Gay men aren’t oppressed enough to have LGBT+ representative, says NUS

Apparently they’re not marginalised enough anymore

Cambridge cis cusu lgbt gay men LGBT NUS nus conference student nutters student politics

The National Union of Students’ LGBT+ campaign has passed a motion calling for the abolition of representatives for gay men.

The motion encourages “LGBT+ Societies that have a gay men’s rep to drop the position”.

The conference believes that a representative for gay men comes into conflict with the ‘safe space’ of LGBT+ committees. It accuses  such committees of being “dominated by white cis gay men”.

The motion goes on to blame gay men for “misogyny, transphobia, racism, and biphobia”, and says that gay men “don’t face oppression” within the LGBT+ community.

"You can't sit with us."

“You can’t sit with us.”

As such, the motion passed that gay men “do not need a reserved place on society committees.” The motion is looking to University societies to drop the position of a gay men representative.

The passing of the motion shows NUS to be distinguishing between levels of oppression within the LGBT+ community. The same conference also highlighted how gay men are at higher risk of HIV and violence, pointing out that 40% of gay men have suffered sexual violence, twice the amount compared to their heterosexual counterparts.

At least Cambridge is doing its bit

At least Cambridge is doing its bit

Despite these acknowledgements, the motion passed. It will not affect CUSU’s LGBT+ campaign as the campaign is already without a gay men’s rep.

Jon Cooper, former LGBT+ rep at Pembroke, responded to the passing of the motion:

“This is quite a typical case of radical student politics drowning in good intentions. The rightful emphasis on the experiences of the more-often socially and politically sidelined components of the LGBT+ community, especially trans and non-binary people, should not come at the expense of others.

Gay men face distinct problems relating to the impact of popular ideas of masculinity and body image, and higher rates of STI transmission (especially HIV). Moreover, delegates of the NUS seem to have forgotten the many young people growing up in communitites not as liberal or wooly as likely their own; many young gay men face social exclusion, estrangement and homelessness as a consequence of coming out. Having someone to represent their interests could be life-saving.”

According to the Home Office 5,597 hate crimes were recorded against gays and lesbians in 2014-15, a rise of 22% on the previous 12 months.