On 27th February, UNISON Southend-on-Sea hosted a celebration for LGBT+ History Month. LGBT History Month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements.
In the Jubilee Room at the Civic Centre stalls were set-up, representing community organisations and workplaces from across the borough. In addition, Gina Denham, founder and chair of TRANSPIRE (a Southend based Transgender Support Network) gave an informative and entertaining presentation on both transitioning as well as diversity at work. Read TRANSPIRE member Ren Stedman’s excellent article here.
The event closed with UNISON Southend, OUTreach (Southend Borough Council LGBT+ staff forum) and TRANSPIRE joining together to raise the Rainbow Flag above the Civic Centre.
UNISON Southend-on-Sea LGBT+ self-organised group are here to support members, raise awareness, challenge discrimination, and make links with the wider LGBT+ community of Southend and beyond.
For more information or advice contact Sam Adams (LGBT+ Officer) via the UNISON Office.
November 24th was national ‘Stars in our Schools’ day. To celebrate the incredible contributions that school support staff make to our children’s education, Milton Hall Primary School laid out this home-made cake. Teaching assistants, librarians, caretakers and office staff all stopped by and one of Eastern Region’s Fighting Fund Local Organisers was at hand to chat to people about the union.
This year Southend-on-Sea Borough Council will be raising the Transgender flag at 9.00am on 20th November. Please support by assembling at 8.45am under the flagpole in the Council’s Car Park.
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20th that honours the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
TDOR was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence that year and began an important memorial that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
“The Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”
Southend members joined the national #loveunison event with a lively lunchtime stall on Tuesday 7th February. We collected comments about why UNISON is important to our members and encouraged others to join the union!
Ballot papers for the election of UNISON’s national General Secretary have started to go out. Southend branch has produced a flyer with more information about the election. It’s our union and we want as many people as possible to take part in this vote.