LBGT information


UNISON fights discrimination and prejudice in the workplace on behalf of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members.

We do this by building local and national groups of LGBT members, negotiating with employers and offering individual support to anyone experiencing discrimination. We also provide access to practical advice and legal information.

The AGM for the LGBT Self Organised Group has been arranged for:

Wednesday 27th March 2019

at 5.30pm


At UNISON Birmingham Branch - 19th Floor, The Mclaren Building. 46 The Priory Queensway, Birmingham, B4 7LR.

Come along and discuss what you would like from your LGBT+ SOG in 2019.


Refreshments provided.


Contact Bernie Maguire for additional information:

LGBT Action plan announced

LGBT action plan

Following a survey of over 100,000 lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans (LGBT) people, the government has announced an action plan to tackle discrimination against them.

The survey (which is the biggest in the world to date) found that 23 per cent of respondents had experienced a negative or mixed reaction from others in the workplace due to being LGBT or being thought to be LGBT.

In terms of being open at work about their sexual orientation, it found that a fifth of respondents had not been open with colleagues who were at the same or lower level than them. They were much less likely to be open with senior colleagues (30 per cent) or customers (57 per cent).

LGBT people also reported suffering higher rates of bullying and harassment than heterosexual colleagues, with 11 per cent stating that they had been “outed” at work without their permission; 11 per cent that they had experienced unspecified inappropriate comments or conduct; and nine per cent reporting that they had been verbally harassed.

In addition, 77 per cent of respondents stated that they had experienced a negative incident in work in the preceding 12 months, but that the most serious incident was not reported, primarily because they had thought it would not be worth it, or that nothing would happen or change even if they did.

The government has therefore announced in its action plan that it will:

  • Develop a training package to help employers and employees deal with LGBT discrimination in the workplace. The free training materials can then be adapted by organisations to meet their specific needs.
  • Take action on sexual harassment at work by ensuring that Acas and the Government Equalities Office include the issue of LGBT harassment in policies and guidance materials that they produce
  • Convene a working group of employers to understand the experiences of LGBT staff in different sectors
  • Ensure that the Civil Service continues to role model best practice in establishing working environments that are inclusive for LGBT staff

Iain Birrell of Thompsons Solicitors commented: “Any measures aimed at tackling discrimination in the workplace are welcome. It is hugely disappointing that despite having anti-sexual orientation discrimination laws since 2007 this is still such a problem.  We hope that these measures will bear fruit but they can only do so as part of a wider societal effort for which we are all responsible.”

Visit the government website to read the survey results and to read the action plan.

UNISON at PRIDE this weekend

Rainbow Flag


So it's the final count-down to Birmingham Pride!

THIS WEEKEND Sat 28 & Sun 29 May

This year West Midlands LGBT Unison has teamed up with Birmingham City Council Branch to help promote their campaign around cuts to public services, and we are hoping for a sea of purple UNISON flags. We have also arranged for an open top double decker bus, which will be covered with our banners and decorated with rainbow flags.

We will be in Victoria Square from 10am, can we ask if you are planning on parading with us, to arrive by 11am. The parade heads off at midday. We then make our way down to Hurst Street, getting there about 1.30pm.

If you have a branch banner, please bring it along,

if you have a UNISON t-shirt please wear it with Pride!

The whole of Hurst Street area will be in a ticketed area, so if you plan to get in, you will need to buy a wrist band, so it might be best to go there before the parade avoiding the rush when the parade gets there. Wrist band details can be found on Birmingham Prides website:

If you need more details, drop me a txt or give me a call: 07527724088

Rory Shannon

West Midlands Unison LGBT Self Organising Group

(Further contact: Jennie Antonio, Birmingham Branch LGBT Self Organising Group)


Rights Of Passage show coming to Wolverhampton

Rights of Passage

by Clare Summerskill

Is at Wolverhampton at the Arena Theatre. (27th and 28th May)? It's called Rights of Passage and it's about LGBT asylum seekers in the UK. All based on true stories. 

We opened on the 11th May at Chelsea Theatre, London


We had a hugely successful opening night

followed by a sensational opening night

celebration! We were lucky enough to have

the amazing Janette Mason on piano!

Played to packed houses and enjoyed Prosecco all round following

opening night performance!

Great play! The most powerful and accurate portrayal of LGBT asylum seeker stories I've

ever watched.

UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group


These stories need to be told and they are shocking, poignant and even occasionally

surprisingly humorous... it makes for a compelling evening. Moving and thought-provoking!

Audience member


Wonderful piece, wonderful performances. The play is fantastic and you (Clare Summerskill)

were wonderful, as were your fellow actors. In the stories of the characters I saw so many

similarities with the young people we help, especially those we help from West African


Tim Sigsworth - Chief Executive - Albert Kennedy Trust


Your team on the day was amazing and that put

lots of smiles on our people who most of them

have not had much to smile about in their lives.

