Relax at the Rezza!

Edgbaston Reservoir, Saturday 23rd July, 1pm to 5pm. B16 9EE. Meet at cycle hub by Tower Ballroom, Reservoir Road entrance for cycling, walking and running.

Back by popular request, your chance to walk on water (stand up paddle boarding), paddle (individual kayak), cycle, walk or run. Water sports will be provided by Bear Creek Adventure Subsidised cost to you £11 for two hours’ instruction 2pm to 4pm.

There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to practising safer sex and being on holiday.

People generally go on holiday to have a good time, relax, let their hair-down and try new experiences.  We might lose some of the inhibition’s we would normally have at home this factored in with perhaps drinking or using other substances may mean that the choices we would normally make around sex could be compromised.

Along with the usual pre-holiday preparations it’s a good idea to factor in safer sex and think about all the essentials you might need.

Before you go away get stocked up on condoms, lube, dental dams, femidoms and any other safer- sex necessities most of which are available free in a variety of sizes, flavours, latex-free etc. from Birmingham LGBT’s sexual health services – you can either drop in anytime Monday to Friday 10.00 –  6.00pm to pick your requirements up in person or alternatively if you live in Birmingham or Solihull, you can have them sent by post again free of charge. See link below

You could also pop into Birmingham LGBT to speak to one of our sexual health team or come along to our Thursday sexual health clinic to speak to one of the nurses (drop in starts at 12.00) for some advice on how to look after your sexual health on holiday.

Check that you have you have enough oral contraception to cover your holidays duration and consider taking extra in case you develop a sickness bug, and be mindful of changing time-zones. Is emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill) available in the country you are travelling to? It is worth researching this as you may want to take a supply with you.

It is safer to carry any medication in your hand luggage and in its original packaging ideally with your name on the labelling to identify it as being prescribed to you.

When buying travel insurance check to see that it covers travel insurance and what it covers, sexual health support can sometimes be overlooked when considering what we might need it for but could be very useful (and cut down on cost) if support, screening, prescribing, or contraception is needed whilst still on holiday.

Whilst on holiday remember to also store your safe-sex items carefully and away from direct heat as this can compromise their effectiveness. Also be careful when using lotions, sun cream or oils not to then handle condoms or dams as again these could cause damage and reduce their effectiveness, always wash your hands first.

If you run out and/or buy condoms abroad remember to look out for the ‘CE’ marking this means the product meets the safety standards required in Europe.

If travelling with others agree to look out for one another, when out partying, check in with each other or don’t let each other stray away for the group, knowing what your sexual boundaries are and what could possibly change them when you’re on holiday could help to pre-empt any unfamiliar situations, at the start of your holiday it might be useful to find out where you can access medical treatment.

Post-holiday If you have had unprotected sex or are concerned and would like to talk to someone and/or have a test even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms –  STI’s can be symptomless or take a while to show any symptoms, you can attend one of our nurse-led sexual health drop-in clinics held every Thursday (12.00- last drop in appointment 6.30)

Alternatively, if you live in Birmingham or Solihull, you can order a sexually transmitted infection (STI) self-sampling kit from the Umbrella website, you can have your kit delivered to your home or another address, or collect it from an Umbrella pharmacy or clinic including Birmingham LGBT. See link below

For more information, please have a look on this website at the sexual health pages or contact a member of the sexual health team on 0121 643 0821

Birmingham LGBT is pleased to announce that it has been awarded funding by Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council to support the programming and delivery of its annual SHOUT Festival.

Established in 2009, SHOUT Festival presents, showcases and exhibits the best in queer art forms and culture throughout the city.

Back for its 8th edition, SHOUT 2016 launches on 10th November for a 10 day festival encompassing the best in live performance, theatre, comedy, music and film at venues throughout Birmingham.

Ian Hyde, SHOUT’s producer said: “We’re delighted that we can bring back SHOUT for its eighth edition.  Since it started, the festival’s reputation has been growing and is now a firmly-established part of the regional festival calendar.  This year we can promise a welcome return for festival favourites alongside exciting new work not previously seen in the city.”

The festival will also be launching a new website, and announcing the first artists shortly, so watch this space.

Neil Anderson, Festival Chair added: “Since its inception, SHOUT has gone from strength to strength.  The festival remains central to our objective of ensuring that Birmingham and the West Midlands is a place known for innovative queer work”

Further information about queer art in Birmingham and SHOUT Festival can be found on our website where you can also sign up to our email list.

