Loz, Rohan, and Jess from Action for Trans* Health set sail for the National Union of Students LGBT Campaign Conference in Nottingham last weekend, where they met LGBT student activists from across the country, passed policy, and ran a workshop on trans* healthcare.
The fantastic news is that the NUS LGBT Campaign, which constitutes the largest LGBT-specific campaign in the UK, voted unanimously to affiliate to the Action for Trans* Health Network and to support our work. We also met with activists from Liverpool, Brighton, Cardiff and Belfast who seemed pretty keen on setting up Action for Trans* Health chapters in their local communities. NUS LGBT Committee Trans* Officer Elect, Reubs Walsh, said;
“Action for Trans* Health does vitally important work and is a beautiful demonstration of the power of community. NUS LGBT passed a motion supporting the work of Action for Trans* Health and as one of the Trans* reps for the coming year I cannot wait to implement that policy.”
There was some great policy passed at the conference. Of particular note was the “Democratising Trans Healthcare” motion which demands that all decision making regarding transition-related healthcare be handed over to democratic control by trans* people, and to demand needs-based funding for gender services as current service usage underestimates demand. The motion also called for the NUS LGBT Campaign to organise a series of protests calling for those demands. With trans* healthcare in its current state of crisis, it is heartening to see activists making radical demands to put trans* voices at the heart of trans* healthcare (which shouldn’t be a radical demand, really). We look forward to joining the NUS LGBT Campaign in struggle around this issue.
The conference also passed policy to campaign for the removal of the spousal veto in marriage, to no-platform transphobic speakers, to campaign for campaign for gamete storage to be part of GIC services, and a whole host of other excellent policy. We were disappointed that the motion to create a full-time paid Trans* Officer narrowly missed the two-thirds majority it needed to pass into policy (we hope it will pass next year), and that we didn’t get chance to discuss the creation of a conference dedicated to Trans* issues due to time constraints. However, as the Open Place LGBT Officer Elect, Robbie Young, was elected on a platform of creating a Trans* conference, we hope are hoping he will make good on these promises and we will be reporting back from a dedicated Trans* conference next year.
We also wanted to specifically mention some of the great work that LGBT societies have been doing across the country on trans* issues. We spoke to a lot of student activists who had tirelessly campaigned for gender-neutral toilets on their campuses and for trans* students to be able to change their name on their degree certificates. We were particularly impressed with Nottingham LGBT Society who had done some amazing work engaging with medical students to fight for trans* issues to have place on the curriculum. We’re hoping to interview some activists involved in that campaign in the coming weeks.