The play was very much fitting to the experiences

shared by many if not all of our service users and I

am sure our people will be inspired.

Member of an LGBT asylum group


All photos: Pat Langford Photography

Supported by Arts Council England

All inquiries to Debbie at



Unison LGBT Self  Organising Group Meeting

A warm welcome to the next meeting to be held at


Pershore Road

(2 mins from Lifford House)

 Lunchtime 12.30pm -1.30pm


Friday 12th August 2016 

  •  Share information, concerns and suggestions
  • Updates on campaigns, conferences and recent Pride Events
  • Organising Unison LGBT events in Birmingham
  • Unison LGBT Conference in November (Wales)

Lifts are available from CAB buildings around the city if you need transport to attend. For more information please contact Jennie Antonio:
Leave a message via Birmingham Unison Branch on 0121 200 3331 

or email:






Saturday 11 March 10.30am for 11am start – Unison Building, 24 Livery Street

Members who do not attend or do not have a Unison Branch LGBT Self-Organised Group are welcome to attend the Regional SOG. Confidentiality will be protected.

At this meeting it will be necessary to elect to the following positions.  If you are interested in any of these positions and want a bit more information please contact either Hannah Keating ( or one of the Co-Convenors who will be happy to chat to you ( and (

  • Two co-conveners or chairs for one year terms, one of which must be female
  • Two Representatives to Regional Council, one of which must be Female
  • Two Representatives to Regional Committee, one of which must be Female
  • Two Representatives to Labour-link, one of which must be Female
  • One Representative to Women’s Committee,

In addition the group will also elect the following officers and representatives to other committees and groups:

  • Minute Secretary – to take minutes at group meetings
  • Social Media Officer – to assist in updating the WM LGBT SOG social media accounts and to promote the group’s activities using this platform
  • Pride and Events Group – to work with the Co-conveners in organising the group’s campaigning during West Midlands based Pride Events and other notable events in the LGBT Calendar including but not limited to; World Aids Day and LGBT History Month (February)
  • Representatives of the WM LGBT SOG to the Service Group Meetings (Local Government/ Health/ Police & Justice/ Higher Education/ Community/ Energy & Water)
  • Representatives of the WM LGBT SOG to:

Health & Safety Forum

Education & Training

Finance & General Purpose

Retired Members



UNISON fights discrimination and prejudice in the workplace on behalf of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members.

We do this by building local and national groups of LGBT members, negotiating with employers and offering individual support to anyone experiencing discrimination. We also provide access to practical advice and legal information.

How we’re organised

Branch activity: there is a growing network of branch-level LGBT groups that discuss local terms and conditions, support individual LGBT members with issues at work and debate issues affecting the LGBT community. The branch groups jointly feed into regional groups.

Regional activity: the 12 regional LGBT groups meet regularly. They represent LGBT members at a regional level, arrange training for activists campaign for LGBT equality and work with other self-organised groups and young members in UNISON.

50 Years since the Semi Decriminalisation of Gay Men

By  Andy Chaffer  on 25/07/2017 15:05.

Thursday 27 July marks the 50th Anniversary of the passing of legislation that semi-decriminalised gay men in England and Wales. The passing of the law meant that gay men 21 and over could have legal sex in private although private meant in a building with no other people present i.e not in a locked hotel room or not in a locked bedroom in a shared flat or house.

For all the problems and lack of Equality in the 1967 Act it was the start of modern legislation that now gives much needed rights and will one day give full equality for all lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans people. As we move forward we need to remember where we come from and what has changed.

Some people will be marking the Anniversary by attending the Pink Picnic in Kings Heath Park on Sunday 30 July from 1-5pm. Vicarage and Avenue Roads B14 Buses 35, 11 ,27 and 76.

There is further info on the Pink Picnic on this site: 

Educate and Celebrate Showcase 2016: A Night to Remember

An amazing night was had by all at the Educate and Celebrate Birmingham Showcase Monday 2nd February. A fabulous Birmingham start to LGBT History Month!

Birmingham LGBT Unison and the LGBT Employees Network were proud to support the event which has become a delightful and inspiring highlight in the year of the City’s cultural life.

Hosted at Birmingham Metropolitan University, Matthew Boulton College Campus, The Birmingham night kicked off a series of six regional school showcases to celebrate LGBT History Month. Primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities throughout the region performed songs, dance, plays, poetry and speeches building on curriculum work on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Students celebrated and championed diversity and inclusivity in style!

Colin Diamond the Executive Director of Education for Birmingham City Council gave a keynote speech. He put aside notes prepared for him about council and education statistics.  He said the night was all about the children and young people who had produced such incredible work. Colin said he was proud that the children and young people of Birmingham ere leading the world on diversity issues around gender and sexual orientation.

