Press Release

GCHQ Bude puts the rainbow spotlight on IDAHOBiT Day

Last Updated: 23 May 2016
As a symbol of GCHQ’s continued commitment to diversity and pride in its workforce, the iconic satellite dishes that line the cliff tops at Bude have been lit up in rainbow colours in celebration of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Press Release - 17 May 2016

Isabelle, a GCHQ Pride member based in Bude, said:  “It was fabulous to see our building in Cheltenham lit up last year.  We flew the rainbow flag down here for the first time then, but it’s amazing to now do something equally spectacular in our own way.  We’ve got a unique mission down in Bude.  It’s great to do something to put us on the map”.

Bude’s rainbow lights follow the lead of GCHQ’s main headquarters in Cheltenham that was lit in a spectrum of colour to mark the occasion last year.  Although Cheltenham is the most famous location associated with GCHQ, the organisation is spread across the country and includes Bude, Scarborough, Harrogate and Greater Manchester.


GCHQ Bude's aerials lit up in rainbow colours to celebrate IDAHOBiT Day 2016
©CBphoto 2016


GCHQ Bude's aerials, widescreen
©GCHQ 2016


Notes for Editors

About GCHQ

Government Communications Headquarters is one of the three UK Intelligence and Security Agencies, along with MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). GCHQ works to protect the UK and its citizens from a range of threats to national security, including terrorism, serious and organised crime and cyber-attack. It also works to protect UK forces wherever they are deployed and, through its Information Security arm CESG, provides policy and assistance on the security of Government communications and electronic data.

GCHQ Bude: a short history

In the light of developing trends in telecommunications GCHQ selected the site at Cleave Common, Bude in 1966, only their second site since World War II.  Due to the scale of the development and its technological complexity, that station did not become operational until 1974.

It’s a common mistake that careers with GCHQ are only available in Cheltenham.  We would encourage anyone thinking about a job in intelligence not to be put off just because of where they live and to visit the website for opportunities perhaps closer than they think. Further information about careers at GCHQ.

About Pride GCHQ

A network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff at GCHQ. It was formed in the mid-1990s following the lifting of the ban of employing homosexuals at GCHQ. Its primary purpose is to support its membership and to help the Department achieve its diversity and inclusion objectives. It also provides a forum for discussions on LGBT topics, network social events and helps to raise awareness of LGBT issues across the Department. It has approximately 100 members.


IDAHOBiT aims to raise awareness of issues around homophobia, transphobia and biphobia.  The rainbow has represented diversity within the LGBTI community since the 1970s but today it is used as a wider symbol for diversity itself.

The International Day Against Homophobia was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policy makers, leaders, social movements, public opinion and the media to these issues, and to promote a world of tolerance, respect and freedom regardless of people’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It is celebrated on 17 May each year because on this day in 1990, homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In 2009, transphobia was added explicitly to the title, in order to acknowledge the specific issues faced with regards to gender expression. Since then, IDAHOT has become a popular acronym used alongside the original IDAHO. In 2015, biphobia was added to the title IDAHOBiT.