Our Chief Executive Dr Matt Westmore writes about the the importance the Health Research Authority places on including LGBTQ+ perspective in our work and across the whole of the research ecosystem.
Dr Matt Westmore, Chief Executive at the Health Research Authority
During Pride month, at the Health Research Authority (HRA) we have been learning more about different gender identities and sexualities. We’ve also reflected on the challenges LGBTQ+ communities can face and what this means to our mission. This reflection isn’t over just because Pride month has ended.
Beyond the vibrant celebrations and colourful rainbow lanyards, a challenging climate remains for LGBTQ+ people. In particular for trans and non-binary people, whose lives can still be reduced to a topic for biased debate rather than being respected, valued and able to live authentically. The need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with LGBTQ+ people hasn’t ended because Pride month has ended.
The HRA vision is for high-quality health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing. Across all of our activities we seek to protect and promote the interests of all people in research. LGBTQ+ communities are rarely visible in this research and there is much that we can do as a sector to put this right. The need to hear the voices of LGBTQ+ people is no less now Pride month is over.
The HRA is on a journey, integrating LGBTQ+ voices and perspective into our organisation and the work we do. We’re currently working with a range of relevant organisations, such as Stonewall, to help accelerate our plans in this area. We are committed to continuing our learning all year round to ensure that we, and the researchers accessing our services, are recognising, protecting and promoting the interests of LGBTQ+ patients and communities. Pride month is over, but we are not done yet.