With the news this week that on Sunday, a man had a wine bottle thrown at his head after a night in the city's Gay Village we have seen once more how some in the LGBTQIA+ community don’t feel safe walking the streets of Birmingham. This fact brings nothing but shame on our city, the City of Sanctuary, and is particularly sad after just a few weeks ago the streets were filled with Brummies, local Conservative Councillors and people from across the country, celebrating Pride. No matter what your sexuality or gender, everyone deserves to feel safe in the community they call home.
Of course, we have been here before as a city, earlier this year, a couple were injured with bottles and had homophobic abuse shouted at them, Matt Brooks was punched in the face with such force he needed emergency surgery on a fractured eye socket to relieve pressure on his eyeball and local Drag Queen Dahliah Rivers stating she no longer feels safe walking through the gay village, the heart of the LGBTQIA+ community in Birmingham. That is why when members of our community were attacked previously I challenged the Leader of the Council to undertake an urgent review of the CCTV in the Gay Village, as well as asking for more street lighting to be installed – it is clear the Council should be doing more and going further. It is unacceptable that nothing has been done despite such attacks continuing. The council needs to act now by installing more CCTV and street lighting.
I am proud to say the Birmingham Conservatives stand in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community at our lows and our highs. Hate has no place in Birmingham and to those who spread it, we have one message: You are not welcome here.
Some may say that this is only a matter for one small community in Birmingham, they are wrong. As a city, we should be sending the message out loud and clear to those who live here who may not have come to terms with their sexuality or gender that you are welcome here, that you belong to the community in Birmingham and should be proud of who you are.
Written by Cllr Gareth Moore.
Cllr Peter Fowler, Shadow Cabinet Member for Communities, Social Inclusion and Equalities, has written to the Leader of the Council calling for a cross-party meeting including representatives from the LGBTQIA+ community. This letter can be seen by downloading it at the end of this page.