The LGBTQIA+ Collective Advocacy Group is organising a community event on queer activism and mental health. The event is on Saturday the 17th of February from 11am to 4pm at the Quaker House in Edinburgh. The event will bring together queer people interested in activism to learn from one another and get inspired to work collectively on change. Sign up here or email Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to attend.
2023 was a difficult year for the queer community. In January 2023, the British government blocked reform of the Gender Recognition Act in Scotland. The act would have made it easier for transgender people to have their gender legally recognised. There were endless delays and U turns regarding the pledge to ban conversion therapy – a harmful practise that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a person, and that can have a detrimental effect on their mental health. Discriminatory comments about LGBTQIA+ people coming from the highest rungs of government were a common occurrence. The year ended with the government publishing guidelines that tell schools they do not need to respect trans students’ pronouns and identity.
With all of this, it is no surprise the UK has continued to plummet in the annual ranking of LGBT rights across Europe. Having been at the top just 8 years before in 2015, the UK now sits at 17th place out of a list of 49 countries.
The future of queer activism
What comes next for queer activism in such a climate? How do we continue our work, while preventing activist burnout? What can queer activism and mental health activism learn from each other? These are some of the questions we will be reflecting on during the day. The programme includes a roundtable discussion between inspiring grassroots activists, a wellbeing session, and a workshop to create an activist plan to take the work forward after the event. Lunch and refreshments will be served. The collective advocacy group will also use learnings from the day to produce a qualitative report to better understand the issues affecting LGBTQIA+ community.
The aim of the event is to raise awareness of the concept of collective advocacy and inspire more LGBTQIA+ people to get involved and work towards change. We believe that by working collectively to challenge injustices while learning to look after ourselves and each other, we can make a difference. It’s free to attend.
Please note that this event is organised for, and by the community. Allies are kindly asked to wait for future events.