As part of its Diversity in Maritime networks, Maritime UK’s Pride in Maritime Network held its biggest online meeting ahead of LGBT+ History Month, which heard several initiatives for the months to come, including planning for industry toolkits supporting LGBT+ people.
Nautilus’s international organiser, Danny McGowan, chaired the meeting, while more than 40 network members attended it via Zoom.
The planning of initiatives, aiming to make the maritime industry a more welcoming place for LGBT+ people, will begin in earnest during February.
As the planning for physical events is still tricky due to COVID-19 restrictions, an LGBT+ roundtable event is under consideration, which would bring industry leaders together for networking, support and peer education.
The Pride in Maritime network heard from historian Dr Jo Stanley on the importance of finding historical LGBT+ role models to inspire new maritime professionals to take up the career and to ensure a diverse and welcoming future maritime industry.
On his part, Dr Stanley urged interested members to engage in the community projects begun in the UK by London’s National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, which aims to improve the profile of LGBT+ seafarers.
Dr Stanley is also working on other modern inspirational role models in maritime, including a former steward, an activist in the Gay Liberation Front, an overview of new gay media starting from the 1970s, and the potential dedication of a plaque in London to a Merchant Navy doctor from the 1940s who transitioned from female to male.
Currently, in at least 76 countries globally, same-sex relations between consenting adults remain illegal, according to HRAS.