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Bruges wants to be a warm and welcoming city where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, has equal opportunities. This may seem obvious, but there still is a lot of room for improvement.

That is why the City of Bruges decided to join the Rainbow Cities Network. We hope that this network will help us learn, exchange information and network so that we can reinforce our own policy. I hope that the LGBTI theme will be introduced in the various policy areas, especially in those areas where it is most necessary such as youth, sports, welfare and education.

Being the first West Flemish central city to join the Rainbow Cities Network, Bruges wants to be an example to other cities and stimulate dialogue on this subject in West Flanders.

Dirk de Fauw, Alderman for welfare, diversity and North-South policy

Description of the city

117.958  inhabitants

Goal

Equal opportunities for everyone! It sounds nice in theory, but the reality is sometimes very different.

Inequalities remain a reality in our society and talking about this problem is the first step towards solving it.  LGBTI’s are often ignored, although they are frequently confronted with prejudice, violence and discrimination. That is why people are often afraid to come out, which is unacceptable. Everyone has to the right to be themselves in our city. That is why respect and equal opportunities are of the greatest importance to us.

The City of Bruges wants to incorporate the diversity theme in all its policy areas. We want to prevent discrimination and prejudice towards LGBTI’s, both among our inhabitants and among our visitors. We have decided to take action! Every year, we take part in various awareness campaigns, e.g. for the International Day against Racism and Discrimination (21 March) and for the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (17 May). But we also want to take action when it comes to creating a positive image, promoting mutual respect, informing our citizens and schools and organizing training sessions for our personnel. We want both the city administration and the population (citizens, schools, associations) to be aware of and respect/acknowledge the situation of LGBTI’s (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual and intersex). This is an ongoing process that will never be completed and requires continuous learning from us as well.

Focus areas

  • Raising awareness of LGBTI’s and their situation within the city administration e.g. screening and adjusting of documents related to sexual orientation en gender identity.
  • Improving equality and inclusion by providing a better information flow from the city.
  • Facilitating and supporting LGBTI visibility in the city.
  • Increasing safety and fighting homophobic and transphobic violence.
  • Contributing towards a safe and tolerant school climate in which LGBTIs are accepted.
  • Educating and informing students.

Publications and other materials

Collaboration partners

Collaborating and consulting with various organisations such as:

Contact

Babet Brilleman
Department: diversity office
Email: babet.brilleman@brugge.be