Councillor Will Fielding is set to propose a motion for the council to support Barnsley’s trans and non binary residents, which will include provisions for transgender employees who are transitioning; and training on the use of correct pronouns, privacy and confidentiality, and the needs and experiences of trans and non-binary people.
If approved, the needs of transgender and non-binary people will be considered when homelessness policies are drawn up, ‘to ensure they are not discriminated against when accessing those services’.
In a show of support for trans and non binary residents, the group hope the council will display the transgender pride flag on the town hall on the International Transgender Day of Visibility (31st March) and International Transgender Day of Remembrance (20th November).
The non binary flag will also be flown on 14 July – International Non-Binary People’s Day.
The Lib Dems hope BMBC will follow other councils which fly the flags on their respective commemorative days, including Brighton and Hove; Calderdale; Islington and Felixstowe.
Councillor Hannah Kitching, leader of Barnsley’s Lib Dem Group, said that although BMBC is already ‘solid’ on its policies for LGBTQ+ residents, the group hopes that the motion will be accepted.
“What we’ve actually seen in the last few years is increased attacks on specifically trans and non binary people in the mainstream media,” Coun Kitching told the local democracy reporting service.
“It’s become an accepted part of any sort of political and media discourse. For us as Liberal Democrats, who have always been at the forefront of campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights, that’s really, really sad.
“Trans and non binary communities are telling us that they need more support and more protection than ever before.
“Because the council is is so good on these kinds of matters, we really hope that the motion will be accepted in the spirit it’s intended.”
The motion adds that 20 per cent of the LGBTQ+ community will experience homelessness at some point in their lives, which rises to 25 per cent amongst trans people.