The concept of Liveable Lives has the potential to develop new ways of thinking and talking about the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) people, and might help to inform new initiatives and strategies beyond the equalities agenda.
International engagements with measures of LGBT friendliness
This research has augmented the call for robust measures of LGBTI inclusions transnationally. It has been used by ILGA World, a worldwide federation that campaigns for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex rights, working with the United Nations and their Development Projects.
National policy implementation
In the process of undertaking the data collection to establish UK local authorities’ adherence to the Equality Act 2010, some councils contacted asked for support in developing their adherence to the legislation. They subsequently changed their available information, with some developing work around the area. The first report to examine the Public Sector Duties associated with the Act resulted in a question asked in Parliament regarding its findings. This lead to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission writing to all local authorities to ensure their adherence to the legislation.
Activism and wellbeing
Local and transnational activisms have been developed and enhanced through this project. Through this project those who worked on it as activists (as well as academics) discussed how their lives were made more liveable though the process of the research. This included members of the research team, steering group and those attending workshops. For some in both India and the UK, these groups were amongst the first contacts they had with LGBTQ people and groups such as Sappho for Equality. For Sappho for Equality, this led to contact with new people, who in turn received support from this organisation and joined its activities. Furthermore, through the process of collecting together news articles regarding the prosecution of LGBTQ people, Sappho for Equality’s archives were significantly expanded upon, including indexing in ways that made the material more accessible and useable. This action improved access to this unique collection and developed understandings of activisms and LGBTQ histories across India. It also supported Sappho for Equality’s work in campaigning and advocacy. Finally, this project developed innovative and unique interactions across India and the UK. Through a web-based app interface, LGBTQ people were able to engage in conversations on discussion boards around issues of shared interest. This created a temporary and transient community that has significant further potential. Participants were also asked to offer public facing videos about what makes their lives liveable. These were tweeted and shared on the website and social media. Conferences in India and the UK gave activists and academics the opportunity to engage with each other through the preliminary findings of the project. These were well attended and generated significant discussions of key issues, as well as conversations and collaborations around future activities and collaborations within and beyond research. One of the participants in the UK conference subsequently tweeted that it was: ‘One of the most impactful LGBTIQ-related events I've ever been to’.
This project sought to experiment with momentarily changing public space and from this addressing attitudes to LGBTQ lives, through street theatre. Formed through street theatre workshops, in the UK, the experiment with change in street theatre performances took the form of recognising ongoing difficulties in LGBTQ lives. In India, it focused on awareness and visibility. The transnational film ‘I Script, My Script’ illustrated the various approaches and challenges of participants and public engagement with street theatre workshops and performances. It also demonstrated the changes that street theatre can make, as evidenced by the police officer interviewed about repealing Indian anti-homosexuality legislation at the end of the Kolkata street theatre:
Policeman: I understood the subject… Everyone is talking about this. We should think about it…
Interviewer: What do you think?
Policeman: I feel it’s right, it should happen.
Public perceptions were also affected by news coverage of the lack of compliance with legal public sector duties and coverage of project (including appearances on LGBTQ and mainstream media including magazine and radio coverage).