Avi Ela (she/her), Medical Student and Imperial College Union LGBTQ+ Officer

Avi Ela, Medical Student and Imperial College Union LGBT+ Officer

“I have adored every moment of my time as Imperial College Union’s LGBTQ+ Officer 2023-24.”

As a queer British-Asian female of colour, I have experienced much hatred and prejudice. I believe that amplifying the voices of underrepresented people is vital. I wish for the world to become a more inclusive place for marginalised folk. I strongly believe that we are all capable of creating change for the better. I pride myself in wanting to help others and have found that a personal connection to the work fuels my passion. I will do all I can to fight the battles of discrimination inspired by fearless queer activists who came before me, such as Marsha P. Johnson.

As LGBTQ+ Officer for the Imperial College Union, I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to make meaningful changes  that benefit Imperial’s community. I am particularly proud to have launched the LGBTQ+ Students of Imperial video series for Pride Month, produced in collaboration with Digital Media Lab. As a Medical student, it was also a fantastic opportunity to attend NHS England’s LGBTQ+ Health Conference 2024 and gain insights into various aspects of LGBTQ+ healthcare. Being short-listed for Activist of the Year by the nationwide Queer Student Awards and receiving a Union Fellowship Award are humbling accolades of my efforts this year for which I am beyond grateful.

Despite this, there is still much that needs to be done to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people. As the sub-group that faces the greatest disparities in health, quality of life and beyond, I would like to see more support for trans+ students at Imperial and more generally for trans+ people nationally. Systemic change to reduce stigma, prejudice and discrimination is paramount to achieving queer liberation globally.

If it weren’t for the increased academic demands of fifth-year Medicine, I would have loved the opportunity to run for this role again. I will miss it and have adored every moment of my time as Imperial College Union’s LGBTQ+ Officer 2023-24. I will still be involved in LGBTQ+ advocacy and aim to use the knowledge I gained this year to work as IQ’s Campaigns and Union Liaison Officer.

Otherwise, I will continue pursuing research in LGBTQ+ Health, with the overarching aim of reducing health inequalities experienced by this marginalised group. In my clinical practice, I am also keen to promote and develop inclusive healthcare systems free from queerphobia.

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