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.
In January, the world was watching a puddle. Meanwhile, in Coventry, we were preparing for a council by-election in the ward I lived in at the time. The by-election was to be held in February, but politicos began preparing in January. I was excited, it would be the first time I was going to be able to vote. I also had the honour of being able to vote for myself, after I was announced as the Green Party candidate.
In the Lower Stoke By-Election, I came 4th out of 5 candidates, beating the Liberal Democrat candidate. The Green Party announced it’s new set of Spokespeople for 2016/2017. I was honoured to be named the Equalities (LGBTIQ) Spokesperson. At our Spring Conference, we also improved our policies for LGBTIQA+ people, and I signed an Open Letter to the BACP to call for trans people to be protected by the memorandum of understanding that prohibits conversion therapy.
I spoke to Coventry NUT about why academisation of Schools disproportionately affects LGBTIQA+ young people.
I was confirmed as a candidate for the 5th of May Coventry City Council elections, in St Michael’s Ward. I held Leave.EU to account over their published support from a homophobic ex-UKIP Councillor. I also wrote my first article for the Huffington Post; Why Trans Inclusion Matters.
— Green Party (@TheGreenParty) April 19, 2016
In May, I commented on the UK Government’s delay in responding to the Trans Equality report in the Huffington Post, and also covered Greens’ responses to Natalie Bennett standing down as GPEW Leader, in Bright Green.
In June, Coventry Pride was a massive success, we had over 7500 visitors. Sadly we also had the horrific attacks in Orlando so we held a vigil in Coventry. LGBTIQ Greens had a massive turnout in Pride in London.
— LGBTIQA+ Greens (@LGBTIQAGreens) June 25, 2016
In July, the UK Government finally released its response the the trans inquiry, it was shameful;
— Aimee Challenor (@GPEWAimee) July 12, 2016
In August, I treated myself by going away on Holiday to Aberdeen to visit friends.
— Aimee Challenor (@GPEWAimee) August 24, 2016
In September we had the Green Party Autumn Conference, where we were again able to increase and expand our policies for LGBTIQA+ rights. LGBTIQ Greens also formally became LGBTIQA+ Greens after a ballot at our AGM, and I was reelected Chair of the group.
The Green Party also worked with Coventry and Warwickshire friend to defend an openly gay activist from Cameroon who the Home Office wanted to deport.
In October I won the Young Greens Media award, stood alongside other Green Party spokespeople to recognise Hate Crime Awareness Week, the trans community and our allies came together to say we #StandWithMermaids, and I was proud to be announced as one of the Interim Co-Conveners of the Global Greens LGBT+ Network.
In November, I spoke at Coventry University about Trans Day of Remembrance and again helped organise Coventry’s TDoR Vigil.
As we approached the end of the year, I wasn’t slowing down my activism and kept pushing for change. Valerie Ediage was given leave to remain;
Thanks to @GPEWAimee and everyone who supported Valerie in his fight to remain in the UK. We’ve good news, he’s been granted right to remain
— Cov & Warks Friend (@CW_Friend) December 2, 2016
Then came the news that Transport for London (TfL) were going to bring in Gender Neutral Announcements, and trans awareness training for Staff after I had an incident whilst phoning them in November. It sort of took off a bit…
— Huffington Post UK (@HuffPostUK) December 9, 2016
— Truth & Tails (@truthandtails) December 8, 2016