Michael Gowan MSYP Elected as Trustee of Scottish Youth Parliament

Michael Gowan, LGBT Youth Scotland’s elected Member of Scottish Youth Parliament, has been elected to the positon of Trustee of Scottish Youth Parliament.

'I want to see young people meaningfully involved in the decisions that affect them.'

Already active as Convenor of SYP’s Culture and Media Committee, Michael has been elected by the Convenors group to represent them on SYPs board of Trustees. As well as typical Trustee duties supporting governance and strategic direction for the organisation, Michael is also the key link between the Trustee and Convenor groups. He is elected to serve until the end of this term, which is in 11 months’ time. 

Speaking about his new position, Michael said:

‘I'm honoured that people have put their trust in me. I'm also determined to ensure that the voices of the SYP and young people across Scotland are listened to, especially those from under-represented groups like the LGBT community or those with disabilities.

‘When I hear the word consultation, I cringe internally. For me, the word has never meant having a meaningful voice; instead it was about organisations going through a check list. I guess that's why I got involved in youth activism - I wanted to make sure that consultations had some meaning, and that the views of young people were taken seriously.’

‘When I got elected into the Scottish Youth Parliament, I found I faced a slightly different issue. The four letters after my name (MSYP) somehow made people think that I could represent all young people on all issues; that consulting me was a suitable replacement for consulting with young people on the whole. That's what inspired me to stand for election to the SYP board - I want to encourage other organisations to really listen to young people throughout Scotland. I want to see decision makers make changes based on those opinions. I want to see young people meaningfully involved in the decisions that affect them.

‘Over the next year I hope to be a strong advocate for involving young people in the decisions that affect them; especially those who don't have the loudest voice, like members of the LGBT community, or youths with disabilities. Too often young people are ignored simply because of their age, and I'll do everything I can to make sure key decision makers really listen to those my age. Only when their views are truly heard will our society change for the better'

Watch an interview with Michael chatting about his role as MSYP HERE 

Find out more about LGBT Youth Scotland's work with SYP at www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/yp-national-projects-syp