Rallying the troops for British Veterinary LGBT+

Posted on February 16, 2016 by Mat Hennessey

BVLGBT logoAfter the launch of the British Veterinary Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (BVLGBT+) group in the summer of 2015, it has been overwhelming to see how much support the group has received. In 6 months we have had over 350 people request to join from all aspects of our profession; vets, vet nurses, receptionists, people in industry and even a hoof trimmer.

Facebook to Congress: growing BVLGBT+ 

Mat Hennessey launches BVLGBT+Now comes the challenge of how to harness this enthusiasm and turn our Facebook group into a fully fledged organisation.

So far a lot of people have helped out, making contact with organisations and running social media. We now need to persuade them it’s a good idea to take a place on our soon-to-be formed committee. Most of us work long hours and have busy social lives and it’s often a juggle to keep a balance, so getting someone to give up their free time is a big ask!

We have just put together the first draft of our constitution which we will hopefully vote on during our first AGM on 8 April at BSAVA Congress. It will be exciting to meet many of the group’s members face-to-face and talk about how we develop the group further. I’m looking forward to going back to Birmingham as it’s been several years since I’ve sampled the joys of Nightingales and Birmingham’s other great LGBT+ venues.

Marching at Pride

Over the last few weeks our application to march at Pride in London has been submitted and we wait to see where in the parade we’ll be placed. I’ve asked for us to be put next to the Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentists so we can revive some of that university competitiveness and see who can out face paint who. It’ll be incredibly exciting to have our professions taking their place on the LGBT+ stage and marching together. Just hope the weather holds out!

Raising awareness for LGBT History Month

This month is LGBT History Month and we are trying to do a big push on social media to help support this retrospective event and spread the word about our group. It has been fascinating to read about some of the key events in LGBT history over the last 100 years, a lot of which helped to pave the way for many of the rights I take for granted each day (see a timeline of transgender visibility and the top 10 milestones achieved in British history). As well as looking back at the work that has been done, the event also provides a platform to think and talk about what still needs to be achieved for LGBT+ individuals. Something that we will be focusing on here at BVLGBT+.

Mat

You can find out more about BVLGBT+ by:

Also see Sean Wensley's blog post BVLGBT - good for the profession and society

Mat Hennessey

Written by Mat Hennessey

MSc (One Health) BVSc (Hons) MRCVS, Founder of BVLGBT+

Mat graduated from Bristol in 2007 and went on to work as a small animal vet. In 2015 Mat achieved a diploma in garden design and now works as a part-time vet (split between charity and private work) and part-time garden designer. He started the BVLGBT+ group in June 2015.