News speaks to BLOGS about their plans, events, and the upcoming LGBTQ+ history month.
When was BLOGS founded and why?
We can assume from our university archives that BLOGS can be traced as far back as 1973.
As for why, it has always been to create a safe space for LGBT+ people, to talk and be part of the community, whether it is to have a conversation, to discuss issues or to be part of activism. Mainly, it’s a largely social society, offering a space for us all to hang out.
For LGBTQ+ people, BLOGS is a place of safety and networking with like-minded people with similar experiences. We meet every Tuesday and we alternate with socials all throughout the year. We’re also an awesome resource with the liberation groups.
How is BLOGS involved in activism with the LGBT+ community?
We’re involved as we have campaign officers who involve us in campaigns that are usually spearheaded by liberation groups. For instance, our Vice President of Activities and Services is spearheading an initiative to have gender-neutral toilets across the university, not just in Students’ Association buildings like Pleasance and Teviot.
A lot of our members and committee members were part of an auditing system where we went through all the buildings in the university and took stock of where the bathrooms are and which gender they were meant for.
We try to support different progressive causes. Essentially, we have our arms in different sectors where we provide something for everyone, which is why a lot of different people want to connect with LGBT+ members.
However, we still definitely are centered towards the needs of the LGBT+ community, or anyone who wishes to identify themselves under that umbrella. We’re an inclusive space, even to allies who are still unsure and questioning their identity, or to allies who just want to get involved.
I also like to think that we are a pretty diverse society. We already have this diverse umbrella access (LGBT+), that lets people know that we’re here regardless of background or ethnicity. I’d say we’re a pretty good cross section of the university.
Does BLOGS represent members of sub groups who have been stigmatised in the LGBT+ community?
We have the trans non-binary intersex officer which is a very important subgroup, because there a lot of particular issues of that group which don’t really pertain to the rest of the LGBT+ umbrella.
We have the Ace Arrow group, and they’re very keen on having socials as it is hard to meet people with a similar experience and it’s important for them to be able to have that interaction.
Across different societies I also find it to be selfishly fulfilling to meet people from a very specific niche, which is empowering. There is also an inter-society social with the BME and LGBT+ people – a nacho party on February 8, geared specifically towards BME and LGBT+ people.
Furthermore, each group and subgroup have their own Facebook pages so they really interact and inspire on another.
As February is LGBT+ history month, what is your goal and what kind of socials do you have lined up?
This month, we have a 90s kids nostalgia birthday party, aimed for any British kid born in the 90s, and we’ve also got a games night among other things. In the past BLOGS was associated as a party society, so we try to maintain that social vibe. We’re also pairing with the stock pride network ‘Later’ this month for a Cabaret night in the pleasance bar.
We always try to be diverse with the kind of socials we have, catering to low-key partiers that are less conformable with clubs: we have an alternative for everyone. All the information is on our Facebook page: it’s a good forum where we reassure people and offer a listening ear. People joining our group become glued when finding a community of people that they’ve never had before.
Alongside our events, our main goal is to celebrate icons throughout LGBT+ history. I think it is important with history month to acknowledge the role that a stigmatised group has had in history.
We want people to know we’ve always been here doing amazing things. We want to put out the fact that we’re here, so that people know that this resource is here for them. We’re also pairing up with the History Society to have events as well.