skip to main content

MU Motion on LGBTQ+ Musicians Passed at STUC Conference 2024

The MU sent a delegation to this year’s STUC LGBT+ Workers’ Conference in May, where our motion on tackling transphobia, ensuring culturally relevant mental health provisions and improvements to the Equality Act passed unanimously.

Photo ofDiljeet Bhachu
By Diljeet Bhachu Published: 17 June 2024 | 2:45 PM
View from the back of the room of all hands raised in a support of our motion at the LGBT+ Conference.
Our motion was carried with unanimous support from delegates. Image credit: © The MU.

The 13th Annual Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) LGBT+ Workers Conference took place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May, at the Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel in Clydebank, Glasgow.

The MU’s LGBTQ+ Musicians motion called on the STUC LGBT+ Workers’ Committee to:

  • continue to tackle the root causes of transphobia
  • challenge anti-trans rhetoric and promote authentic, positive perceptions of trans people
  • lobby governments for funding for culturally relevant mental health services for LGBTQ+ people
  • support affiliates to stand their ground in the face of anti-trans backlash
  • lobby Government to extend the protections in the Equality Act 2010 to all freelance workers.

The motion was carried with unanimous support from delegates and was moved by first time delegate and speaker Duncan McBride (right), who attended alongside Andrew Collings (left). 

Andrew Collings and Duncan McBride standing in front of an STUC LGBT+ tapestry before conference.

Collective action

Duncan drew on the Musicians’ Census LGBT Musicians’ Report to highlight the disproportionate inequalities experienced by trans musicians, low rates of mental health, and the impact of being a freelance LGBTQ+ musician.

Duncan cited the negative impact of the gig economy and how it affected workers beyond the music industry, calling for collective action.

The Scottish Artists’ Union seconded the motion, noting parallels in the experiences of their own LGBT members through a recent survey. Almost half of their LGBTQ respondents had experienced discrimination while working in the arts, and this figure rose amongst trans artists.

When we tackle one form of oppression, we make a dent in others

Motions from other unions included topics such as pay gaps, hate speech and gender recognition reform.

A motion from Glasgow Trades Council highlighted LGBTQ+ worker owned cooperatives, which also have strong ties with the arts, often as venues. Recognising this as an independent grassroots music venue, the Scottish Artists’ Union spoke in support of the motion noting them as a crucial space to provide freelancers with paid work.

Guest speaker Carol Wood from the STUC Disabled Workers’ Committee highlighted a welcome change to the definition of reasonable adjustments, towards being able to participate fully in working life with other workers, noting how this would break barriers for so many workers with different identities and experiences.

This touched on a common theme within conference – that when we tackle one form of oppression, we make a dent in others. Far right politics were named as a root cause of many issues across the conference discussions.

Representing and advocating on behalf of LGBT+ musicians

Get involved with the MU's work on lobbying for an LGBT+ inclusive education, the end of abuses to LGBT+ people internationally, and a fair and equal representation.

Join our LGBT+ Member Network

Our network is a space where people with shared identities can connect, network and make positive change across the MU and the music industry. The network ensures that the voices of LGBT+ members are heard, and that opportunities for activism and leadership are created. 

Join our network if you identify as LGBT+.  

Join the LGBT+ Network

Representing and advocating on behalf of LGBT+ musicians

Continue reading

Close up of crowd with hands draped over a metal stage barrier, wearing yellow festival wristbands.

MU Partners with YOUROPE for Launch of its New Diversity Toolset for Festivals

Our ED&I team contributed as consultants on YOUROPE’s diversity and inclusion toolset for festivals, utilising a range of the Union’s resources. MU Officer Dr Diljeet Bhachu is also listed on the project’s advisory board, specifically contributing to items on anti-racism and diversity.

Published: 02 July 2024

Read more about MU Partners with YOUROPE for Launch of its New Diversity Toolset for Festivals
View from the back of the room of all hands raised in a support of our motion at the LGBT+ Conference.

MU Motion on LGBTQ+ Musicians Passed at STUC Conference 2024

The MU sent a delegation to this year’s STUC LGBT+ Workers’ Conference in May, where our motion on tackling transphobia, ensuring culturally relevant mental health provisions and improvements to the Equality Act passed unanimously.

Published: 17 June 2024

Read more about MU Motion on LGBTQ+ Musicians Passed at STUC Conference 2024