Welcome to the Spring update from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) Greens. As we move into 2012, several main challenges dominate the work the group is engaging in:
- International sexual rights
- Bullying, gender inequality and homophobia in education
- Poverty and how the Government’s cuts agenda is impacting upon LGBTIQ people
- Campaigning for equal marriage and civil partnership rights
- Representation in public life and within the Green Party
The LGBTIQ Greens have a proud tradition in the forefront of these issues. This year, the Committee have published a strategic plan to enable members to measure our progress, impact and reach, which can be accessed on the Member’s Website.
There have been positive changes in the last few months for the LGBTIQ Greens. Our reach and impact is increasing on a number of fronts. Emma Round launched our Twitter account @LGBTIQGreens in the autumn. We had aimed for 200 followers by September, but have already beaten that and the number of people following our activities are increasingly daily. I am ensuring we are making much more use of the Green Party’s Member’s Site and our news stories, resources and forum discussions are amongst some of the most viewed across the membership. As you can see above, we nvolved members in designing our new logo and we are starting to brand our presence with this striking new visual identity produced by David Henry.
As Chair, much of my focus has been strengthening our organisation, moving towards fundraising our activities, boosting our energies regionally and deepening partnerships within LGBTIQ communities. Longer term, we want to continue our predecessors efforts in mainstreaming sexual equality within the DNA of the Green Party – reaching out across the parts of the country where representation of LGBTIQ members is limited, providing social support and nurturing the next generation of activists with the party.
Members such as Dave Walsh and Craig Griffiths have organised social and planning events in Brighton and London, we have held a social event at the Liverpool Spring Conference and had a significant presence at Student Pride, where Peter Tatchell took part in a panel discussion and Caroline Lucas sent a video message.
We are working to get our message out into our communities. We are keen to link up with those working on other elements of equality in society: women, black and ethnic minorities, disabled and trade union activists. As individuals, we are already part of these movements and need to show solidarity and build coalitions of support. Now, more than ever, is the time where we must stand together as the Coalition Government cuts hit the living standards on all parts of society.
In the coming months, we will continue to put our energies into such issues as the Equal Love campaign, the removal from the Mental Health Act that says trans people should be on the psychiatric disorder register and finding new ways to support sexual minorities in difficult overseas contexts. I’ll be publishing a draft Constitution for the group in the near future and will be asking for member feedback in time for it to be discussed at our autumn AGM. We are also working on a new national leaflet that can be used by local groups around the country to help you engage with LGBT members of the public.
We set ourselves challenging targets, so if you can spare any energy or insights into how we can achieve them, we’d love to hear from you.
For those of you who have contributed to our work in the last few months, I wanted to add my personal thanks for your work and inspiring commitment.
Chair – LGBTIQ Greens
Three things you can do to contribute in the next three months:
- Follow our activities and actions more closely: by adding us on Twitter @LGBTIQGreens , emailing us to be added to our email list email@example.com or taking part in discussions and sharing resources on the GP Member’s Website.
- Send your suggestions to us about the sort of speakers you might want to hear from at the Green Party Autumn Conference. If you have contacts with potential contributors, we’d especially love to hear from you. Contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
- We are keen to build stronger relationships with community and campaign organisations working with and for the LGBTIQ communities. If you have thoughts of groups you would like us to strengthen our ties with, please let me know: email@example.com