Diverse cities: homo- and transphobia in small and medium cities in Europe
Eleonore Kofman, Elena Vacchelli, Simon Harding and Erica Howard, School of Law
Gay, lesbian and trans* life style has been linked to the big city. In fact, migration by LGBT people to big cities has been the subject of much research. However, less attention has been given to LGBT experiences in small and medium cities which is the theme of a new European project: DIVERCITY: Preventing and combating homo- and transphobia in small and medium cities across Europe project involving five European countries (Belgium, Greece, Poland, Spain, UK) and six cities (Charleroi, Girona, Nottingham, Thessaloniki, Wroclaw).
The project seeks to combine research and action and is based on: (i) an analysis of discourses, representations and practices linked to homo- and transphobia, including hate crimes and speech in diverse spaces and institutions in small and medium cities (ii) mapping the best practices and local policies identify successful initiatives and existing gaps, (iii) exchanging of experiences and needs identified with the purpose of implementing best practices in other cities and find solutions to shared needs, (iv) training law enforcement authorities, prosecutors and lawyers in defending victims of homo- and transphobia and (v) raising awareness about the social risks of homo- and transphobia. Finally, the fieldwork mixes qualitative, and quantitative research from a participatory approach by all target groups involved in the project.