Those of you interested in attending one of our half day Awareness raising courses may be interested in:

HOMEWORK (or, as we prefer to say – self-guided learning’)

Either way, this is preparation for Modules 5 & 6: We Don’t Count & Difficult Conversations – the next session is just a 90 minute Zoom on 15th Nov, so please come prepared so that we can make best use of time.

1. We Don’t Count – please read the excerpt below and consider how you could get the essence of this across to your colleagues, in a way which will resonate with them for your organisation. You do not have to restrict yourself to a conversation about lesbians specifically, but rather extend and adapt the thinking for whatever conversation would have most effect with your colleagues.

“..why do we not see older lesbians? Monika Kehoe (1986) described them as a triply invisible minority, hidden from view by a particular conjunction of sexism, ageism and hetero-sexism which renders them culturally un-representable. If the popular image of ‘lesbian’ is a deviant and/ or sexualised one, and our picture of the old is asexual; if  …… every old woman automatically becomes a ‘granny’ – and therefore heterosexual by default – then old lesbians cannot exist in our imaginations. But it is crucially important, if we are to provide equal services to the whole ageing population, to understand and to challenge the internalised discourses which stop us from seeing some of them. If ‘how we are seen determines how we are treated’ (Dyer 2002), then those who are not ‘seen’ will be treated as if they do not exist. …. The situation is complicated further if the people we are trying to see are not only hidden but hiding.”

Excerpt from ‘Women Like That’ Older Lesbians in the UK, Jane Traies – in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Ageing: Biographical Approaches for Inclusive Care and Support Edited by Richard Ward, Ian Rivers and Mike Sutherland JKP 2012.


2. Difficult Conversations – In our experience, people seem to struggle with the very notion of entering a conversation about sexual orientation and/or gender identity. In order to help you to help others, it’d be useful to start thinking about what the difficulties might be – please have a think – preferably send something to us before 15th November


  • Image – Communities we belong to (png file)
  • Handout – What is Community (word doc click here)
  • Slide or photo illustrating the gradation from exclusion to inclusion
  • Notes to accompany slide – Inclusion Script (word doc click here)
  • Film clip ‘To Treat Me …’
  • General resource – link to search, copy and paste humorous, animated little giffs into presentations (GIPHY click here)
  • Notes from the session – typed up from the flipcharts (word doc click here)

To Treat Me ...

Inclusion - what does it mean?

It’s useful to give this some consideration – the word ‘inclusion’ has become fairly common parlance and it got us thinking about what we mean. The ‘script’ is by no means definitive and you will have your own examples. It aims to give a general overview of the ways people may be and/or feel excluded, ‘not part of’, not included – and the impact that this is likely to have on people’s well-being.

For an overview it’s good to revisit ‘the boxes’ as this illustrates (in sharp relief) what it might mean – often people are trying to do their best to give everyone the same access and opportunities, but may not even be aware of the implications of certain actions, or non-actions.

Being ‘excluded’, being ‘not included’ and ‘being included’ are all different experiences which have a range of impacts on people and their well-being. It’s important to recognize that whether or not someone is ‘excluded’ or discriminated against deliberately, the effect can be exactly the same. It may not be intentional but can still invoke feelings. Those feelings may range from unease, humiliation, anger, feeling undermined, undervalued, less than, anxious, depressed.

The diagram below has a full ‘script’ to help you to talk through each block and what they mean.