Wednesday , 29 January 2020

Meet Michael and James, the new LGBTI Scottish Youth Parliament representatives

Michael Gowan and James Thomson
Michael Gowan and James Thomson

Michael Gowan from Dumfries and James Thomson from Dundee have been elected as Members of Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) to represent the needs of LGBTI young people across Scotland.

This election saw more engagement than ever before with 492 online votes cast by young people across Scotland, using their voice to ensure that LGBTI young people’s voices and needs are heard and acted upon on this progressive national platform.

James and Michael attended their first Scottish Youth Parliament sitting in June, and now get set to work putting forward motions for LGBTI young people; developing the newly launched SYP manifesto and adding voice to this terms national campaign: Poverty, See It, Change It.

Michael Gowan
Michael Gowan

Michael, MSYP for LGBT Youth Scotland said: “The more I heard people talk about homophobic or transphobic bullying, the more I felt it was about numbers and statistics; not the real lives that are ruined in classrooms and workplaces. I want to spend the next two years as an MSYP being the voice for change: asking the questions politicians don’t want to answer and reminding people that we still have a long way to go in the fight for equality.

“I know things can change and I am determined to make sure that politicians work towards that change at a local, national and international level. I want to fight to make sure that LGBT youths aren’t ignored and I want to see as many people as possible work side by side to make sure that change happens. After all, life gets better together.”

James Thomson
James Thomson

James, MSYP for LGBT Youth Scotland said: “Both the Scottish Youth Parliament and LGBT Youth Scotland carry out a great level of work to ensure that issues affecting young people in Scotland are listened to, represented and dealt with.  By creating a link between the two organisations we help to support LGBT young people in Scotland through the provision of support and personalised development, and ensure there is an active voice that represents the views of LGBT young people on a national platform.  I feel incredibly honoured that Michael and I have been elected to act as those links keeping two of Scotland’s most valuable organisations for young people working together.”

LGBT Youth Scotland congratulated the newly elected MSYP and said they look forward to working along side and the Scottish Youth Parliament “to ensure that LGBT young people’s voices and views are incorporated at sittings, consultation events and when engaging with key decision makers, to improve LGBT young people’s lives across Scotland.”

About Dan Littauer

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBTI current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism. He is a correspondent for LGBTQ Nation, ManAboutWorld, and previously worked for Gay Star News, PinkNews, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Gay Middle East, Lonely Planet as well as contributing occasionally to the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and The Guardian. He also had an extensive career outside journalism, which included teaching psychoanalysis and social science, and consultancy work for the travel market. When he is not busy writing, he can be spotted rambling around the stunning Scottish landscape, where he lives, spending time at home with his cat.

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