This year LGBT History Month has a focus on Religion, Belief and Philosophy. The Showcase event included Rose Neelam, a Muslim Faith Communites’ Officer and Catherine Myers from the Birmingham Liberal Jewish Community. Both spoke of the privilege it was to be a part of such a special night celebrating diversity.

George Salter school pupils perform their inspiring play about inclusivity. They showed how to be supportive to a friend who is transitioning gender.

Kings Norton Boys’ School perform ‘Rotton to the Core’ – one of the 8 Equality Songs debuted at the showcase.

There is still time to vote for the winning Equality song. Go online to Educate and Celebrate or Birmingham City Council: or

Singer-Songwriter Vix Perks, an organiser of the event and leads the Equality Song for Birmingham competition. Vix explained why she is involved: As a Brummy born and bred, I am extremely proud to be part of a wonderfully diverse community that celebrates difference. This Educate & Celebrate Schools Showcase is so inspiring as we help pupils use their creative talents to say no to discrimination, yes to equality.

A student from the region who participated in a previous Educate & Celebrate showcase said:

We learnt about being proud to be yourself! Having the chance to speak openly and honestly in front of such a diverse and energetic crowd meant a lot to me and I shall never forget that moment.


Download Educate and Celebrate 2016

Trans Awareness workshop



Trans Awarenss Training


Woodcock Street Auditorium





Birmingham City Council's LGBT+Allies Network &  Birmingham LGBT Centre


 Are Proud to announce a free, lunchtime Trans Awareness workshop.



Larna Gallier, from the LGBT Centre, will present a fun, accessible 50-minute workshop covering the basics of what it means to be Trans. What terminology to use and avoid. How to make your workplace more inclusive. Bring your questions and your colleagues

Lunch is free!



Booking isn’t essential but those with Eventbrite tickets will be given priority if there are more attendees than spaces available. 


See notice sent out on BCC Outlook for more details.

LGBT Coming Out event

FEBRUARY is  UNISON LGBT History Month 2018

All UNISON members and guests welcome to attend
UNISON West Midlands LGBT Self Organised Group have booked a guided tour of the Coming Out Exhibition at Gas Hall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
This tour has been highly praised as informative and interesting and we would love for people to attend.

Saturday 17th February at 11am – Meeting at the Entrance to the Gas Hall Birmingham, meet after at 2pm for a social gathering to Hurst Street
If you can’t make this BMAG have a free event the following weekend.

Saturday 24 February at 12-5pm –Outing the Past: an afternoon of talks and presentations and a curator tour.

You can just show up but if you want to guarantee a space on the guided tour please drop an email with the number of spaces required to Hannah by midday on Thursday 15th February -

Birmingham Branch LGBT Group



13th -15th November, the Unison National LGBT Conference took place in Brighton.

The West Midlands region was well-represented. The region presented a Composite Motion ‘Social Care in England’ raising concerns about the effect of cuts to jobs and services and Birmingham Branch spoke in support.

One really interesting debate was ‘LGBT and Sex Workers organising and the fight against HIV’. Birmingham Branch supported an amendment to adopt a policy of protecting the Human Rights of sex workers and advocate for the decriminalisation of sex work, within a wider framework of fighting for social equality. This is a position taken by Amnesty International, was supported by the National LGBT committee and overwhelmingly voted for by conference.

At the heart of this debate were two key reasons why I am a Trade Unionist: advocating for human rights and fighting for social equality. I saw this in action in my role as a social worker years ago on a Birmingham housing estate. There was a constructive multi-agency approach to support the rights and entitlements of women sex workers. Agencies provided mobile health clinics, dentists, welfare benefits advisors, re-housing advice and access to social services. This supported sex workers to take control of their lives and eventually find a route out of the industry.

The debate was a timely reminder of the importance of the Human Rights Act which we are celebrating on 10th December, Human Rights Day.

Another conference motion on Transphobic feminism called upon Conference / Unison to publicly commit to a feminist struggle that is ‘built on equality, respect and inclusiveness, regardless of gender’.  To paraphrase Deidre Costigan, LGBT National Committee, feminism is not about a few more women becoming CEOs; it’s about a wider fight against poverty, for decent housing and health services for all.

Huge thanks to West Midlands Region organisers for the conference, particularly Rory Shannon (Birmingham University) and Hannah Keating (Regional Unison).

Jennie Antonio, LGBT SOG Officer, Unison Birmingham Branch

For information about meetngs, events, support and becoming involved please contact our LGBT Officer at the Branch Office (0121 200 3331).



facebook Twitter You Tube


The Council Budget – time to open the books and ch...
In November last year the Council published a 66 page Budget Consultation document. It proposed ‘savings’ of £50m in 2019/20. It will increase in the ...
Read More