Leeds University’s Equality and Diversity Officer, Emma Healey has been awarded Higher Education LGBTQ+ Student of the Year by the National Union of Students (NUS).

Emma was nominated by her peers and selected by the NUS judging panel for all her outstanding work within the LGBTQ+ community.

Emma said: “I am absolutely delighted to have won this award – it really highlights the impact of the work that I have been doing with LGBTQ+ students. Whether it is fighting for access to gender neutral toilets, supporting trans students with the University’s first trans policy, running asexual consent workshops, or organising our biggest LGBTQ+ history month ever – I will never stop fighting for our rights as LGBTQ+ people. I really couldn’t have done it without the support of LUU and our liberation co-ordinators – and I am so so proud of everything we have achieved together.”

Emma has been passionate about raising the LGBTQ+ profile within the Leeds University Union and supporting LGBTQ+ students at Leeds.

A few examples of her work this year include taking the Union to Leeds Pride for the first time ever, launching the first ever LGBTQ+ night ‘Scissors’ targeted specifically for queer women, non-binary people, and femmes of all genders who are frequently overlooked in the scene’ and fighting to introduce preferred pronouns on Union staff badges and email signatures.

Her campaigning has reached much further afield as she has passed policy urging the University to make sure every building on campus has a gender neutral toilet, and that existing toilets are mapped out.

Emma has also worked with the University to create a trans policy for students and staff and has challenged the University to re-examine their procedures such as changing student names on their systems to support students who are transitioning, encouraging lecturers to ask for pronouns and training university staff on trans awareness.

These are just a few examples of the tireless work that Emma has been recognised for. She will continue to work hard for the rights of all LGBTQ+ members at Leeds and beyond.

If you would like to chat to Emma about the award, or if you would like her to help you in her capacity as your Equality and Diversity Officer, please feel free to pop into her office on the first floor of the Leeds University Union or email her on E.C.Healey@leeds.ac.uk