more about the unacceptable and often fatal effects of unchecked bigotry and intolerance. 

These two audiences can learn so much about the exceptional negative mental health impacts of homophobia, bi-phobia, transphobia on LGB&T people they teach or provide healthcare to, as the effects of oppression and bullying are of course as unacceptable as they are destructive of mental wellbeing and quality of life.

The Network commends the National Trust for its policy of ensuring the important educational work it involves in through its properties across the nation, teaches that minorities are interwoven into the great creative works and the history of the nation, and that those clearly still adhering to non-inclusive, therefore non-patriotic [in the highest sense] narrow pre-1967 views.

These latter can no longer by default impose their extreme and destructive intolerant world views unchallenged, broader society, and especially minorities that had lamentably been either airbrushed out of history or vilified just for being non-heterosexual (or due to ethnicity). 

To find out more about the National Trust’s Prejudice & Pride educational initiative please visit:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/prejudice-and-pride-exploring-lgbtq-history

For Attention Of: Public Service & Educational Organisations with remits to counteract prejudice:

Please express your support for National Trust Dorset by writing to them, sharing this press release.

LGB&T Dorset Equality Network:   contact.lgbtdorsetequality@gmail.com 

Alan Mercel-Sanca

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