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Why I want to be an MSYP: Nico Price

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 Nico Price's blog.

Find out more about the Scottish Youth Parliament election and why it’s important here

 Why I want to be an MSYP

I want to make a difference for LGBTI+ people by ensuring that their voices are heard, and they feel encouraged to speak up on issues they are passionate about.

I wish to help Scotland to become a safer and more welcoming place for LGBTI+ people to grow up and also to ensure that a variation of LGBTI+ young people have a chance to get their voices heard and ensure that the diversity of the community as a whole is represented to the best of my ability.

More specifically, the reason I want to be an MSYP is to try to improve LGBTI+ healthcare, the education about and of LGBTI+ people (in both schools and the workplace), and for transgender people to be able to self-identify.

These topics mean a lot to me and so many other LGBTI+ young people, and it is important that we take action.

How I will consult with other LGBT young people

I will engage with young people through social media as often as I can. Specifically using things like Instagram polls/posts, keeping my messages open and encouraging people to contact me if they have any concerns they feel should be brought to attention.

I will also create varied and inclusive surveys for young people to take part in as well as attempting to meet with different youth groups and young people across Scotland in order to get the opinions of a diverse group of people that represents the diversity of the LGBTQI+ community as a whole as much as possible.

Why you should vote for me

I am passionate, dedicated and hard-working. These qualities would be helpful as an MSYP because they would allow me to give engaging speeches on important, relevant topics that have been well researched and well planned beforehand, as well as being able to meet deadlines and have productive conversations with young people.

I am good at listening and communicating as well as being empathetic and understanding of the fact that some issues are difficult to talk about. This would be helpful as an MSYP because these qualities allow me to properly consult LGBTI+ young people and ensure that it is not just my voice being heard, but the voice of the community as a whole.

In terms of prior experience, I have done some work with the "Voices Unheard" youth group. Our main goal is to educate LGBTI+ people on healthy vs unhealthy relationships. Through this I have gotten the opportunity to work with Young Scot to review and design online resources. This group has also helped me to engage with other young people of varying ages and identities, along with giving me opportunities to discuss topics in a setting where opinions will vary.

My priorities

LGBT+ healthcare

What’s the problem?

• The waiting lists for gender identity services are so long they are deadly
• People are being made fun of for their identity by medical professionals and call handlers
• And it’s not just physical health. 52% of LGBTQ people reported self-harming, compared to 35% of cis-het people. Along with 44% of LGBTQ people reporting suicidal thoughts vs 26% of cis-het people.

Why is this important?

• Because in the state that we are in right now, this is killing so many people and injuring even more.
• Things like this impact such a large portion of the community, improving this will make life so much easier for a lot of people.

What could be done?

• We can bring attention to the issue to educate more people about what is happening. Communication is one of our most powerful tools.
• We can educate people like GPs and 999/111 call handlers on how to appropriately deal with LGBTI+ patients.
• Encourage people wanting to go into psychology or medicine to take a look at possibly working for a gender identity service.

Education

What's the problem?

• Oftentimes people will use words without realising what they mean, this can result in homophobia/transphobia that could easily be fixed with a little bit of a history lesson.
• The GLSEN 2013 National School Climate Survey found that fewer than five percent of LGBT students had health classes that included positive representations of LGBT-related topics.
• Lots of people don’t realise that pronouns aren’t just for LGBTI+ people.

Why is this important?

• The same reason we take core RMPS classes, they teach us about respect and equality. If we learn about religious equality, why shouldn’t we learn about things like sexuality, gender and racial equality as well?
• Moving away from the point of view of straight, cisgender young people, even LGBTQI+ people themselves oftentimes aren’t given the correct education to stay safe in relationships or even figure out their identity without assistance from the internet.

What could be done?

• Diversifying classes on equality and sex education for example. Including LGBTQI+ people in discussions in a respectful way.
• Ask LGBTQI+ young people if they would like to review presentations before they are presented to a group and possibly including anonymous quotes to Make people feel less alone
• Diversifying sources (not just using BBC and Stonewall) and not using outdated resources.
• Give LGBTQI+ people more links to places where they can get help with mental health, sex ed etc.

Transgender self-identification

What’s the problem?​

• Due to seemingly endless gender identity services waiting lists, the process of getting your gender legally changed is such a long, expensive and exhausting process to go through and we lose so many people because of that
• Non-binary is not a legally recognised gender in the UK
• “I’ll be 17 soon, I’ll be old enough to drive. But guess what’ll be on that drivers licence? My deadname. And the wrong gender. It will take me longer to get my name and gender changed than it will to learn to drive” ~ Anonymous

Why is this important?

• Because it could save so many lives and save so many people the time, money and energy that it currently takes to get your gender legally changed.
• It also seems very babying to trans people, having to be checked over and interrogated time and time again just to change a tick on a birth certificate or a legal form.

What can be done?

• Protesting/pushing for the updates to the Gender Recognition Act that would allow transgender individuals to self identify and update the language used in the original document as much of it is extremely outdated.
• Educating more people on why it is important that the Gender Recognition Act is updated.


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