Black members and the proposed name change to LGBT+

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2018 National LGBT Conference
21 September 2018

Conference notes that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) self-organised group (SOG) works with inclusive, umbrella definitions of bisexual and transgender. Its bi network is for all members who feel attraction to more than one gender. Its trans network is for all types of self-identifying trans people and for members whose gender identity does not fit into the gender binary i.e. non-binary members.

However, despite these inclusive definitions, some Black members, who the LGBT group consider to be part of the group, are put off. The LGBT group hears repeatedly that when Black members attend its meetings, they feel welcome and included, but before they attended they had been unsure.

This is particularly the case for Black members who do not personally use the label LGBT about themselves, for example people who identify as queer, and people who self-define, for example, as Hijra, Dalit, or Kothi. This highlights the importance of adding plus to LGBT so that more Black members can feel included.

Putting the + in the group’s name would not change its existing remit of being a SOG for members who experience prejudice because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, but would demonstrate an inclusiveness beyond that conveyed by the current name. This would increase the participation of those Black members who previously felt excluded and isolated with no sense of belonging. Every Black member should be able to have a safe space where they can be themselves and feel a part of a union that recognises their identity and promotes their inclusion. Black members who identify as non-binary or other would feel included for the first time if the name change becomes a reality.

Conference therefore calls on the National LGBT Committee to: –

1)Work with the National Black Members Committee with the aim to have an article in Black Action, on what the name change would mean;

2. Work with national SOG’S and the National Young Members Forum to encourage regional and branch SOG’s and Young Members Forum, to campaign for support for any rule change proposal from LGBT Conference to National Delegate Conference regarding changing the name of the group to LGBT+;