The Role of an LGBT+ Officer in the CWU Branch

The role of an LGBT+ officer within our branch is multifaceted, crucial, and deeply impactful. As society progresses towards greater inclusivity and diversity, our branch plays a vital role in ensuring that the rights and interests of all members, including those within the LGBT+ community, are protected and represented effectively. Here, we delve into the various aspects of the role of an LGBT+ officer within our branch.

First and foremost, the LGBT+ officer serves as a dedicated advocate for the rights and well-being of LGBT+ members within the union. This involves actively listening to the concerns and issues faced by LGBT+ members, providing support, guidance, and representation in matters ranging from workplace discrimination to policy advocacy. The officer works tirelessly to ensure that LGBT+ voices are heard and respected within the union, fostering a culture of inclusivity and acceptance.

Furthermore, the LGBT+ officer plays a pivotal role in educating both union members and leadership on issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and diversity. This may involve organising workshops, training sessions, or awareness campaigns to promote understanding, challenge stereotypes, and combat discrimination within the workplace and beyond. By fostering greater awareness and understanding, the LGBT+ officer helps create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all union members.

In addition to advocacy and education, the LGBT+ officer also serves as a liaison between the union and external LGBT+ organisations, networks, and allies. By building and nurturing partnerships with other organisations and stakeholders, the officer can leverage collective resources and expertise to advance the rights and interests of LGBT+ individuals both within and beyond the workplace. This collaboration strengthens solidarity within the broader LGBT+ community and amplifies the union’s impact in promoting equality and social justice.

What does it mean to be LGBT+?

“I’m a lesbian but I prefer the word gay as I don’t really like or associate the word lesbian with something that identifies me I’ve always thought I was different but I didn’t know what it was until realising that I was attracted to women. It took me a while to come to terms with my sexual orientation but many people’s journeys are very different. I don’t think there’s one way to come out, it’s personal and very individual.”Ruth Meadows, Regional Lead LGBT+, Wales and the Marches

Another crucial aspect of the role of an LGBT+ officer is policy development and implementation. This involves working with union leadership to develop inclusive policies and practices that address the specific needs and concerns of LGBT+ members, such as non-discrimination policies, gender-neutral facilities, and transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits. The officer also monitors and evaluates existing policies to ensure compliance with legal requirements and best practices, advocating for necessary reforms or improvements as needed.

Moreover, the LGBT+ officer serves as a support and resource for individual members who may be experiencing discrimination, harassment, or other challenges related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Whether providing confidential advice, facilitating peer support groups, or connecting members with appropriate resources and services, the officer plays a critical role in empowering LGBT+ individuals to assert their rights and navigate difficult situations with confidence.

The role of an LGBT+ officer within our branch is multifaceted and dynamic, encompassing advocacy, education, collaboration, policy development, and support. By championing the rights and interests of LGBT+ members, promoting awareness and understanding, and fostering inclusive policies and practices, the officer helps create a workplace and society where all individuals are valued, respected, and able to thrive, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.