Fergus McMillan has led LGBT Youth Scotland for over eleven years, building it from a small youth work organisation into the national charity supporting LGBTI young people across Scotland. He recently won the YouthLink Scotland Youth Work Award for Inspiring Leadership, and was instrumental in the development of our 5 Year Strategy for the future of the organisation. As he begins to take his next steps in a new role, Fergus reflects on his time with the organisation and shares some thoughts for the future.
Dear Young People,
I am writing to tell you that I will be leaving my role as Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland in a few weeks to take up a new job.
Our Board of Trustees are now in the process of looking for a new Chief Executive and they will involve young people at LGBT Youth Scotland in that process. Our new Head of Youth Work, Nicola Booth, will support a group of young people to join in the recruitment process.
I want to take this opportunity to say what a privilege it has been to be Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland for eleven years. I have met lots of wonderful young people during that time and have seen many things change for the better for LGBTI young people in Scotland.
At the same time as being proud of the part we have played in achieving those changes, it’s important that we recognise that some LGBTI young people need our support as much as ever. That’s particularly the case for trans and gender nonconforming young people, who are suffering as a result of a very contentious debate about trans people in the press and on social media.
LGBT Youth Scotland’s work is thirty years old this year. Trans young people need us to be allies and listen to their experiences as much as lesbian, gay and bisexual young people did thirty years ago. Some people will try to misrepresent what we do, but we know from thirty years of experience that allyship and the provision of safer spaces can be life-changing for young people.
I know that the dedicated team of staff and volunteers at LGBT Youth Scotland will continue with that work in partnership with all of you. I will continue to be an ally in my new job and the work that I do in the future.
Wishing you all health, happiness and LGBTI fabulousness now and for the future!