I woke up on new years eve, to the news that Jay was being awarded an MBE for his work with GI.
Dr Jay Stewart, MBE. That’s… Surreal. I’m only just getting used to that fact he’s a Dr!
I’ve known Jay since I first started coming to GI, almost 18 months ago. When I apprehensively walked through the door at my first GI thing, he greeted me with a big “hello”. He instantly made me feel welcome, and it was so clear that he had a passion for helping young trans people. I’ve been to every GI youth group session for my age range since, and managed to do so many things and achieve so much thanks to both the work he has done with GI, but also thanks to Jay as a person. GI means so much to me, that I’ve started giving my time as a volunteer as well, hopefully giving back as much as I can to an organisation that is so fantastic.
I have to admit, I am some what conflicted with the news, being a bit of a republican, and at least in principle being anti-monarchist. The concept of the honors system is archaic and a little problematic, and I don’t blame people for feeling angry about the concept – and of Jay taking the honour. Regardless, however, of the trappings and the surrounding heraldry, Jay does deserve all the recognition he can get.
Jay Stewart is the most tireless person in the world. Me and friends joke that you have to email him twice to get him to reply to anything, but honestly, that’s because he’s so busy! He is always working for young trans people. He campaigns for young trans peoples rights, he works in schools to prevent bullying of young trans people, and he helps young trans people on a one-to-one basis as well. He genuinely is an amazing human being, and the trans community couldn’t ask for a better man to do it.
Even if he is now a part of the establishment (Down with the monarchy etc.!)
I hope I can speak on behalf of all the young people he has helped over the years,
Thank you, Dr Jay Stewart, MBE, for all your work.
Young person, Volunteer, Trans woman.