We’ll keep a welcome in the hillside… As long as you’re not trans, or anything threatening like that…

October 16, 2008

I was in my early teens when my parents relocated the family to North Wales. My hateful (first) puberty was just starting to kick in, and I loathed the idea of moving away from the totally buzzin’ happenin’ small suburban town 20 miles west of London, where I’d been born and raised.

With time I suppose I mellowed, and in the end it turns out that I probably spent more time living and working in Wales than I have anywhere else. And I have tried a good few other places, believe me, before I washed up on the suburban shores of west London some seven, eight years ago.

Over the years I seem – seemed? – to have something of a love/hate relationship with the country. Sometimes I wouldn’t have wanted to live anywhere else on the planet; other times I just couldn’t get away fast enough. I met some lovely people there, as well as some complete bastards – and sometimes, for whatever reason, right or wrong, it did seem to me that there was a disproportionately higher proportion of the latter on the west side of Offa’s Dyke.

Sadly, by the look of this report in the Daily Post, it seems as though a good few of those complete bastards are still there, too. The article discusses a survey commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which looked at attitudes towards age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, transgender, disability and human rights.

Prejudice still persists in Wales

A SIGNIFICANT amount of prejudice persists in Wales despite broadly positive attitudes towards race, gender, religion and disability, a major survey reveals.

More than one in three, 38%, of people in Wales admitted they would be unhappy if a close relative married or formed a relationship with a gipsy traveller.

Almost half of those questioned believed someone who suffered bouts of depression was unsuitable to be a primary school teacher.

Just under half believed unfair treatment of women continued in the workplace in Wales.

The first major survey into attitudes towards discrimination, equality and living together in Wales found discrimination least likely among those with the widest social groups, while those who stayed on in school and continued in education were significantly more accepting and inclusive towards others.

The report said the majority of those surveyed were not concerned by the prospect of more newcomers, including English people, moving into their communities. Also that most adults had no problem with the idea of employing lesbian and gay people as primary school teachers. 93% of adults support UK laws protecting human rights and 97% say it is never acceptable to bully or hit a partner.

Then there’s this:

Prejudice was most stark towards transgender people, with only a third of adults saying they would happy for a relative to have a long-term relationship with a transgender person.

“Although transgender people now enjoy employment rights there is still widespread ignorance and prejudice in the public mind that needs to be addressed,” said Dr Olwen Williams, of the EHRC Wales Committee.

Now the EHRC is to issue a challenge to “think again” before pinning negative labels on people – by means of a mobile billboard, which is to travel round Wales urging people to think beyond first impressions, to see the “real person”.

Pob hwyl…

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