For more information, please contact:

Bev Higgins writes about her new role working with the LGBT Community

I became an ISVA to help survivors to have their say, and get the help and support to overcome the impact of sexual abuse, and not face prejudice or mistreatment. As a member of the LGBT community myself and as a professional, I have a wealth of knowledge and experience of the impact and trauma of any sexual abuse on LGBT people. I am passionate about developing and providing this much needed service.


The Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP) ( and Birmingham LGBT Centre ( are working together with Umbrella Sexual Health Services ( to offer you this specialised LGBT sexual abuse service.

ISVA stands for Independent Sexual Violence Advocate.

If you are lesbian, gay, bi, trans* and have ever experienced rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse at any point in your life the Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP) now can offer you our specialist LGBT ISVA services within the Birmingham LGBT community. (*Including but not exclusive list- non binary, non cis, gender queer, MSM, androgynous, intersex, pansexual…)

An ISVA will offer a caring and professional service providing practical advice and emotional support to those who have been directly impacted by rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse. The abuse could be recent, in the past or ongoing.

Rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse are experienced by a significant percentage of the population and are prevalent in the LGBT community too. Sexual abuse of any nature is a very hidden problem and can be an extremely difficult issue to talk about. The LGBT community often are overlooked or misunderstood and can face prejudice and extra fears around speaking to professionals and organisations when seeking help and support. Rape and abuse against LGBT people can occur in relationships, they can occur as homophobic hate-crimes, childhood sexual abuse and as sexual harassment. Research suggests that the LGBT community experiences disproportionate level of sexual violence.

Support is available; we are here to offer you an advocacy service delivered with compassion, professionalism and humanity. We want to make a difference to you and help overcome the barriers that prevent sexual abuse survivors who identify as LGBT from getting the help and support they need.

Our service is free and is inclusive of all sexuality and gender identities. Everyone is treated fairly, equally and with value and respect. We embrace diversity, promoting equality and human rights for all. We are passionate about helping survivors to thrive and are a user lead service. We are here for you, and so will tailor the support to your individual needs. We understand you may feel nervous getting in touch and it takes a lot of courage to take that step. We will support you every step of the way.

How can we help?
• Talking you through your options
• Ensuring you can access the services and support you need
• Offering emotional and practical support
• Enabling you to report to the police if you decide to
* Exploring other ways you can pass on information about the trauma you have experienced (e.g. anonymously through the Sexual Assault Referral Centre – SARC) (
• Ensuring your wellbeing, by chaperoning you on health appointments, including sexual health screenings

What is sexual violence? 

The term sexual violence is used as a broad term for all forms of rape and sexual abuse. Rape and sexual abuse might involve physical violence, coercion, threats and control.
Often rape and sexual abuse is committed by people you know, such as partners, friends, family, acquaintances, and people in positions of trust. You may feel love for the person who has abused/is abusing you. You may be befriended and offered things in return for sexual acts, you could have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol to such an extent you couldn’t consent. You may feel coerced or pressured into doing sexual things you don’t want to. You may be pressured/ forced into sexual acts with other people.

Being groomed?
Abusers can seem very charming and well liked, they will gain your trust and those around you. You may think people won’t believe you, we will. You may be terrified and living in fear, we can help.

If you are being forced, pressured or coerced into sexual activities, you can contact us. You don’t have to suffer in silence or cope alone – we’re here for you.

To contact the LGBT ISVA service speak to Bev via:
Tel: 0121 643 0301 option 2
Mob: 07535 172 052

About RSVP
We have supported survivors of rape and sexual abuse since 1978, when we were established as Rape Crisis. We provide compassionate, confidential and free services to women, children and men living in Birmingham and Solihull. At RSVP, we believe that everyone deserves a life free from sexual violence and abuse.

Time: 6.30-8pm
Date: 30th June 2016
Venue: Birmingham LGBT Centre, 38/40 Holloway Circus. B1 1EQ

We are running a Volunteer Introduction evening where you can find out about volunteering at Birmingham LGBT & the opportunities available to you!

Birmingham LGBT is very proud that has been awarded a Silver Award from Investors in People & this demonstrates how we really value our Volunteers.

We need you! As we move to a seven day a week, 12 hours a day service. We are looking for more volunteers, to offer their time to support the activities and new services available at the centre.

People volunteer for a variety of reasons whether it’s to take active citizenship in the LGBT community, create new networks or develop new skills. We have many volunteer opportunities available.

If you are interested in attending or finding out more please contact for more information.