BY MARIYA HOQUE, Student Co-Director of Essex Law Clinic
Objective: LGBTQ+ Rights Pride and the Law: A Podcast is a project (under the LGBTQ+/HIV Essex Law Clinic) designed as a podcast; a platform which encourages the LGBTQ+ community to share their relationship and experiences with the law. Students from the Essex Law Clinic will hold semi-structured interviews with interested members of the LGBTQ+ community. Participants are encouraged to discuss unlawful violations they have suffered due to their identity as a LGBTQ+ person. This can include, but is not limited to, discrimination, human rights and law violation, health and relationships, persecution in the U.K. or in a different country and much more.
Purpose of the Study
Public Legal Information: Upon individuals sharing their legal experiences, the Essex Law Clinic will provide useful information to educate the public about existing resources. Individuals are guided to face their legal challenges. In the sharing of issues and possible solutions, listeners’ knowledge of the law and their legal rights in the area is further enhanced. This allows the Law Clinic broader access to justice objectives.
Support Individuals: Part of the project is to also provide willing participants a safe environment to speak freely and gain the support they need. Learning of the various ways individuals’ have encountered unjust treatment from the justice system not only makes communities and legal actors aware of the issues, but also offers opportunities for us to conduct future research and effectively help vulnerable clients.
Visibility of the LGBTQ+ Community: Many individuals (from various religious and cultural backgrounds) are not visible members of the LGBTQ+ community due to fear and threatened safety of ‘coming out.’ The podcast works to challenge these barriers and make visible all LGBTQ+ voices. To speak up is an act of visibility on its own. It is the visibility of experiences that is shared which connects thousands of people to create changes in our legal communities.
Your participation: This project cannot succeed without you, our Clinic Members! We are thrilled to welcome you as either a voluntary participant wishing to share with us your experiences or as a student researcher interested in being part of our team! If you wish to be involved in the LGBTQ+ Pride and the Law: A Podcast, please contact with either myself or my supervisor, Lee Hansen, Deputy Clinic Director for more information!