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)

An overview of the Year

January

Highlight: Girlguiding Welcome Transgender Children And Leaders Under Official New Guidelines

Girlguiding making their inclusive approach clearer under new guidance issued at the start of the year is a wonderful move for so many trans young people.

Other Media: I Came Out Young – Trans Youth Need Support, Not Flagrant Attacks

February

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In February I spoke at the Young Greens Liberation Group Collaboration Event about being a young trans person in the party.

March

In March I had the pleasure of speaking at the inaugural BelongCon in Brighton alongside my close friend; Lee-Anne Lawrance. It was later described as a “truly inspiring evening“.

I was also nominated for a National Diversity Award as a Positive LGBT Role Model for the second year running,

April

Highlights: Greens Congress 2017, formed by the Global Greens Congress, the European Greens Council, and the Spring Conference of the Green Party of England and Wales.

At Congress, I represented the Green Party of England and Wales as one of 3 voting delegates to the Global Greens Congress. We launched the Global Greens LGBT+ Network which was then ratified by Congress passing an international motion.

Stonewall’s A Vision for Change is published, outlining a 5-year plan towards acceptance without exception for trans people in the UK.

A snap UK General Election was called half-way through April. Very quickly LGBTIQA+ Greens was able to come together to produce a strong manifesto, launched at the end of the month.

May

May was a busy month. I was in the Guardian speaking about Mental Health challenges I face(d) as a young trans person, I debated Safe Spaces at the Oxford Union. The Election rush continued.

Debating in the Oxford Union Chamber. Photo from the Oxford Union.

A massive highlight was the LGBT Hustings organised by Stonewall, PinkNews, and LSE. I represented the Green Party at the event, where our policies gained a lot of praise;

 

June

With the election being held in the first week of June there was just a few more things to do before the end of the mad-rush;

Then it was time for the result, at least I wasn’t last!

Coventry South 2017 Election result | Graphic by the BBC, used under Fair Use.

After the election was over I got back into more community-based activism, writing for the Guardian about transphobic bullying in schools, and of course – celebrating Coventry Pride.

Aimee Challenor speaking at Coventry Pride’s 2017 vigil | Photo CC-BY-SA Baloo Challenor

And to cap off the month; Buzzfeed News caught me sassing the homophobic DUP.

July

July started off with a media frenzy over Gender Neutral announcements, after months of work by me and Sian Berry, TfL were dropping “Ladies and Gentlemen”. It was covered around the world, such as France, Italy, Portugal, Vietnam,

Our campaign had such an effect, that in November this year, it was announced that New York’s subway would be doing the same!

I also criticised the actions of Pride in London after controversy erupted over their bierasure and stigmatising posters. The Greens made sure to attend though, with inclusive messaging. We had a lovely time!

At the end of July I appeared on BBC’s Newsnight to talk about mental health as a young trans person (3:53 in);

August

In August I registered on a course at the Open University, where I now study for my BA (Hons) History and Politics degree.

September

I spoke on a panel discussion about a Gender Free Future. I gave evidence to the Committee on Standards in Public Life regarding the intimidation of parliamentary candidates. I was also elected to the Green Party Executive as the Publications Coordinator.

October

October had a lovely start photographing an event for close friends in Oxford. A real pleasure. It was closely followed by one of my Highlights of the Year when I spoke at Eltham Hill School in London on International Day of the Girl. The reason this is one of my main highlights is that at the end of the day, one of the students felt able to come out to the rest of his school. It was an honour to be able to play a part in that student’s coming out.

November

I wrote to Jeremy Hunt alongside Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas about how badly trans people are being let down in healthcare.

I complained to IPSO after the Sun printed a transphobic article. And I spoke to iCov about Prism – Coventry’s only LGBTQ+ Youth group.

Then just ahead of Thanksgiving, I went to America!

I spent two weeks abroad for Thanksgiving, spending time with family and friends so that I could just get away from everything for a bit! It was a fantastic holiday, and I look forward to future endeavours.

December

I arrived back home after my holiday in early December, and spent most of the month celebrating the Holiday season with lovely people and groups.