Happy holidays everyone! We hope you’re all having a wonderful time over the winter break. If you’re struggling at all, please do make use of our welfare resources: https://uon-su-lgbt.com/welfareandoutreach/
We’ve done so much this term that I thought it’d be nice to have a recap. We’ve been told by various SU staff that we’re the most active this network has ever been and, further, the most active SU network! The NUS has called us one of the most active LGBT+ networks they’ve ever seen. Also, two Nottingham-based LGBT+ groups have expressed how impressed with us they are, as has a leading LGBT+ global activist.
Considering we’re all volunteers and have our committee roles alongside our degrees (some undergraduate, some masters, and some PhD), I am very pleased and honoured to be a part of this team.
Here’s what we’ve achieved this term:
- Welcome social: Event at the start of the year in the studio. Free food and drinks, board games, and an opportunity to meet other people.
- Dice cup: We went to the Dice Cup café (a board game café) at the start of term to get to know each other in a low-key and friendly environment.
- Awareness week: We held a week’s worth of events aimed at raising awareness of the different intersections in the LGBT+ community. For more information: https://uon-su-lgbt.com/2016/10/05/awareness-week/
- Café and Mooch socials: Almost every Wednesday we’d either have an event on campus with free food and drink or we’d spend the evening at Mooch.
- BME event: The BME Network and LGBT Network collaborated to commemorate Black History Month. We screened a series of short films that are centred on black LGBT lives. We were also joined by Abii Musique, an artist who spoke about the double instances of discrimination – racism in the LGBT community and queerphobia in the BME community.
- Sticker system: Implemented a ‘traffic light’ system for nights out. LGBT+ spaces have a reputation for being a place for ‘hooking up’ and so, in order to make people more comfortable coming to our events, we’ve started giving out yellow and pink stickers that people can choose to wear to show their unwillingness to be ‘hit on’. Here’s how it works:
Yellow = y’allowed to ask
Pink = please no touching
(Yellow is for people who are available but aren’t your standard ‘single people looking to hook up’ e.g. asexual people who are interested in romantic relationships or vice versa etc.)
Obviously this is optional as the only purpose is to make people more comfortable at our events. Please do respect the sticker system, though, and do not make any advances towards people wearing pink, and be aware that people wearing yellow are not expressing consent or a desire to be hit on.
- Pub quiz: We ran a pub quiz to raise money for STM and managed to raise £100!
- Halloween bar crawl: This bar crawl was also to raise money for STM and we raised £168.
- Propaganda: Committee members met with the managers at Propaganda to discuss some of the issues that had been brought to us. We’ve assured everyone that Props is a safe space and that the staff are dedicated to keeping it that way. If you ever have an issue in the venue or with a member of staff, message the Propaganda Facebook page or speak to a member of staff on the night. They are very keen to resolve any concerns and will take your comments on board!
- Asexual and aromantic café: We ran a café (free food and drink on campus) for those who identify under the ace/aro umbrella.
- TDOR vigil: Attended the Trans Day of Remembrance vigil held by the Notts Trans Hub.
- Welfare fair SB: Had a stall at the welfare fair on Sutton Bonington campus.
- Medsoc welfare fair: Had a stall at the welfare fair with Medsoc.
- Crafternoon: We held a welfare crafternoon with student minds.
- Manchester crawl: Went on a coach trip to Manchester to explore the gay scene. We went to a range of bars in the iconic gay village before ending the night in G-A-Y.
- Pride Ocean: The big O was decked out in rainbows and glitter for a night of celebrating LGBT+ pride!
- Zine: We started an online magazine. We’ve only had one edition so far but are keen to do more! Please contact Ellis Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved. First edition: https://issuu.com/uonsulgbtnetwork/docs/zine_edition_1___1_
- Skill swap: Growing up as an assigned gender that you don’t identify with can mean you’re not taught certain typically ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ skills (e.g. if you’re AFAB and start taking testosterone, it’s likely you won’t have been taught how to shave). We ran an event for people to share skills they have and to learn new ones!
