Be:Northumberland. A step forward for trans representation in the North East
We are excited to take the opportunity of Trans Day of Visibility to announce the formation of a brand new group for trans people, their friends and families. Be. Northumberland.
As the one of the largest, and the least densely populated county in England, Northumberland faces some specific challenges when it comes to representing gender diverse people. The sheer distance between towns, the draw of Newcastle, the problems of transport in areas which very often have lost public transport, are all familiar to any residents of the county. For trans residents they can lead to extreme isolation and lack of support.
Be: Northumberland hopes to rise to the challenge, drawing its committee members from across the county, with a wealth of experience and knowledge to share. The chair, Andrea Rees is a geotechnical engineer, who brings her experience of transitioning in a male dominated industry as well as a passion for enacting genuine change to the role. As Andrea says
Employers discriminate against trans people still. Service providers who although informed don’t filter the information down to their front line work force. Preferring to use the training management they receive as a tick box for their performance checks. There are a lot more issues, I mention just a few. If we can change these and other problems that the cis world has with us, it will be a small gain. We need to be politically active, it’s what the gay movement did, approached Members of Parliament and made a nuisance. Only this way will we gain recognition.
Our treasurer Abigail Allen is already well known to some for her campaigning in Northumberland. Her roots in the community demonstrate Be:Northumberland’s commitment to diversity and genuine representation.
Sophie Robinson brings a wealth of experience as union organsiser and campaigner.
As a Trans activist, I am delighted to be involved in the development of Be Northumberland. I have, over the years, learned so much about myself through the support and education that the Be network has given me. I am now really looking forward to supporting and helping others within Northumberland and will endeavour to ensure this new branch of Be is everything our community deserves.
Our other board members are drawn from across the county, and are all excited to be moving this exciting initiative forward. As well as offering peer support and drop ins and social events Be:Northumberland will be hosting a series of workshops covering topics such as name changes, knowing your rights, what is gender and many more.
Tara Stone, managing director of the Trans Be network welcomed the new iniative
It’s really important for us to develop local support for Trans people. I wish Be Northumberland the best of luck and am glad to welcome them as part of the Be Network
Karen Pollock, one of our board members said
As a proud Northumbrian it is great to see representation happening in our local communities, at the grassroots where it is needed
Look out for Be:Northumberland meeting you in your community, where you need us to be!