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WSW Shout! - Summer update

Follow us on Twitter: @gmbshoutwsw

Facebook: GMB-Shout-LGBT-WSW-Region-2332315007048649 

Email: gmbshoutwsw@gmail.com

Shout! Campaigns update

Shout! in the Wales and South West region began in January 2019. We’re committed to being an active group of members who put GMB campaigns and policy at the heart of everything we do, because we know that minority groups run the risk of being discriminated against. LGBT+ people for example face discrimination, week in and week out. By the government, by employers and by people in society. We exist to support GMB members and provide a safe space for people to be who they are and campaign for what they believe in. 

 

If you’d like to get involved in our work, please contact our Secretary using the following email address: arron.bevan-john@gmbactivist.org.uk

Like everyone else in the world now, Covid19 seems to be dominating the topic of conversation at every corner. GMBWSW has been no different. GMB Shout! WSW meetings have been taking place via zoom. 

Though we can’t wait to catch up in person again, we’re extremely grateful to everyone who continues to campaign on equality issues and for observing the rules to protect key workers and vulnerable people.

​Congratulations Alex

Our very own Alex has been elected to the National TUC LGBT+ Committee which meets at Congress House in London four times a year to shape the TUC’s workplan on LGBT+ issues. Alex takes the seat after Arron served a one-year term of office. Well done Alex!

A Voice for Equality and Democratic Representation: Joe Wheatley for Labour NEC

“It takes no compromise to give people their rights...it takes no money to respect the individual.” (Harvey Milk). The indignity that many in the LGBT+ community are enduring; from continued discrimination, to restrictions on blood donation, to the right to self-identify, or to the unfettered hate crimes that go unreported, these are injustices that must be tackled.

The blood donation equality work that has been done by GMB Shout LGBT+ Wales & Southwest Region cannot be understated as members have worked tirelessly to end this discrimination. The fact that gay and bisexual men are having their right to donate blood refused and restricted is reprehensible, yet the progress of Blood Equality Wales has been tremendous in working to achieve change. I am proud to support this campaign and proud to stand side-by-side with the GMB activists and members of the group who have made this progress possible.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign and share the petition to the Senedd Cyrmu calling for an end to this discrimination.

As a candidate in the Labour NEC elections I welcome the opportunity to discuss with members how we can promote greater equality and tackle discrimination both within the party and in the development of party policy. I believe the Labour party can do more to support and promote LGBT+ issues. For example, the party should be doing more to support equal blood donation laws across the country and should promote teaching of the GRA in schools (as is done in Wales).

As a party it is vital that we work towards introducing positive action (e.g. considering LGBT+ only shortlists) to achieve the long-term goal of greater diversity at all levels of the party. I also believe that LGBT+ Labour should have more of a profile, especially when consulting on policy changes and that we should be doing more to encourage LGBT+ members to stand for officer roles in their CLP.

Together we can, and we will, achieve the necessary change to tackle the bigotry and hatred that denies human rights and permits discrimination against members of the LGBT+ community. No person should be denied equal rights or made to feel ‘less than’ on the basis of sexuality.

My thanks to the GMB Shout LGBT+ WSW for allowing me the opportunity to contribute to this edition of the Shout Newsletter. As stated above, I am a candidate in the upcoming Labour NEC (CLP Div III) elections and I happily invite anyone to get in touch with your thoughts and ideas about how we can make our movement and the Labour Party more inclusive.

Joe Wheatley Candidate (CLP Div III), NEC Elections (e) joe.wheatley26@gmail.com

Together we can, and we will, achieve the necessary change to tackle the bigotry and hatred that denies human rights and permits discrimination against members of the LGBT+ community. - Joe Wheatley

Guest Blog - Rhiannon Williams

My name is Rhiannon and I’ve been a proud member of the GMB since 2016. Before I joined the GMB I was not politically active but soon the GMB opened up a whole new world for me. Since then I’ve been the Secretary and Chair of Wales and South West young members, a member of the Regional Equality Forum and Regional Committee.

I attended my first Pride in Swansea last year with my family and it was absolutely brilliant. Shortly after Swansea, I also attended Llanelli Pride and Monmouthshire Youth Pride. Each Pride was fantastic in their own way and I have some beautiful memories; whether it’s my daughter dancing in the crowd to “This Is Me” by a drag queen in Swansea, or getting covered in rainbow paint in Llanelli, or being told by a GMB officer in Monmouthshire how in the previous year, a young woman plucked up her courage to get on stage and come out to her family.

Moments like these are what make Pride special, and necessary.

 

In my previous role as youth worker, I did LGBT+ workshops with young people between the ages 8 and 12, to educate them and provide them with a safe space where they could be themselves. I felt humbled when one of the volunteer young people felt they trusted me enough to tell me they were gay, something which they hadn’t yet shared with the rest of the youth team. I have equality at the heart of everything I do and I continue to use this as a volunteer Chair for a charity, making sure I am being fair and inclusive in the hiring process and with workplace policies.

I am honoured to be a part of our regions virtual Pride. Even though we can’t march and be together physically, we can still come together online to enjoy some talented acts, learn something new and show our solidarity. Even though Pride should be fun, it should not just be fun. Pride is a protest, with a history that should be remembered. In times like these, we should never forget that. 

I am honoured to be a part of our regions virtual Pride. Even though we can’t march and be together physically, we can still come together online to enjoy some talented acts, learn something new and show our solidarity. - Rhiannon Williams

Update on the Gender Recognition Act

GMB Shout! WSW has written to every MP in the region about the GRA, using the GMB’s policy framework to ask our political representatives to represent transgender people in Parliament.

Please sign a copy of our letter and send it to your MP. We’re asking members to put the pressure on and send replies to gmbwsw@gmail.com  #TransRightsAreHumanRights

 

GMB Shout! WSW Questions to the Minister for Health and Social Care & Stephen Doughty MP 

In June, GMB Shout! WSW had the opportunity to put questions to Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Care, Welsh Government. The debate was chaired by the General Secretary of the Welsh Labour Party and questions involved the response of the Welsh Government to Covid19, equality based issues including blood donation, access to PrEP in Wales where the Welsh Government recently announced its intention to make the programme a permanent feature of health in Wales and other issues facing the Labour/trade union movement in Wales.

Thank you, Alex, for representing us. Arron and Alex spoke to Stephen Doughty MP in July 2020 which is hopefully the start of a very special relationship on blood equality campaigning here in Wales. Thank you, Stephen!

 
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