Lavender Caucus to Meet on Monday

On Monday, there will be a meeting of the Lavender Caucus, the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 LGBT committee. The committee, which was created in 2002, has been dormant lately. The committee’s new chair, Mikayla Bourque, wants to change that, though.

Bourque said the meeting will be this Monday, Sept. 28, at 5:30 the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 office in Concord. Bourque said she’d like to talk about the work that the committee can do in support of the LGBT community.

“Although many strides have been made and milestones achieved, there is still work to do,” said Bourque, who is a steward and councilor for Chapter 37 at NH Employment Security.

Indeed, the recent Supreme Court decision that in effect legalized same-sex marriage was a major victory for LGBT rights, some are still striving for equality. Bourque, who is transgender, noted that the the state anti-discrimination law doesn’t protect transgender people.

“Personally, I’d like to see gender identity added to the anti-discrimination law,” she said.

One of the main goals of the Lavender Caucus is to provide a forum to end workplace bias. Bourque, who went through her transition while on the job, said education is an important part of ending bias.

“We’re trying to educate the community, but we’re also trying to educate our co-workers, fellow union members and union leaders of the LGBT issues of the time,” she said.

The committee is open to LGBT union members and allies. Bourque said she’s hoping to bring as many voices as possible into the conversation.

“With more voices, we gain strength,” she said. “I’m hoping to bring the committee back to life and make a difference.”

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