By Shannon Lennox
Hundreds of people are uniting to help Glasgow become a more inclusive place for the LGBTQ community.
Activist Leo Hamilton has created a series of workshops across Glasgow to help cisgender people have an in-depth learning experience about the LGBTQ community. Leo spoke to UWS news about the workshop that will take place on Wednesday evening:
“The event was actually inspired by cisgender people taking the initiative to ask. A friend ran the first workshop in 2019 and asked me if I’d like to take over organising them. I was excited to run an event for cisgender allies – a lot of people like learning in-person, and I think friendly informal workshops in the community are a great space for opening up discussions we might not otherwise have.”
The workshops have gained massive popularity with hundreds of people willing to learn:
“I thought there would be 5 or 6 people interested, but around 400 folk have responded to the events now. It’s a really nice reminder how many people in and around Glasgow are committed to learning more, addressing what it means to be cisgender, and trying to create a trans-inclusive society.”
The hundreds of people signed up to learn and become allies to the LGBTQ community is a heart-warming indication of the inclusivity that Glasgow strives for. Leo goes on to tell us who specifically this workshop is for and why they will benefit from it:
“I’m interested in the learning process you go through when taking a serious look at your privilege and how it helps you move through society, so I designed the workshop for cisgender allies with the aim of supporting that learning process. If you’re part of the trans community, or a member of any oppressed group, being constantly expected to explain things to everyone from doctors and co-workers to family members and people on twitter can get exhausting. I think a lot of allies already know this, and don’t want to tire their trans friends out with questions about gender and discrimination – so this series of workshops will hopefully create a space for those questions.”
We spoke to Anya, a cisgender woman who is looking forward to attending the workshop: “We need to educate ourselves because we are not in this community. It is important we are as inclusive as possible for trans and non-binary individuals.”
Members of the LGBTQ community struggle to be included and still face unnecessary criticism in many parts of the world and in their interpersonal relationships. By making these workshops accessible for everyone, Leo has made Glasgow a safe and more inclusive space for everyone.