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Raising Our Voices   

This section contains some examples of ways to get involved in campaigning and activism. There are many ways to become an active citizen in this area, each involving different levels of commitment, skills and responsibility.

In this section of the guide we focus on the roles of:

  • How to become a political party member
  • How to become a pressure group member
  • How to become a Trade Union member

    Things to consider

    If you are interested in starting or increasing your involvement in this area, you might want to consider:

  • The LGBT community has a rich and colourful history of campaigning and activism. Without the efforts of activists we would probably not have seen some of the positive changes to LGBT life, such as the fight for the repeal of Section 28 or the equalisation of the age of consent
  • The trade union movement has a history of supporting LGBT rights. The majority of trade unions have LGBT officers and the STUC (Scottish Trades Union Congress – the umbrella body for trades unions in Scotland) has an LGBT forum. In recent years, trades unions have taken an active role in high profile LGBT rights campaigns, from Section 28 to partnership rights
  • Some LGBT people and groups find it deeply frustrating that LGBT issues can be “used” by parties as vote winners or losers, especially during elections. As an active citizen, you can influence your party to see sexual orientation, gender identity and other areas of marginalisation and discrimination, as a non-party political issue that deserves on-going attention. However, you should be prepared for the reality of a system that may treat something that is very personal to you as a political hot potato
  • As an openly LGBT member of a campaigning or political group, you may have been elected, or may be expected, to represent the LGBT community. It will be important to be clear about when you are sharing your knowledge and experience as an individual and when you need to consult with other LGBT people in order to include the different needs and opinions of our diverse community. Also, other people might assume that you will only have interests or expertise in relation to LGBT issues, such as homophobic or transphobic harassment as work. They may need to be reminded that you can have just as much to offer on issues that are not specific to sexuality, such as the provision of cycle paths or wage increases, as anyone else

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