Five Questions for LGBT+ History Month: Lily Martin

Lily Martin

February is LGBT+ History Month and this year’s is extra special as it takes place in Year of LGBT+ Workers.

To mark the occasion we’re speaking to some of the LGBT+ identifying activists across Eastern.

Here’s health worker Lily taking the Five Questions challenge.

Who are you?

I’m Lily Martin (she/they) and I am a UNISON activist representing the Eastern region on the UNISON national LGBT+ committee.

Why is LGBT+ History Month important to you?

When reflecting on our LGBT+ community’s history, I feel proud at the progress that has been made by our elders and their passion for change.

But seeing news headlines and proposed policies by the current government, it’s easy to feel that we have so much more work to do.

We should celebrate the success and continue to fight for our rights, both in and out of the workplace.

What’s your proudest achievement in UNISON?

Being a visible and safe person for others to interact with and share their stories — particularly at our UNISON stalls at Pride events.

Also at the 2023 LGBT+ conference, seeing so many of our Eastern region activists speaking with such confidence about the issues that mattered most to them while I was able to represent them for the first time as their national representative on the platform.

Seeing my fellow regional activists give their inspirational speeches made it very difficult to keep a straight face when on camera!

Lily at a UNISON stall

Who’s your inspiration/role model?

Aside from my fellow UNISON activists, I’ve been a proud member of the NHS for nearly 10 years. Seeing the harm that the government has inflicted on this group of hard-working, caring and resilient people is heartbreaking.

Protecting our NHS is so important — and that includes all staff as well as service users.

Why did you get involved in UNISON?

In short, having an awful (but thankfully, temporary) manager who made the workplace feel downright hostile.

I sought support from HR and found no luck. I was then introduced to our current regional co-chair Alex Montgomery who was posting all sorts of UNISON fun on Facebook, making me realise that there are other avenues of support such as trade unions for those working in the public sector.

The rainbow UNISON lanyard was a bonus!