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Ten-minute chat
  1. Matt Hennessey

Abstract

Matt Hennessey recently set up the UK's first British Veterinary Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender group. The group's first meeting will be held at the BVA at the end of September.

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What is the BVLGBT?

The British Veterinary Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender group is open to anyone wanting to support LGBT rights. The group aims to:

  • Create an LGBT community within the veterinary profession and the associated professions.

  • Promote fairness and equality for all members of these professions.

  • Provide support for individuals in and those studying for these professions.

What led you to set it up?

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I was at the London Gay Pride event this year and it struck me that the veterinary profession wasn't represented; the doctors and dentists were there, but not us. I looked for a veterinary LGBT group online and couldn't find one, so I set up a Facebook group.

Why is it important?

It's important because everyone deserves to be able to work and study in an environment that is free from discrimination. For those of us that already have it, we should be proud to show this off, and show those who don't that it can, and should, be achieved.

How many members do you have?

More than 200 people joined the group in the first month and we are getting new people requesting to join daily. This has been mainly through word of mouth, but we are hoping it will get much bigger once we start to properly publicise the group.

Have you been surprised at the level of interest?

Yes! We have had so much positive feedback from individuals and groups expressing their support for the group.It's been very encouraging.

What are your plans for the group?

We are holding a small planning meeting on September 25, at the BVA's headquarters in London, to discuss how to develop the group and move things forward (please get in touch if you want to come along as numbers are limited). I hope that we will be able to hold a bigger meeting and an annual general meeting so that all members can attend in spring 2016.

One of my personal goals is to have our profession represented in the parade at London Pride 2016.

How do people get in touch or get involved?

People can find us on Facebook, British Veterinary LGBT, or on Twitter @BVLGBT, or can e-mail us at BVLGBT{at}gmail.com

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