Happy Pride Month from your 2024-2025 Volunteer Officers.

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Hi! We’re Marty and Tristan, we both use he/him pronouns, and we’re your Trans and GNC Officer and LGBTQ+ Officer respectively. We represent the LGBTQ+ students within the Aberystwyth community and we want to make sure students have a safe and supportive environment to live, study, and socialise in. For us, Pride Month is a time where we celebrate our diversity and raise awareness of the continual issues this demographic faces. It’s also a great time to focus on the wonderful contributions LGBTQ+ people make every day and encourage inclusion and allyship. What started as a celebration of the Stonewall Riots in 1969, headed by trans women Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, Pride has since become a celebration of all things queer, diverse, and inclusive.

Two huge themes for us this year regarding Pride are LGBTQ+ people and politics, and the importance of queer healthcare. The timing of this year’s general election means that many political parties will be using this month to promote policies which will have a significant impact on the LGBTQ+ community. The recent discussion of trans+ healthcare in the media and in political spheres has meant that these issues will dominate any conversation involving the community in this election. Being LGBTQ+, and particularly trans+ and GNC, can be worrying, and so we think that this Pride Month should be about building communities and encouraging activism through voting and active political involvement. We want to encourage healthy discussions about LGBTQ+ issues and being the change you want to see!

We will be celebrating Pride with our friends by having queer movie and game nights, but most importantly, we’re encouraging our friends, neighbours, and family members to go out and vote. Engaging in politics means that your voice is heard, and that’s what Pride is all about! You can do this too, even just by registering to vote and then voting in July and engaging in healthy discussions. Celebrating is important too, whether you also have queer movie nights, enjoy nights out with your friends, or just supporting your peers and treating others with kindness and respect. Being an ally can take form in so many ways – it can be correcting pronouns, safely challenging homo/bi/transphobic stereotypes and assumptions, or just supporting the LGBTQ+ people in your life.

One of the people we think we should celebrate is Elagabalus (of Horrible Histories fame), a Roman Empress who reigned in the third century CE. Her recent relabelling as a trans woman comes as a result of reassessing much of the information we have on how she identified, choosing to be called ‘Lady’ over ‘Lord’ as well as being a wife in her final marriage. She has transformed the way we consider gender in the Roman Empire and how we discuss trans people in history. We also want to discuss Richard Gadd, the creator of Baby Reindeer, which tackles LGBTQ+ abuse and issues experienced by them in a very real way. It also tackles coming out, which although is not uncommon in LGBTQ+ media, Gadd’s presentation of such shows the gritty reality of such life events for the LGBTQ+ community.

We’re super excited to be representing the LGBTQ+ community this academic year coming and supporting the community of the queerest town in Wales!

 

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