The Birth and Growth Of The Labour Party LGBT+ Network, By Its Founder Paul McGowan
I became a registered Labour Party supporter during the leadership election, and then fully joined soon after; I personally joined after finally seeing a chance for the party to start becoming a proper grassroots movement that would be representative of all members, with policy being made from the ground up. I have since become very involved in campaigning across the city, the surrounding areas and CLPs.
I am passionate about making the party as inclusive and representative as possible for marginalised members. It is through my commitment to active campaigning that I became LGBT+ Co-ordinator for my CLP and LGBTIQ Officer for Liverpool Momentum, while in these roles I created a citywide policy forum for the 5 LGBT Officers in Liverpool to come up with a plan for 2019. It was soon obvious, after speaking to fellow officers from outside the city, that there isn’t much going on in their areas, some didn’t even know who their fellow officers were in other CLPs in their own city.
This made me decide to expand the network to include the Party as a whole, to create a fully working, completely grassroots led, non-bureaucratic network to bring together LGBT+ members/CLP officers from across of the Party’s vast membership, with the aim to create a co-ordination platform to organise and promote events, socials, policy forums, share speakers and give members a safe space community to discuss any arising or ongoing issues relevant to the LGBT+ Community.
We also plan to hold training sessions for members where possible so that they can become more involved in our party – and especially encouraging members to become further involved both locally and nationally, whether that be campaigning, standing for positions, or whatever their involvement may be. Another plan we have is to make further contact and branch out to the wider LGBT community, charities, organisations and other groups to exchange speakers, co-host events and create a nationwide campaign in the community.
One of the best things about being part of this project is the people getting involved since the launch of The Labour Party LGBT+ Network in September 2018. We’ve seen people join our project with some amazing ideas for how we go forward, we are assembling an incredible co-operative team with advisors and project leaders passionate about our aims.
This year we were gifted a banner to help visibly promote the project on campaigns, the first being standing in solidarity with RMT members on strike to keep the guard on the train at Liverpool, Lime Street Station - the response we have been getting for this has been incredible
We will be holding our first talk LGBT History month in February in Liverpool, This will involve giving a platform for dialogue between the communities and the wider membership, to meet and share experiences