Camden LGBT Forum has held a monthly open meeting in the Town Hall every month for the last 10 years. Everyone is welcome and I decided to go along to see what sort of things were on its members’ minds.
The Town Hall at Judd Street can seem like an imposing building, with a marble-floored reception, followed by oak panelled rooms and a sense of gravitas to the corridors generally. But the atmosphere within the meeting room was informal and friendly.
There were various discussions, mostly to do with developments within the Forum, such as the CLASP initiative, the Speaker’s Bureau, as well as up and coming events, like Spirit Day and National Anti-bullying Week. Reports were given on the latest volunteer opportunities as well as a summary of the latest homophobic and transphobic hate crime stats.
Lou Hart, (Forum Director,) also informed us that she was taking a year’s sabbatical leave from 17 September 2012 onwards. A moving speech was given to thank Lou for all of her work on behalf of the LGBT community, ending with the following words: “you will be greatly missed and your shoes will be very difficult to fill, but you will also be a light to whoever replaces you”. A legacy I think most people would be proud of!
There was also plenty of time devoted to “any other business”, and some attention was given to a demo scheduled for Monday 10th for the trans woman Fernanda Milan. But there was room and time for discussion of additional issues had they been raised.
From what I could see, these meetings are a definite space for LGBT people to share views on Forum work, discuss their concerns and issues, and bring attention to important work that they are conscious of within the LGBT community.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 2 October 2012. Fuller details will be available shortly.