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LGBT families

Jan 21, 2018 | News

At Direct Mediation Services we believe that mediation is a process suitable for all families, and can extend to as wide a circle as necessary, including grandparents, step-parents and young people. Managing partner, Stuart Hanson, has written and delivered accredited training to mediators about the LGBT family in the mediation room. LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. Stuart’s mantra is “A family is a family – no matter who the members are.” His training has helped mediators have the confidence to reach out to the LGBT community and within Direct Mediation Services, he is our LGBT Champion, ensuring that throughout our organisation mediators understand key LGBT terminology, use gender neutral language, have an awareness of LGBT history in the UK and understand some of the complexities that can arise.

LGBT and the legal system

Stuart, through his presentations, hopes to challenge the heterosexual and binary normative that still seems to be very present in the legal system in the UK. He says, “There has been progress, but we have not yet arrived at our equality destination. It is only through education that we can break down barriers to achieve true equality for everyone for the LGBT family. For example, people have to realise that you cannot tell someone’s name or pronoun just by looking at them. If someone takes the time to let you know their name and pronoun, use it and respect it. It’s not up to you to decide someone else’s identity.”

Direct Mediation Services and its mediators want to help build a mediation service in which the LGBT+ community has confidence. We understand that families come in all different shapes and sizes, from the conventional nuclear family to single parents, adoptive parents and children being raised by grandparents. Around 20,000 young people in Britain are growing up with same-sex parents and many children have lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans parents or family.

If you would like to talk in confidence with our LGBT Champion, Stuart, about how mediation could help your family, please complete the online form and Stuart will call you back.

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