Ian speaks of his positive experience

Published on: 03 Aug 2013

STAPLE Hill councillor Ian Boulton is hoping his positive experience of being a gay man in public office will help others.

Cllr Boulton, who is chairman of South Gloucestershire Council, told visitors at this year’s Pride festival in Bristol that he has been welcomed and supported during his political career. The 45-year-old made the opening speech at the event, which celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community across the South West.

He then joined representatives from South Gloucestershire Council to talk to residents about council services which are relevant to the LGBT community such as civil partnerships and hate-crime.

Cllr Ian Boulton said: “The 270,000 people who live in South Gloucestershire are as diverse as the 200 square miles which make up our authority, from our urban districts to the north and east of Bristol to our areas of outstanding Cotswold beauty. We want to let everyone in the district know that they are a part of what makes the area great and that there is information and support available for all.

“My political colleagues and opponents alike have always been extremely supportive about me being a gay man in public office. As the chair of South Gloucestershire Council, I hope that young gay men and women who doubt they can play a full part in our community will be encouraged by my experience.”

South Gloucestershire Council recently funded the Diversity Trust to carry out research into the experiences of LGBT people in South Gloucestershire, particularly with regard to wellbeing and mental health. The Diversity Trust recruited people to participate in this research at the festival. 

This year’s Pride festival took place on July 13 at Castle Park.

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