The British National Union of Student’s LGBT Campaign has recently passed a motion decreeing that representatives for gay men in student LGBT societies should be abolished, claiming that they “do not face oppression.”
At their annual conference in Sheffield, delegates from the NUS LGBT+ Campaign discussed the issue, arguing that “cis gay men” are to blame for “misogyny, transphobia, racism and biphobia.” According to the motion, they are “more likely to occur when the society is dominated by white cis gay men.” For those of you who are not familiar with the terminology, “cis” is short for “cisgendered,” which means that you identify with the gender that you were assigned at birth.
So what is the solution to all this rampant internalised bigotry? The motion demands that the socieites must abolish representatives for gay men but still ensure that the other dedicated reps for lesbians, bisexual, and transgendered students remain in place. The motion argues that because “the reps system exists to ensure that … [there is] a reserved place for groups which disproportionately face oppression within the LGBT+ community. Gay men do not face oppression as gay men within the LGBT+ community and do not need a reserved place on society committees.”
Ironically, at the same conference, there were other resolutions highlighting the higher risk that gay men face of contracting HIV, and that they are disproportionately at risk of violence. This contradiction would be surprising, if it was not for the fact that the perpetrator was the NUS. Recently, they were drawn into a high-profile dispute with veteran gay right’s campaigner Peter Tatchell after they no-platformed him due to concerns of “transphobia.” Tatchell’s pro-free speech views then led him to organise a rally outside NUS HQ last week protesting this policy.