In the final blog of our Liberation in Labour Students blog series, our new LGBT+ Officer, Rhys Purtill, writes about his plans for the year.
Hey everyone, I hope you all had a fantastic LGBT+ history month! For those who haven’t met or spoken to me yet, my name is Rhys and I am your new LGBT+ officer. It was such an honour to be elected at National Council in December, and I am so excited for the year ahead!
My central priority for the next year is to create a well structured Labour Students LGBT+ network across the UK, with a range of resources that can be easily accessed. Currently, the Labour Students LGBT+ campaign has not reached its potential in how it communicates and supports its members, as well as the opportunities it gives for LGBT+ officers of Labour clubs to network with each other. I intend to reach out to you all over the coming months, collect your contact details and use this to build regional networks, allowing you all to collaborate easier on future events. Further, I am hoping that I will be able to provide some form of training to all new LGBT+ Officers from Labour clubs in the near future.
When I was elected, I made it clear that I would run the caucus as a group effort and this is a promise that I intend to keep. I will be running a series of consultations, both physically and online, in order to get as much information from you all on what you want this campaign to look like, and how we can create a more inclusive Labour Students movement. These consultations will be split into LGB+ and Trans/Non-binary+. The reason for this is that as we are yet to get a Trans officer, I want to consult with the Trans community as much as possible to ensure that their voices are heard in the meantime. I will be fighting for a Trans officer this year and I hope you will join me in that endeavour.
I am going to be working alongside the other liberation officers on a whole host of projects; one in particular that we are excited about is a liberation roadshow. This would entail touring different student unions to deliver liberation talks and workshops to your Labour clubs. Further to this, we will be working together to create more online resources for you to all access and use in the running of your Labour club.
Finally, I have already received feedback from some of you in regards to having pronoun badges or stickers at future events, and concerns about how gender neutral toilets are allocated. I can ensure you that I will make sure these changes are put into place for every Labour Students event going forward.
Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg for the year to come, and I am so looking forward to working with all of you to create an even better Labour Students movement. If you have any concerns or want to talk to me about your Labour club then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Rhys is the LGBT+ Officer for Labour Students.