Ethan is a first year BSc Brewing and Distilling student at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. He is currently the Vice-President of the University’s LGBT+ society and an Ambassador for the Sports Union. Ethan is also a student ambassador for the university, speaking to prospective students and providing them with information about the university and his experience there. Ethan has also done some volunteering with Stonewall Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland. He am an LGBT Role model and Schools Role model with Stonewall Scotland and currently on committee for a youth group with LGBT Youth Scotland called Beyond Gender. Ethan also works part-time at Nando’s and volunteers for BBC Scotland NEXT!
Which young Scot inspires you?
I’d say the young Scot that inspires me most is Emily Frood. She basically runs Beyond Gender alongside the rest of the committee but the amount of work that she does for the community as a whole, is truly inspirational. Especially with her being so young and a full-time student, the work she does is phenomenal. She truly is one of the loveliest young people I’ve met, genuinely friendly and caring (and a total badass) She is definitely a young activist to watch.
What is the best thing about growing up in Scotland?
I love growing up in Scotland as we don’t have to worry about things such as unaffordable healthcare or education. I also feel that it’s a pretty liberal place so growing up queer hasn’t been too bad, if anything the negatives I’ve experienced through this has made me a stronger person.
What would you most like people from older generations to know about young people?
A lot has changed since your generation. Especially the needs of young people. Young people are getting more involved with politics and making the world a better place in general for ourselves. When you see or hear the younger generation discussing politics etc. please listen to them and their reasoning, don’t just dismiss them because “they’re young and don’t know what they’re talking about” because chances are, they might very well know more than you, they certainly know what’s best for them.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
I’d say my biggest achievement to date is probably when I was given the opportunity to help develop policy framework for trans inclusion in sports. This was mainly helping write the policy for trans athletes within Scottish hockey (https://d1ssu070pg2v9i.cloudfront.net/pex/scottish_hockey/2017/03/19122326/SH-Trans-Players-Policy-2017_.pdf). From which, my University has been used as best practice for trans inclusion in sports. (https://www.bucs.org.uk/news.asp?itemid=26899§ion=8)
What would you most like to achieve in the future?
I would love to continue being part of the student politics movement and ultimately be elected into an officer position representing students across the country, particularly within the LGBT+ or Trans campaigns as it’s an area I am particularly passionate about.
What message would you like to give to other young people in Scotland?
The message I’d like to give to young people in Scotland is be yourself. Take your time to figure yourself out, there’s no rush and no need to put a label on yourself. You have all the time in the world so don’t feel rushed into deciding on a label. Just be yourself, and if anyone has a problem, ignore them. As long as you are comfortable, happy and healthy that’s all that matters.
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