Phillippa Scrafton, national LGBT committee member
Last year, I was privileged to be featured in the autumn edition of U magazine (Phillippa’s journey: a transgender member speaks) highlighting the journey I had taken to finally be the person I knew I was.
I enjoy reading the magazine and in every edition there are stories of our members and activists who are achieving incredible things, facing seemingly overwhelming challenges and finding success working together in UNISON.
Seeing my face in the front cover genuinely filled me with immense pride, I couldn’t quite believe more than a million people would read my story. My story?? How very odd it seemed to me.
It also gave me a sense of sadness.
‘Why?’ you may ask. Because reading back on my own story, I had ‘almost’ forgotten just how challenging parts of my journey had been.
Had I ignored it? Blotted it out? No I don’t think so, I think I simply did what most of us do in life and just try to keep going. I’m a woman with a trans history, in my mind now nothing special, just an ordinary person who faced some extraordinary challenges.
What was abundantly clear, however, was how my friends, family and work colleagues helped and supported me during some very painful and difficult times? And most importantly, thanks to my UNISON colleagues in the LGBT self-organised group and here in the Northern Region for their unwavering support. This then is the reason I’m writing this blog, I want to say a heartfelt thank you!
Thank you to so many of you who have contacted me as a result of the article. I have been inundated by messages of support, email, letters and today a card written by a member I’ve never met who took the time to write the most heartfelt words I think I have ever read, thank you, thank you all so very much.
I am moved to tears and utterly overwhelmed by your support. Thank you.
I also want to thank those who have contacted our head office for their kind words, the regional group that has taken the article and turned it into a poster campaign, and to all of you for simply taking the time to read it. I hope it offers at least a little understanding of the diversity of our great union.
I’d like to finish by saying a very special thank you to a UNISON member in Yorkshire & Humberside region, a most amazing woman who works in extra care services in and around Richmond North Yorkshire. Someone who exemplifies everything I have ever tried to be, whose principles are perfectly at home with equality, public services and what we do as a union and someone whose values strive to follow every day… my mum Kathleen, Thank you mum.
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