GMB Magazine GMB25 Contact Summer 2016 - Page 27

Visit GMB online at www.gmb.org.uk Welcome to VICTORIA Grimsby General has a new branch equality officer V CE s VICTORIA MARSHALL GMB Grimsby General’s new branch equality officer. ictoria Marshall has joined GMB Grimsby General as the new branch equality officer. We spoke to Victoria about identifying with the transgender community, and her personal philosophy. Victoria said: “Before starting this role, I would spend much of my spare time giving talks on diversity and the treatment of people within the LGBT community, from ‘coming out’, to fears and issues faced within daily life. “One of the most enjoyable programmes has been a series of transgender talks to new nurses and employees in the NHS. It covered the treatment of transgender patients, too. So my progression to branch equality officer is a logical one!” Victoria is a transgender person herself, and feels she offers a unique and inside perspective on the topic – from the fears transgender people face to the concerns of employers and employees. “Having a full-time job puts me in touch with issues on a daily basis and I can contribute a great deal by addressing concerns from all sides,” she said. “A good philosophy to follow is that each and every one of us is unique in some way, and you wouldn't want that part of yourself or your lifestyle to be abused and hurt through a lack of understanding or general hatred. Far better to be a little more tolerant and understanding of our diversities.” You can contact Victoria on vicky.marshall67@hotmail.co.uk All things are EQUAL Lincolnshire NHS GMB members in attendance at recent LGBT conference… GMB at Lincolnshire NHS Partnership Foundation Trust was involved in a recent LGBT equalities conference, run by the Trust. Packed full of speeches and workshops exploring issues around LGBT members in DEREK HOCKING Branch secretary, Lincoln Tec General & Apex. the community, attendees found themselves inspired and enlightened by the other attendees and their stories. One valuable workshop centred on the only trans police officer in the local force, who offered her support to members in the community. Another issue was highlighted by the parent of a young teenager who is struggling to transition because the academy he attends doesn't agree with supporting the teenager’s decision. The conference provided agencies who – along with upholding equality laws and rights – offered to intervene in this difficult situation. The conference was closed by an employee from the Trust who sang a heartbreaking self-penned song about the difficulties of transitioning. The song further highlighted the need for understanding and empathy with the LGBT community in all workplaces. DAWN LOVATT LGBT rep on the Regional Equality Forum spoke at the event. Dawn Lovatt, GMB Regional Equality Forum rep, said: “The conference has shown that GMB needs to continue to equip reps to be fully aware of the equality issues faced by members. Lincolnshire NHS Trust also raised the link between mental health and the LGBT community. It is hoped that this conference will become an annual event.” www.gmb.org.uk 27 GMB25.Contact_26_27.indd 27 14/06/2016 14:46