- Clothes swap: Alongside the skill swap, we held a clothes swap. People brought their unwanted clothes and exchanged them, or just came along and bought items for £1 each. All funds went towards STM.
- NAT: We raised money for the National AIDs Trust for World AIDs Day. We sold red ribbons and raised £57.35.
- Fems campaign: We’re joining forces with the UoN Feminists to launch a social media campaign next term to tackle gender stereotypes. We took pictures and anecdotes from our members sharing stories about how they go against stereotypes every day. The campaign will go ahead next term.
- Debate: The Nottingham Debating Union ran a show debate with us. The motion was: “This house believes that the LGBT movement should reject the “born this way” argument as a basis for rights/entitlements.”
- GNT policy: We adapted the existing gender neutral toilet policy and took the motion to council. Unfortunately, the policy was one vote off being passed. The policy will be taken to referendum during the next voting period, so keep an eye out and be sure to vote! The policy we proposed was:
What is the idea about?
For the Students’ Union to;
- Continue to lobby the university for formal agreement to provide and maintain at least one gender neutral toilet in all main buildings on all campuses
- To extend this agreement to providing and maintaining at least one gender neutral toilet (of the same size/standard as the gendered facilities) on all floors with more than two gendered toilets on the same floor.
- To review the current list of gender neutral toilets to ensure that they exist
- To work with the LGBTQ Staff Network and Trans Working Party to further this campaign
- To continue to enforce the agreement with the University’s Estates department that Gender Neutral Toilets will be created in all new University Buildings.
- To lobby for an agreement with the University’s Estates department that Gender Neutral Toilets will be created on all floors with more than two gendered toilets.
Why have you proposed it?
This has been Union Policy for the past 3 years.
The Disabled Student Network, the Trans Working Party, the NUS LGBT+ Women’s delegate, and the Feminist Society have indicated their support in this campaign.
Gender neutral toilets are a form of accessible toilets for: – Trans people – People who don’t want assumptions made about their gender – Parents with a child of a different gender
These toilets are also extra toilets in a building to be used during busy times of the day. Gender neutral toilets are already in existence in all public buildings in the form of disabled toilets. However, these toilets are specifically for disabled people and should be reserved for this purpose, rather than being repurposed for more general use. A single gender neutral toilet does not take up much space and is an easy addition to new and old buildings
Where there are more than two gendered toilets on one floor of a building, it is unnecessary for the rest to be gendered.
Making existing excess toilets gender neutral will be cost-effective and will ensure that disabled toilets are not used by people without disabilities, thereby reducing congestion.
- Glitter Ball: We’ve organised a formal to be held at the end of the January exam period. Details can be found here: https://www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/events/7601/9441/
*What is it?*
STM stands for Supporting Trans+ Members and the aim is to fund (or partially fund) products that are essential for safely combatting dysphoria. Being a student isn’t cheap, but we don’t want any one of our network members to be buying low-quality and potentially dangerous products due to a lack of funds.
*How do I get funding?*
Here is the funding application form: http://lgbtlogin.polldaddy.com/s/stm-funding-application
Once we get a few applications, we hold a meeting with some volunteer panellists from the network in order to decide how to allocate funding. All applications are anonymous so as to be fair. What the panel looks for is (a) is this product necessary (b) is this product safe, and (c) how much money are we able to put towards purchasing it. By (a) we mean necessary for combatting dysphoria, but not things like make-up or clothes. We can recommend cheap make up brands and we are also running a clothes swap. By (b) we mean is this a good quality product that will not affect your health.
So far we have funded two good quality, safe binders and an initial consultation with a gender clinic.
- Other: On top of this, we as a committee have had various types of training, meetings, submitted funding applications, completed other administrative tasks, as well as had 1-on-1 welfare meetings.
Your LGBT+ Officer,