Christine Burns MBE is an out and proud lesbian trans woman who, although now retired, campaigned for a quarter of a century for the civil rights of trans people and (for the last decade) all diverse communities. She was a leading figure in “Press for Change” for 15 years, developing trans self-awareness, working on the Gender Recognition Act and regularly appeared in the media on the campaign’s behalf. She worked to develop the first ever official guidance about trans health from the Department of Health. She also led for some years on challenging negative reporting in the media. As an independent diversity specialist she chaired the North West Equality and Diversity Group for many years and helped countless organisations develop equality plans, including a five year stint as the Programme Manager for Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights at NHS North West. In retirement she has focussed on writing. Her books “Making Equality Work” (in collaboration with former colleagues) and “Pressing Matters” (on the roots of trans activism in the UK) are both positively reviewed.
“I was delighted to accept the invitation to become a patron of LGBT Youth North West. The work of people in my own generation laid the foundations of the world that young lesbian, gay, bi and trans people inherit as they grow up. Our work necessarily involved the very basics for equality — to have a system of legal rights which protect LGBT people of all ages from discrimination, harassment, violence and exclusion, and to open up institutions (like marriage) which everyone should have the right to enjoy. But laws on their own don’t change behaviours. There is still a great deal of work to be done in terms of education – to reach out to people and create a world in which antipathy towards LGBT people is literally unthinkable. I have long believed that this is a challenge which young people need to become involved in – to shape the society they will live and thrive in”.