June is internationally recognised as Pride Month - which is a month long celebration of the lives of LGBT+ people and a chance to reflect on the LGBT+ movement. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which are often considered the birth of the modern LGBT+ rights movement. Here at Queen Mary Students’ Union, we’ve ran a number of LGBT+ events and campaigns over the last few years in a celebration of our LGBT+ communities across all our campuses. This month, we’re showcasing some of our current and incoming LGBT+ officers to hear their thoughts on Pride.
In this installment, we spoke to our incoming cross-campus Trans Officer, Courtney Mann, about her ambitions for the upcoming year!
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride, for me, means feeling safe, secure, and part of a wonderfully vibrant and diverse community. There’s no shortage of simply amazing LGBT content creators, role models, and friends in my life and each and every one of them is a beacon of hope and safety to me.
What do you hope to achieve this year in your role?
I want to bring the trans communities on all our campuses together with a variety of bi-weekly and monthly activities – a trans-only game of dungeons and dragons is one I’m particularly excited for (that should show you how boring my life is.) As well as this, I want to increase awareness amongst students and especially staff, of the unique issues trans people in the student body experience and how this can best be rectified by the union as well as the wider university.
Why did you decide to run?
I decided to run in part due to the inspiring work of the previous trans people who have held the role, and I wish to continue in their legacy of safeguarding trans people on campus whilst providing a better experience in particular for new students.
How will you be spending Pride this year?
Making awful posts on twitter about how much I like being trans and signing off on every email I send with the lesbian flag. I’m also going to Seattle, which should be fun!
How do you feel about the LGBT+ community here at QM/BL?
I feel that the best friends I’ve made in my life have been through the QM/BL LGBT communities and that they’ve helped me immensely with my self-confidence, strengthened my ability to act in a professional capacity, and provided me with a community unlike any other - I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What would be your advice to any LGBT+ students starting QMUL/BL this September?
Get involved! Drapers nights really aren’t as bad as some people would have you believe, our society is planning more events than ever, and London is the heart of gay life in the UK – there’s always something to do and someone new to meet who’s just like you. (Okay, maybe that’s Brighton, but you can always get the train there if you must!)