Big Tent: the Queer Debate


When?


Thursday 15th October 6.00pm


What?


Big Tent: the Queer Debate

Join Big Tent for the first of a series of events focused on the most pressing queer issues of the day, bringing together a wide range of voices from LGBT+ communities and organisations, to explore personal experiences. This series comes after the pandemic that has had a significant impact on many in LGBT+ community. The first of our discussions will focus on the need to ensure there is adequate mental health support for LGBT+ community, the experience of LGBT+ figures in public life and more.


Who?


Linda Riley (Chair)

Founder

Lesbian Visibility Week and Rainbow Awards


Baroness Ruth Hunt

Co-founder and Director

Deeds & Words


Councillor Pav Akhtar

NHS Equalities Lead

and

Preston Councillor


Michelle Tea

Author


Bobbi Pickard

Founder

Trans in the City

and

Mermaids Trustee


Linda Riley (Chair)

Linda is a former Board Director of US based LGBT campaign group GLAAD (2013 – 2019) and Patron of akt. Currently, she is a Patron of charity Action Breaks Silence, which empowers women in the developing world to protect themselves against physical and sexual assault and Diversity Role Models a LGBT anti-bullying charity. Linda is also a House of Stonewall Golden Champion.

Linda currently runs diversity events British Diversity Awards, European Diversity Awards, and the Rainbow Honours, which she created. She is the publisher of DIVA Magazine, the No.1 brand for LGBTQI women.

Linda is also the Founder and Creator of the Campaign, #No2LGBTHate and International celebration Lesbian Visibility Week. She has worked in partnership with Pride in London to launch the hugely successful DIVA LGBTQI women’s stage at Leicester Square (2017-2019).

Baroness Ruth Hunt

Ruth Hunt is a co-founder and director of organisational change consultancy, Deeds & Words, which she runs with her partner Caroline Ellis. Prior to this she was CEO of LGBT human rights charity Stonewall, where she worked her way up through the policy and campaigning team over fourteen years. In this time the UK took huge steps towards equality for LGBT people, including equal marriage and equal adoption rights for same-sex couples. During her tenure as CEO, Stonewall also become trans inclusive. In 2019 Ruth became Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green and continues to fight for societal change and a kinder type of politics from the crossbenches. Ruth is a practising Christian and lives in London with her partner Caroline.

Councillor Pav Akhtar

Pav is an equality and employment law specialist. His professional career has spanned the public, private and voluntary sectors. He has served as director of UNI Global Union in Switzerland where he helped negotiate a UN convention preventing violence against women at work, and a UN global compact on migration.

A central tenet of Pav’s work has been the defence of human rights. He was Head of Equality in the UK’s Department of Education, and a Public Appointments Ambassador in the Government Equalities Office.

Pav is Governor of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; Director of Equality at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Trust, and a Preston City Councillor.

Michelle Tea

Michelle Tea is the author of over a dozen books for adults, teenagers and kids, including the cult classic Valencia, winner of the Lambda Book Award for Best Lesbian Fiction, and the essay collection Against Memoir, winner of the PEN/America Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. She is the co-creator the international performance tour Sister Spit and the global phenomenon Drag Queen Story Hour, as well as the founder of the literary non-profit RADAR Productions and the online parenting ‘zine Mutha. Her latest project is the mystical media company Your Magic; you can follow them on Instagram @thisisyourmagic.

Bobbi Pickard

Bobbi is the first openly transgender person in bp and as co-chair of bp Pride’s Transgender Group has transformed trans awareness within the company. She is the founder of “Trans in the City” – a corporate collaboration of over 80 major organisations to further transgender awareness globally – a trustee of Mermaids, the gender diverse children’s charity, #1 Yahoo Finance OUTstanding LGBT+ Future Leader, Rainbow Honours LGBTQ Champion, has been nominated for the 2020 British LGBT awards Nestle Diversity Champion Award and #14 in the Pride Power List.

She plays guitar and bass, has two children and lives in Brighton.