*Please note, the above image was taken in 2019 before the COVID-19 restrictions*
1. Can you tell us about the LGBTQIA+ network and what you do?
The LGBTQIA+ Network was created in 2018 after the society had ended as all committee members graduated. RGU:Union believed that it was a crucial society to have. Therefore, they brought together people who were interested in re-building it into a network that would not need to follow rules that apply to student societies. For example, there is no cap on the number of members for the network. However, this also meant we will have no funding, like the usual societies.
Since 2018, our member count has doubled. We host a variety of events, including movie nights, fundraisers, bake sales, club nights, game nights and evenings where we just chill and chat, etc. We have also collaborated with the University of Aberdeen’s LGBTQ+ network and RGU’s Feminism Society for a few events. We joined hands with the University of Aberdeen’s Feminism Society to create Aphrodite’s, an LGBTQIA+ inclusive nightclub collective with fem and non-binary DJs.
What is the LGBT+ History Month?
The LGBT+ History Month is dedicated to honouring those who have lost their lives to bigotry and those who have fought for the privileges we own today. It is a time to remember how far we have come and who we owe it to. It is also a time to remember that the fight is only the beginning as issues such as homophobia and transphobia are very real. We face it every single day, yet straight and cisgender people do not notice it.
What is your role as the President of the Network?
I am simply an Event Coordinator to make sure the network runs smoothly. I hope all members of the network can come to me with any concerns.
As President and in my personal and professional life, I strive to be an advocate for my community wherever I go. I take particular interest in supporting the trans+ community and educating myself to be anti-racist as this is the biggest value within our network.
Do you have any online events hosted by the RGU LGBTQIA+ network?
Yes, since the start of the school year 2020/2021 we have converted all our events online and now use a variety of platforms to meet. One of our biggest successes was the sex ed quiz. We also have debate nights. Our next event will be a Netflix tele party.
As a RGU:Union society, how are you empowering and creating awareness?
The theme of our network this year is intersectional feminism. We acknowledge that women and trans+ people experience life and sexism in a very different way depending on their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disabilities or abilities, immigration status, etc. We have had debate events and fundraisers to pass this message on. Even during nights out in 2019, we would still talk about empowering one another and especially those in the community that are most marginalised.