Five Questions for LGBT+ History Month: Ben Edwards

Throughout LGBT+ History Month, we’re asking some of our inspirational LGBT+ activists to tell us a bit about themselves.

Next up to take the Five Question challenge Norfolk County’s Ben Edwards.

Here’s what he had to say.

Who are you?

Hello, I am Ben.

I am a UNISON steward, health and safety rep, LGBT+ branch officer and Norfolk County chair for the Eastern region LGBT+ committee.

Why is LGBT+ History Month important to you?

LGBT+ history month is important to help raise awareness and combat the prejudice against the LGBT+ community throughout the world.

It is also important to help people recognise LGBT+ history and how still to this day there are prejudices against the LGBT+ community.

What’s your proudest achievement in UNISON?

My proudest achievement in UNISON so far would be becoming the Norfolk Chair for the Eastern Region LGBTQ+ committee.

Ben and the UNISON banner join the Norwich Pride march

Who’s your inspiration/role model?

My inspiration would have to be Larry Kramer, who was one of the first to sound the alarm for the HIV/AIDS crisis in 1981.

He was an activist and fought for LGBT+ rights, even co-founding groups such as Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and Act Up (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power) which coined the iconic Silence=Death logo which became a symbol for AIDS.

Why did you get involved in UNISON?

I wanted to get involved with UNISON because there were issues within my workplace and no representation.

I started as a health and safety rep and started to work closely with members in my workplace to make improvements.

I have been an LGBT+ branch officer for around two years now and have attended several pride events and promotions across Norfolk.

In February I moved workplaces and became a steward. There have been several courses and learning opportunities which have helped me to progress within my career and my place in UNISON.