This autumn we’re delighted to be sharing news about a new way to right past wrongs, and our work to improve our futures, by improving communication and consent between men.
After much campaigning we’re delighted that the Freedom Act has been enacted, and now gay and bisexual men who received convictions for certain consensual sexual offences under previous laws can have these removed from records.
Looking to the future, we’ve launched a campaign to get guys communicating honestly and positively about how to make sure the sex they have stays consensual for all involved.
Carl often goes clubbing at the weekend, and he doesn’t always stay sober when he’s out. One night he met a couple of guys in a club, and decided to go with them to a nearby sauna. When they got there Carl didn’t want to take things too far, but he’d had a lot to drink, and the other guys didn’t take the time to check out what he wanted…
Do what you both want… sounds obvious doesn’t it? It’s what we all want: hot sex with another guy (or guys!), everyone enjoys themselves, everyone feels good. And for lots of guys, a lot of the time, that’s what happens. It’s what you both want and, if it’s not always hot, hey, we’re all human.
But, at Galop we get to hear about those times when sex isn’t what you both want. When drink, drugs, the location, the situation, the heat of the moment leads to one person doing what they want and the other person experiencing something that they didn’t want and didn’t agree to.
Guys, it’s time we faced up to what’s happening… Make it as hot, hard and steamy as you like but make sure it’s what you both want. We think it’s time to start being open about what’s happening and changing how we deal with our communication and behaviour, so sex can be good for everyone!
So we’re excited to have just launched a brand new campaign, called Do What You Both Want that aims to promote honest, clear communication around sex between guys.
To promote the campaign, we persuaded the amazing photographer Del LaGrace Volcano to create images of real guys in real situations with a message that says…Sex is good! But it’s not good – and a crime – when something happens that you don’t want and don’t consent to.
Catherine has been instrumental in organising this for Galop, and she says:
“The campaign has a positive message: ‘whatever and whoever you’re into, just make sure you’re all agreeing to what you’re doing’. It seems simple but we all need to hear it. www.dowhatyoubothwant.com is full of useful information, helpful contacts and things to think about, so we hope lots of people will take a look and tell their friends”.
Some gay and bisexual men have previous convictions for consensual sexual offences. This might include underage sex when the age of consent was higher for gay men, compared to heterosexuals, or offences before homosexuality was illegal at all. This can have an ongoing effect for people, including appearing on a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check, and having to be declared on job application forms. Our client John Crawford, worked with us to challenge this law, and you can read his story here, and even hear him talking about it.
The Freedom Act which was passed earlier this year means that some convictions for offences such as Gross Indecency can now be deleted from your record. It will mean, for instance, that once the Government has agreed to delete a previous conviction for a sexual offence you won’t have to declare it if you’ve got to apply for a CRB check.
Galop is working on a resource offering advice about the process, but in the meantime, we can give you advice about deleting previous consensual sexual offences from your police record. Unfortunately there are still some circumstances in which The Freedom Act will not apply, for example any offences which took place in a public toilet. This is because the Government says that sex in a toilet is still illegal today, under the Sexual Offences Act 2004. We’re continuing to campaign on these issues.
If you want more advice about previous convictions or CRB checks you can contact Galop on 020 7704 2040.
We’ve recently produced two new factsheets which you may find useful:
Dealing With Homophobic & Transphobic Graffiti and Literature describes what we can all do to tackle homophobic or transphobic graffiti or campaign literature and sources of help if you are being targeted.
Solving Problems With Council Services gives information about how to complain about councils when they get things wrong with the services they provide to help people who experience hate crime, domestic abuse or problems with neighbours.
We’ve attended a variety of events over the last few months: we were a lead partner in the Transforming Domestic Violence conference in September raising the issues of trans people’s experience of domestic abuse. We also ran a workshop alongside Broken Rainbow at the LGBT Health Summit in Kent, and we attended the MPS Independent Advisory Group on LGBT policing matters
A huge thank you to all our recent fundraisers: All those who swashbuckled around Soho solving clues for the Greate Galop Treasure Hunte! Also to punters and staff at Halfway II Heaven who raised £750 for us at their drag cabaret event. They’ll also be donating proceeds raised from sales of their 2013 drag queen calendar so we’ll keep you updated when it’s available!
Galop gives advice and support to people who have experienced biphobia, homophobia, transphobia, sexual violence or domestic abuse. We also support lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people who have had problems with the police or have questions about the criminal justice system.
In addition to working with individual people, we work to improve the criminal justice system for us all, and to find ways to support victims of crime who do not want to go to the police.
We are a completely independent community-led group and we are not connected to the police.
There are various ways to keep up to date with Galop's work and activities:
The most important way you can help Galop is to raise funds for us. You can do this by getting involved in fundraising events (if you're a runner why not register to Gallop For Galop
) or click the button below to make a direct, secure donation.
Helpline: 020 7704 2040
Admin: 020 7704 6767
By email: email@example.com
By mail: 2G Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, London N1 3QP