Cassie Burn, LGBT+ SOG Organiser

Here’s the latest update from Cassie:

“It’s been a challenging time being off campus. I’ve been very busy and found it hard to do justice to both my union work and my apprenticeship. It’s definitely been harder to prioritise union work as IT has been so busy in recent months. In IT there have been lots of changes made in a very short time and we’re now trying to take stock and make sure we are making the right choices in a changing environment, and this has limited the amount of time I’ve been able to commit to the LGBT+ SOG or branch committee meetings.

“When I moved to working off campus, I found that I was having a lot of issues with focus, attention and really struggling to get anything done. Following a few counselling sessions and conversations with some friends, I got diagnosed with ADHD, the symptoms of which I was finding harder to mask in the different environment. This has been really positive for me, giving me a better understanding of myself and tools that I can use in different situations. It’s still strange working from home, but I feel like I’ve reached an equilibrium now.

“I’m hoping to get some LGBT+ SOG meetings going online soon. In the longer term, I’d like to get more LGBT+ people involved in the conference and the regional group. At the moment our branch feels a bit disconnected with the regional SOG, but I’ll be speaking to the co-ordinator to see what I can do about this.

“There was a plan to link with Leeds Pride this year as part of  the Unison Yorkshire & Humberside LGBT+ Group but, of course, it didn’t happen due to Covid restrictions. Going forward it would be really good to have a Unison presence at events like this; I know that neither Unison nor Leeds University had a float in the parade in 2019. We need to decide how we want to be involved in Pride and similar events and whether to do this as UNISON, as the University of Leeds, or if our LGBT+ members prefer to participate along with other community groups.

“If any LGBT+ members want to get more involved in any capacity, please reach out, I’m more than happy to chat!”