LGBT+ community in Wales invited to share their experiences of the NHS through poetry

NHS organisations across Wales are asking the LGBT+ community and its allies to put their experiences of the NHS into poems.

The group of organisations is inviting LGBT+ patients, staff and the wider community to submit poetry for a competition being held to mark LGBT+ History Month, which this year takes the theme 'Poetry, Prose and Plays'. 

The annual campaign observes the history of the LGBT+ community, and aims to promote equality and diversity for the people within it through increasing visibility and understanding of the community and the issues it faces.

The theme of the competition is 'LOVE is LOVE' in the NHS, inviting entrants to share what they love about the institution, or instances of where love has shone through in their experiences of using or working within it. From beginners to experienced poets, submissions are being invited from across the whole community.

The competition aims to share the message that love extends beyond gender identity and sexual orientation, and that NHS organisations across Wales are committed to supporting equality and inclusivity for LGBT+ patients, staff, and the wider community.

Andrew Goodall, Chief Executive of NHS Wales, said: “LGBT+ History Month is an opportunity for us all to reflect on the experience of the LGBT+ community, both historically and today by the LGBT+ community.

 "I am clear that there is no place for discrimination of any kind within the NHS in Wales, and as an organisation we are committed to taking positive steps to challenge the impact of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, working to address inequalities faced by LGBT+ people.

"The poetry competition is an imaginative way for us to mark LGBT+ History Month. We’re looking forward to seeing the submissions coming through, which I’m sure will give us greater insight and understanding into experiences of our LGBT+ staff, patients and the wider community.

“I'd like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in the competition, and wish all of our entrants from across Wales the best of luck."

 The deadline for entries into the LOVE is LOVE poetry competition is Friday 14th February 2020. A panel will judge each submission before the prize-winning entry is revealed at an event being held at the Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff on Friday 28th February 2020. Further details about the event will be confirmed in due course.

For more information about the competition, or to submit your entry, please email: LGBT.HistoryMonth@wales.nhs.uk