Monday 22-02-2016 - 10:19
This is a guest blog by Anita Somal and Noorulann Shahid, members of the NUS LGBT+ Committee as Black representatives.
The QTIPoC consultation is an new important event in the NUS LGBT+ calendar for QTIPoC to openly share knowledge, experiences and solutions in a safe, interactive and open environment. Last year the only BME-exclusive space available was during the 20 minute Black caucus during the NUS LGBT+ conference. We felt that this was far too short to discuss any specific issues or queries in detail, or the fact that elsewhere there was no self-defined space that we so much as need. We both personally feel that more regular opportunities for BME-only spaces within LGBT+ spaces are a vital necessity, as they are so very understated in importance.
The QTIPoC consultation will take place at the NUS London Office on 27 April 2016. You can read the agenda here.
“When coming out during FE, I sought to turn to the LGBT group present in my college. However, upon entering I felt uncomfortable due to the white-washed atmosphere - I felt that there was nobody that would understand the position I was in. A space that would’ve been readily available for my younger self to learn and be around those who understand my position would’ve truly guided me to a less repressive pathway towards who I am (but who I didn’t want to accept at the time).”
- Anita Somal
“When I was discovering my identity- both my sexuality and gender identity during HE, I was apprehensive about the fact that the LGBT network appearing to be very white-washed, but I took great solace in the fact that they had a BME representative on their committee, and she went on to become the LGBT officer and remains one of my closest friends to date. She organised BME-only discussion groups which were so important because they gave us a space to be able to share our experiences without derailment.”
- Noorulann Shahid
Who can attend?
QTIPoC stands for “Queer Trans Intersex People of Colour”, in which Queer is used as an inclusive umbrella term in this group to encompass an array of identities, and Trans is also used as an inclusive umbrella term for individuals who don’t identify with their birth gender. This consultation is for all Black students who identify as LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and all other orientations and identities which fall under the umbrella.) Black is used an inclusive term to represent those from African, Arab, Asian, Caribbean and South American communities. We welcome all those who self-define as both LGBTQIA+ and Black to the QTIPoC consultation.
By introducing this event, we hope to allow QTIPoC students to network with one another, to learn about intersectionality as a tool for achieving liberation, provide a valuable insight into QTIPoC individuals past and present that have also helped to shape LGBT+ history, in movements such as #BlackLivesMatter and Stonewall riots. As QTIPoC, we cannot separate ourselves from our various cultures and communities we herald from, and so we hope to be able to talk about our cultures and community attitudes towards LGBT issues. We will then spend some time talking about our own personal experiences with LGBT+ societies with a solutions-based focus to create answers and improve things for the future.
So what are you waiting for - register today! We look forward to meeting you!