Dundee Pride have launched a workplace education programme after a record number of hate crimes in the city.
Kenny Christie, secretary of Dundee Pride, said the 40% rise in hate crime against LGBTQ+ people in Dundee was “really worrying”.
Annual statistics released by the Crown Office show 69 crimes motivated by sexual orientation were reported last year, up 20 on the previous year.
Dundee Pride is now working with major organisations in a bid to combat the issue.
Kenny said: “I think the rise in hate crimes is really worrying.
“People are now more forthright in reporting things – which is actually a good thing in a way.
“But the fact that the numbers are high are not a good thing.
“All too often in the media we hear stories about what happens in other countries, with horrific stories about human rights and LGBTQ+ rights in other countries.
“But actually when you take a magnifying glass, there are still instances here of hate crime. And that’s what it is and we should call it out for what it is.
“That doesn’t mean that someone has to be physically abused in the street, this could be verbally abused, or abused in the workplace.”
Kenny said that he himself is no stranger to workplace discrimination, saying that he had been subjected to “homophobia from senior people at major companies”.
He added: “Sometimes people can turn a blind eye or say something is generational or that’s just the way they are about things.
“Well it’s not good enough and it really does have to change.
“What we’re keen to do with Dundee Pride is promote a culture of respect through equality and diversity training.”
Dundee Pride have been working with organisations such as Dundee Football Club and Dundee and Angus college to provide training and support.
Kenny said: “We’re working on supporting partners, agencies and businesses with this package of support about equality, diversity and inclusive practice, through talks and information.
“There’s still a lot of work to do there. That’s something that we’re keen to work with people to do.
“Dundee Pride is only one organisation, so we can’t do it all ourselves.
“So it’s for people to recognise within their own organisations, if there’s something they feel we can do to reach out and we can provide that and support them.”
In March, the group also launched a befriending programme called Reach Out.
The service offers text and call support to Dundee’s LGBT community in a bid to end isolation and loneliness.
You can find out more about Dundee Pride here.