Paul Martin OBE, LGBT Foundation, gives a passionate acceptance speech at the 2021 British LGBT Awards in Solidarity with Stonewall and LGBT+ Afghans

Paul Martin OBE prompted a standing ovation for Stonewall UK at the British LGBT Awards on Friday 27th August. Martin, who won the Outstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Lives, used his platform to call out for solidarity with both Stonewall, and for ‘solidarity to the LGBTQ community in Afghanistan.’

 

Stonewall have been working closely Rainbow Railroad, an organisation that helps LGBT+ people escape state-sponsored violence. With the current climate in Afghanistan, this work is now more important than ever. On the 27th August, Stonewall released an open letter in partnership with Rainbow Railroad, addressing the government to demand urgent support for vulnerable LGBT+ Afghans. Martin added:

 

‘We unconditionally support Stonewall and the amazing work they are doing for LGBTQ+ communities in this country. ‘

 

Martin is founder of the LGBT+ Foundation, and issued a statement on the behalf of the organisation, pledging their ‘unconditional solidarity’ to the LGBTQ+ community in Afghanistan.

 

The standing ovation for Stonewall comes after the Conservative Government cut ties with Stonewall’s diversity training scheme, at a time when the government is continuing to fail trans and non-binary individuals across a range of criteria.¬†Martin also referenced Stonewall’s tireless work with trans and non-binary siblings, adding

 

“There is no liberation or equality without ALL of us getting equality.”

 

Beautifully put, Paul.

We urge you, if you have the capacity to do so, to additionally pledge your support for these organisation with the following actions:

 

You can find out more about how to support the Rainbow Railroad and the incredible work they are doing here:

 

Many Afghan refugees who have arrived in the UK have nowhere to stay, if you have a space room please also reach out to Refugees At Home

 

In addition, you can donate to the Afghanistan Appeal LGBTQI Emergency Fund, activated by GiveOut and Rainbow Railroad to support an emergency response to provide for the LGBT+ Afghans facing extreme persecution.