An introduction from your LGBTQ+ Officer
February in the United Kingdom sees us celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month. In 2022, we’re celebrating and reflecting on this occasion after the strange experiences of the last two years throughout the pandemic.
LGBTQ+ History Month is now in its 17th year, and it’s still as important as ever. Many like to take comfort in the notion that we’ve moved beyond the days where LGBTQ+ people were treated as a lower class, but sadly this isn’t true. Members of our community still face immense challenges all across the globe.
My name is Neo Politan Stansby, and I am your LGBTQ+ Officer at Falmouth University. I have gone through quite a lot being a transgendered person in the UK. Access to healthcare in the UK is quite complicated and very sparse unless if you can go private. Wait times on the NHS are exceedingly long and we’ve had to fight for our rights. One thing we are very strong at as a community is to unite and make change for the better.
We’ve accomplished a lot in 2021, we brought up to the government to increase the funding for transgender services and to Reform the GRA (Gender Recognition Act) in which our petition reached upwards to 130,000 signatures causing the government to bring up and discuss these issues, which can all be read up here. All these things make me very proud of the lovely community we have where we look out for one another.
It is true that we have come a long way, but history is closer than we think it to be. Only 19 years have passed since it became legal for schools to even teach about homosexuality in a positive context.
Still, to this day, many LGBTQ+ people face challenges in things as simple as giving blood or accessing appropriate sexual education. The trans community suffers from an onslaught of high-profile attacks from the media, from celebrities, and from politicians. NHS waiting lists for gender healthcare stretch into multiple years.
Far from being isolated incidents, statistics show that the number of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people has tripled in the past five years.
But there’s room for hope, and room for change. We are now more open than ever about LGBTQ+ issues, and we owe a large part of this to the trailblazers who came before us:
The drag queens of New York fronted by Marsha P Johnson, who inspired the idea of LGBTQ+ pride as it exists today.
The LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) activists like Mark Ashton, who worked to support British miners in the 1980s.
The hidden talents like Alan Turing, who shaped the modern world while being forced to hide a huge part of themselves.
The next names on this long list could be any one of us.
As your LGBTQ+ Officer, I’d like to thank the SU for the support and opportunity to talk about the importance of this month with our student community. I also look forward to many other events throughout the rest of this academic year with the Liberation Committee and SU Pride Society, who are always open to new members, whether you’re already comfortable and confident in your LGBTQ+ identity or if you’re just making your first steps into discovering a part of yourself.
SU LGBTQ+ Officer
It's important to highlight the challenges that the LGBTQ+ community have endured in their past, in order to help understand and support the modern community that continues to thrive today. Find out more about some truly fascinating figures below.
We want to celebrate, uplift and support the LGBTQ+ community. As part of LGBTQ+ history month, we'd like to highlight a selection of wellbeing resources and key LGBTQ+ charities and organisations.
The Liberation Committee is here to represent marginalised communities, representing your voice in the SU. Find out more about the Liberation Committee.
The Committee is headed up by the SU President Welfare & Inclusivity and the Liberation Chair. The International Officer and Widening Participation Officer are also part of the Committee, along with the following self-defined Officer roles:
- Racial Equality Officer
- Disabled Students Officer
- LGBTQ+ Officer
- Women’s Officer
- Open Liberation Officer
For help with ideas, campaigns, concerns and queries regarding LGBTQ+ welfare and inclusion, you can also chat to our Student Voice Coordinator (Welfare and Liberation), Ellie Howell firstname.lastname@example.org