At the beginning of the election campaign we outlined four key things which we believe, if tackled, will have a positive impact on the LGBT community. The first of these was a tangible commitment to help combat homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime. With the exception of the SNP and Ukip, this featured in the manifestos of almost all the major political parties; a great first step, but we must see this translated into real action with the next government... We're at an extremely important point in the LGBT movement where, if we have any hope of achieving full equality, complacency is not an option. We've read the manifestos and we'll remember the commitments. We hope that whoever is elected on 7 May will do the same.
The last five years have included some real successes for the LGBT community and some progress for trans communities. The most memorable for many is finally being able to legally marry their husband or wife. However, while I welcome this with open arms, the achievements of this government also present a big risk for the LGBT community. That risk is complacency.
From Renaissance master Michelangelo to writer and historian Jan Morris to artist Frida Kahlo, the contribution of LGBT people not only to our society today, but to the strong history that shaped it, can't be understated. And yet so many of these remarkable men and women have seen their lives shaped, not just by their achievements but also by the need to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity.
I'm tired of students and young people as a collective being constantly ignored or patronised by the state... people forget that if you constantly damage the spirit of a generation and illegitimatise our opinions, it will demolish the hope and drive of those who not only have the potential to make huge positive impact in the UK, but worldwide.
I recently attended a lunch where a former couple (of two men) introduced their third partner (also a man) as part of their 'thrupple'. It was not a term I had heard before but an arrangement that I certainly had. Someone suggested it was strange - a pejorative word - and I corrected them saying that it was unusual in this day but was not odd or strange.
Former Stonewall chief Ben Summerskill has made astonishing allegations against the Liberal Democrats, claiming they never sincerely supported same-sex marriage. He suggested they acted with "cynical and opportunistic" motives. This is outrageous. I don't support the Lib Dems, but they backed equal marriage at a time when Summerskill and the gay lobby group, Stonewall, refused to do so. The Lib Dems deserve credit for their early embrace of marriage for all. Ben's petty, sectarian smears are unbecoming - and unjustified.
Stonewall is investing time, energy and money into normalising homosexuality amongst young people, particularly in schools. One of the key tenets of their initiative is to 'set the meaning straight' with regards to the word 'gay.' We can debate the evolution of language over a pint at the union to our heart's content...
The Millennials don't have it easy. Generation Y were brought up to believe they could have it all, and yet find their employment prospects gloomy, the housing ladder out of reach, and ahead of them an aging population they will be required to pay for in years to come.That, of course, is all before they have to worry about their love lives. As well-meaning columnists wring their hands in angst at the sexting and snap-chatting, teenagers in the UK will be counting themselves lucky this autumn that public displays of affection are their absolute right, even if their parents don't necessarily approve.
The truth is that we all tacitly accept limitations on certain forms of verbal expression for the sake of social cohesion, and to pretend otherwise is disingenuous. Most of us, for instance, are happy to modify our language in the workplace, or when out in public, because we understand that there are broadly accepted standards for polite discourse that differ from private conversation. Why should a school be any different?