Creating personal and social change for LGBTQ+ people.
What is HERO?
About LGBT HERO
LGBT HERO is the Health Equality and Rights Organisation for LGBTQ+ people. LGBT HERO is the parent organisation of:
GMFA - the gay men’s health project.
OutLife - for a happier, healthier LGBTQ+ community.
LGBT HERO is a trading name set up to represent Health Equality and Rights Organisation (HERO) on a public level. LGBT HERO is a charitable company limited by guarantee, incorporated on 31 March 1992 and registered as a charity on 2 August 1992.
LGBT HERO aims to improve the health, enhance the wellbeing and champion the rights of LGBTQ+ people. We recognise LGBTQ+ people as: lesbian; gay; bisexual; transgender; queer; questioning; intersex; asexual; and any other person who self-identifies within the LGBTQ+ umbrella.
LGBT HERO provides LGBTQ+ people with accurate and credible information so they can build skills that enable them to make informed choices about their health and wellbeing. We encourage LGBTQ+ people to create social change in our communities by providing a platform where they are heard and valued. This mission is a guiding principle governing all of our work.
LGBT HERO wants to see a world where LGBTQ+ people have the same opportunities in life as all other people, and are not disadvantaged by health or social inequalities because of their sexuality or identity.
The objects of the charity as set out in the memorandum and articles of association, as amended on 1st June 2011 are:
a) To protect and preserve public health in particular amongst the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population of the United Kingdom.
b) To advance public education in the subjects affecting the health of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population including the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of illness, in particular through the promotion of research and the dissemination of the useful results of research.
We do this by:
Ensuring LGBTQ+ people have access to information and support to enable them to make the best health choices for themselves.
Decreasing the number of LGBTQ+ people who experience mental illness and / or suicidal thoughts by offering information, advice, peer-support and signposting to support services.
Improving LGBTQ+ people’s sexual health, including eradicating new HIV infections by publishing up-to-date information about HIV and STIs while encouraging regular HIV and STI testing.
Challenging HIV-related stigma with campaigns that emotionally connect with our communities.
Increasing representation of LGBTQ+ black, Asian and minority ethnic groups within LGBTQ+ communities by ensuring BME LGBTQ+ people are at the forefront of our work.
Supporting all LGBTQ+ people to live emotionally and physically healthy lives by providing holistic means to improve their lives.
All people, regardless of age, race, nationality, religion, disability, gender identity or sexuality, should have equal opportunities in life.
All people regardless of their sexuality and gender identity are entitled to equal rights and respect.
The needs of LGBTQ+ people should be considered in all aspects of their health, well-being and life.
Our work will address identified health inequalities within LGBTQ+ communities and advocate for full acceptance of and equal rights for LGBTQ+ people.
Health promotion is done best when LGBTQ+ community members collectively contribute to its development and delivery, it is underpinned by evidence and it can demonstrate its positive impact.
Ensure LGBTQ+ people have access to information and support to enable them to make the best health choices for themselves.
Decrease the number of LGBTQ+ people who experience mental illness issues.
Decrease the number of LGBTQ+ who die by suicide.
Improve LGBTQ+ people’s sexual health, including eradicating new HIV infections.
Challenge HIV-related stigma.
Increase representation of LGBTQ+ black, Asian and minority ethnic groups within LGBTQ+ communities.
Support all LGBTQ+ people to live emotionally and physically healthy lives.
LGBT HERO is an organisation informed by the communities it serves. We use volunteers from those communities to guide our work and inform our campaigns. People from LGBTQ+ communities write for us, advise us on the direction of campaigns, and feature in all of our published material.
Tackling Health Inequalities:
Health inequalities are unjust and avoidable differences in people’s health across the population and between specific population groups.
Health inequalities harm social justice. They do not occur randomly or by chance. They are socially determined by circumstances largely beyond an individual’s control. These circumstances disadvantage people and limit their chance to live longer, healthier lives.
The existence of health inequalities in the UK means that the right of everyone to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is not being enjoyed equally across the population.
Health inequalities affecting LGBTQ+ people:
LGBT HERO has identified the following health and social inequalities it wants to address:
Primary aims: These are LGBT HERO’s core aims to be delivered through GMFA and OutLife
HIV - Increase knowledge of how to prevent HIV in gay, bisexual and trans communities.
HIV Stigma - Increase knowledge of the issues people living with HIV face and how it negatively impacts our community.
Sexual Health - Increase knowledge of STIs and how to prevent them for all LGBTQ+ people.
Suicide and Self Harm - Develop interventions which aim to stop LGBTQ+ people dying by suicide and/or self-harming, while campaigning to increase funding for LGBTQ+ interventions.
Mental Health - Destigmatise mental illness within the LGBTQ+ community through information and true life stories while advocating for better LGBTQ+ specific services.
Secondary aims: LGBT HERO also aims to tackle the following inequalities through GMFA and OutLife.
Alcohol and drugs: We signpost LGBTQ+ people to LGBTQ+ services, while increasing awareness.
BAME health issues: Develop interventions which tackle health issues affecting black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBTQ+ people, such as HIV and mental health.
BAME social issues: Develop interventions which tackle social issues affecting black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBTQ+ people, such as racism on the LGBTQ+ scene
Domestic abuse: We increase awareness of the high levels of domestic violence occurring in the LGBTQ+ communities and how to overcome it.
General relationships: We provide information, advice and a platform for LGBTQ+ people to talk about relationships.
Hate crime and LGBTQ+ rights: Develop interventions which tackle hate crime while increasing knowledge of issues affecting LGBTQ+ people in the UK and throughout the world.
Lesbian health: Develop interventions that improve general lesbian health and wellbeing
LGBTQ+ families: We provide information and support about marriage, civil partnerships, divorce and LGBTQ+ adoption.
Loneliness and isolation: Support LGBTQ+ people to connect with one another
Sexuality and gender: We provide basic information about sexuality and gender, including coming out stories, to improve knowledge within the LGBTQ+ community.
Smoking: We provide information, support and signposting to organisations that can help the high numbers of LGBTQ+ people who smoke.
Trans health: Increase awareness of trans health needs while providing information and support.
Trans social issues: Increase awareness of the issues trans people face in the UK and around the world.
Meet team HERO
Ian is the Chief Executive Officer for HERO - Health Equality and Rights Organisation. HERO is the parent organisation of GMFA, FS magazine and OutLife
Ian joined HERO in 2010 as the Associate Editor for FS magazine. He took over as editor in chief in 2011 and was appointed CEO of HERO in 2016.
Finance and Office Manager
Massimo is an accountant with several years of financial reporting and accountancy experience within the charity and private sector.
Massimo joined GMFA in 1998 as Finance Manager. Massimo is also responsible for IT, Health & Safety and the general running of the office.
Digital and Social Engagement Manager
Liam is the Digital and Social Engagement Manager for GMFA. He joined GMFA in 2014. Liam is the brains behind HERO's health campaigns and is currently the editor for FS magazine.
Digital and Social Engagement Officer
Justin Mahboubian-Jones joined HERO in September 2017. Justin is working on HERO's LGBT+ projects, including OutLife.