Highlights of 2017

There’s good and bad stuff every year. It’s generally very easy to remember the bad, whilst disregarding the good. So in an effort to combat this, here are my highlights of 2017.

  1. Working with Teaching Staff to create an environment where a Student felt safe to come out (October)
  2. Visiting America (November)
  3. Launching the Global Greens LGBT+ Network (April)
  4. Debating at the Oxford Union (May)
  5. Standing in the General Election (June)

Gender Neutral TfL; an empty promise from the Mayor

In November last year, I had a nasty experience on the Transport for London (TfL) Oyster card helpline. In the face of the transphobia I received, I worked with Sian Berry, one of the Green Party’s London Assembly members to resolve it.

In response to the incident, Sadiq Khan and Transport for London apologised and pledged to make their language ‘Gender Neutral’, this means they would stop using terms such as “Ladies and Gentlemen”. Khan’s response was widely publicised, even in other countries, and I was asked invasive and personal questions by reporters about my transition, I toughed through it though, thinking that we’d made progress, the issue was going to be sorted, and the capital’s transport network would be more inclusive. Some saw it as a bold move, but it was the right move for London’s diversity.

So you can imagine my disappointment over the last seven months as myself and others keep hearing “Ladies and Gentlemen” and other gendered language throughout the TfL network. I wasn’t the only one disappointed, so on the 22nd of June, Sian Berry asked the Mayor about it again. Sadiq Khan responded, saying that TfL had briefed staff on the changes.

It continued happening however, more “Ladies and Gentlemen”, so I did some digging, posted on Social Media about it. I struck a result, a TfL Staff Member, who has requested anonymity, reached out to me, sending me a screenshot of the TfL rule book.

This is what it says;

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I’ve tried offering to with the Mayor and TfL on this, it clearly hasn’t worked. So let me be clear, trans and non-binary travellers deserve better than empty promises from Sadiq Khan and Transport for London. On Saturday, the Mayor will be celebrating LGBT+ diversity at Pride in London, perhaps he could put actions behind his words and showboating, and stop letting down diverse Londoners and visitors.

Debating at the Oxford Union

As many of you know, I was recently invited to debate at the Oxford Union. The motion I was invited to speak in proposition of was; “This House Believes A University Must Be A Safe Space”.

The debate took place on the 11th of May. I’ve waited to publish this post, so that I could embed video of my talk below.

Debating at the Oxford Union is such a unique experience, it’s often called a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I was honoured to be invited to speak on such a sensitive topic. I also had a feeling of being overwhelmed, I had never debated before, and now I was jumping straight into the deep end by going to the Oxford Union!?!?! I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at Universities before sure, but this was nothing comparable.

 

The dispatch boxes used to be in the House of Commons, world leaders frequently talk here, so needless to say, this was big.

I went, I debated, sadly the votes did not go in our favour, but it was still a positive experience, and it is one I would accept again if given the opportunity.

Warning: I would advise against reading the comments on the Youtube video due to abusive content.

Positive things from 2016

This year has been horrible in so many ways, from Celebrity Deaths to Brexit and Trump, but in each of our lives, there have been good things too. So these are my positive things from 2016

Speech to Coventry Uni about TDoR 2016

Transgender Day of Remembrance is held every year on November the 20th. Tonight (18th) I had the opportunity to speak at Coventry University about TDoR ahead of this year’s commemorations. I’ve decided to publish my speech, so please find it below.

GPConf – Trans Policy PASSES

Today has been a really positive day at the Green Party Autumn Conference, and I would like to quickly thank everyone who supported the C4 – Trans Identities are Valid motion, and helped us get it passed! It had 8 people oppose it, but over ONE THOUSAND people support it!

 

That means that the top of our trans policy will read;

 

RR520 The Green Party recognises that there are many Gender Identities, that are within, and outside of the traditional Gender Binary of man and woman. The Green Party recognises that Trans Men are Men, Trans Women are Women, and that non-binary identities exist and are valid. We shall respect transgender and non-binary people’s identities as real. The Green Party shall include, and push for further acceptance of, transgender and non-binary people within all areas of society.

 

Again let me say

 

Thank you for the support. Be it through co-proposing the motion, voting it high up in the prioritisation ballot, voting for it at Plenary, or providing support to myself and our other trans, and non-binary members.

 

Aimee Challenor

Scottish Greens prepare for GreenYes2

Patrick Harvie MSP and Ross Greer MSP at a Scottish Greens event.
Patrick Harvie MSP and Ross Greer MSP at a Scottish Greens event.

When the EU Referendum result was announced; England and Wales voting to leave, Scotland and Northern Ireland voting to Remain. People almost immediately began to talk about the future of the United Kingdom as a Union itself.

Extending the Green Party’s trans policy even further

The final agenda for the Green Party’s Autumn Conference is now published and available to members. My motion to further the party’s policy on Trans Identities is in position C4, meaning it will likely be heard on the Saturday of Conference.

 

It’s a simple motion, so it should pass easily, the synopsis is only a few words long; “This motion would affirm that the Green Party believe that the identities of Transgender People are Real and Valid, and that we shall respect them.”

 

I’d like to thank the following people for supporting the motion;

Molly Arthurs, Kathryn Driscoll, Lee-Anne Lawrance, Elliot Corner, Lucas North, Clare Phipps, Daniel Chester, Fez Endalaust, Jennifer Anderson, Alexander Catt, James Larkin, George Broadley, Kia Pope, Ieuan Hall, Richard Jenking, Blake Roberts, Charlene Concepcion, Paul Donovan, RoseMary Warrington, Charlotte Ward, Sarah-Jane Riley, Oscar Gillespie, Emma Leigh, Samantha Pancheri, Samir Jeraj, James Foster, Lowri Jones, Chandler Wilson.

 

Members of the Green Party of England and Wales can view the Final Agenda on the Members Website here.