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Rob Nutkins

LGBT+ Officer

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I’m Rob, now studying Law having completed my Environmental Management and Sustainability masters.

While signing up for societies this year, I realised that my choices are very support based (Feminist, LGBT+, Trans and Non-Binary). Having realised I am transgender and having explored that more outwardly in the past 18 months, I find myself in need of that support network.

I noticed that while the societies menu is quite richly populated with LGBT+ groups, both explicit and implicit, the SU itself is lacking or at least is behind on LGBT+ advocacy.

41% of LGBT+ people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months and 16% LGB people, (who aren’t trans) have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation in the same period.

Plymouth is a proud LGBT+ city, with the first openly gay MP, Luke Pollard, representing the constituency in which the university resides, and the city has dedicated two days of the year for LGBT+ recognition.

I would like to see these days celebrated at our SU. I would like to see the SU take a stance against  the rise in hate crime and make some effort towards reducing homophobic and transphobic views that eventually perpetuate into crime.

This is not just a question of being seen to be inclusive, this is a question of wellbeing, safety, and unfortunately in some cases, life. Having accepted that I will  likely be the subject of transphobic or homophobic abuse every time I go out wearing makeup, including within the SU itself, this is a particularly important issue for me.  As a starting point, I've initiated a dialogue with Mitch about inclusivity within UPSU. Wearing makeup and choosing an outfit should not be a question of safety.

 

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