In November, young LGBT people accessing LGBT Youth Scotland’s services will be able to vote for two LGBT young people to represent them at the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP).
Each of those elected will become a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) for LGBT Youth Scotland and will serve a term of two years. During that time they will work with the Scottish Youth Parliament to improve the rights of LGBT young people in Scotland.
There are five candidates standing for election and each of them has written a blog to explain why LGBT young people should vote for them. This is candidate Amy Winter's blog.
Find out more about the Scottish Youth Parliament election and why it’s important here.
I am 18 years old, living independently with my partner (FtM), assistance dog and three rats.
I have spent the last six-7 years working out who I am, the start of high school really sparked some questions for me. After lots of trying out labels and navigating the hundreds of genders and sexualities I finally feel I know who I am, however I am totally comfortable with my identity changing as I grow.
I also have the daily struggle of being neurodivergent as I have ASD (autistic spectrum disorder). This is something I have struggled with my whole life but only in the last year truly accepted. Due to this I also have anxiety, panic disorder and depression.
I want to use this experience to represent the LGBT community, neurodivergent community and support others with mental health disorders.
Why I want to be an MSYP
I want to be able to make real change in the world and elevate the voices of those who often get left behind or unheard.
I see this as an opportunity to help improve the world and fix the issues that affect me every day as an LGBTQ+ young person.
I know the struggle of being ignored or not being taken seriously and I wanted to be the person that crossed that bridge to make all voices equal, heard and taken seriously.
I want to raise awareness for issues that are too often swept under the carpet and never acted upon, I want to be the person that makes LGBT struggles a priority and not a second thought.
I want to be able to stand up and say I am proud of who I am and I am not just here to tick some equality box, I will be heard.
How I will consult with other LGBT young people
I have set up a public Instagram where I raise awareness of issues I am passionate about, however if I am elected I will use this as a way for my constituents to be able to message me at any time with questions, concerns and things they would like me to be aware of. I plan to be as active as possible on this account with both responses, polls and questionnaires. This to be a safe place for people to share their views.
I am also currently working on my presence on the Pride and Pixels Discord, still understanding Discord but I will be able to be reached there if elected.
Another way I am planning to get young people’s ideas and opinions is to hold monthly ‘surgeries’, I’m not sure yet where these will be held, most likely teams though, where anyone can come along and bring up their thoughts.
This is something that I am extremely passionate about as it has become more and more obvious in my life. The lack of knowledge and understanding the primary people in my life have is shocking. This wasn’t as much an issue for me in high school as there were staff within the community who understood my identity, but since moving to university it has been slap-in-the-face obvious.
An example of this would be me explaining to my tutors that I am non-binary and the response being “what’s that?” Leading to me having several meetings with them to discuss LGBT+ issues and the struggles they had never considered.
I strongly believe that educators regardless of education stage should receive more ongoing education on gender, sexuality and LGBTQ+ issues and terminology.
This should also spread across to primary carers across the community such as doctors, GP reception staff, nurses and other important figures.
Waiting times for the Gender Clinic
Waiting times for the gender clinic are out of hand. Most young people are having to wait years before they even get their first appointment. I want to push for these waiting times to be cut right down so vulnerable trans individuals get the support they need in a reasonable time.
Ideally I would like to push for more funding to be made available to the services at the gender clinics so they are up to date and able to cope with the demand by having more staff and services.
I would also bring forward the point of having additional support services for trans young people to be directed to during their waiting period. Allowing them to get vital mental health support at a crucial time.
Why you should vote for me
This is not a decision I have taken lightly and have spent the last five years coming to terms with not only my own identity but my place in the world and I feel like now I am ready to represent young people like me.
I am a highly passionate and driven individual who is motivated to make genuine change for the better. I have lots of experience with supporting LGBT+ young people and have openly been an activist for the community for several years.
I have a unique perspective of the world as a neurodivergent individual and I have the ability to not only represent LGBT+ young people, but also neurodiverse and disabled individuals.
I strive to make sure everything I do is accessible to all regardless of their individual circumstances with no judgment. I believe everyone deserves equal opportunity and I want to create a safe space where everyone can have their own opinions and voices heard.
I have had an active role in raising awareness for LGBT issues and petitioning for change, not only within the community but in wider society and I feel this work has prepared me to stand up as a voice for the community.