A TRANSGENDER activist who set up a support group which helps parents and carers of young people, has been shortlisted for a top award.

Jack Jackson, team leader for Mental Wellbeing and Counselling at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), has been shortlisted for LGBT+ website PinkNews’ Role Model Award.

Jack, who has been with partner Trudy for more than 20 years, will attend the PinkNews awards ceremony in October in London. This will celebrate the best and brightest in LGBT+ equality.

North Wales Pioneer:

Jack has created a buddying scheme for transgender students at Bangor University

The Role Model award is a new accolade that seeks to celebrate an individual who has led by example to empower the LGBT+ community.

Jack, of Conwy, and Trudy have set up an independent support group which helps parents and carers of young people in North Wales who are questioning their gender identity.

He has also developed a buddying scheme for transgender students at Bangor University and is developing “lunch time lectures” for university staff to raise awareness of the needs of trans, lesbian, gay or bisexual students.

Jack said: “I identify as a trans man and I’ve known about my gender identity for many years, but for a long time felt unable to be authentic, in both my personal and working life, through fear of prejudice non-acceptance.

“Being authentic has changed my life completely – living my life as Jack has enabled me to not only love myself but also be loved by others.

"By being authentic at work, I have a deeper connection with and better understanding of myself. It’s had a really positive effect on my wellbeing, both mentally and physically."

Jack is a stakeholder on the All Wales Gender Identity Partnership Group.

In 2018, he was named Stonewall UK’s Trans Role Model of the year in recognition of his voluntary work on LGBT+ causes and efforts to broaden understanding of trans issues across the health board.

Mike Townson, Senior Equalities Manager at BCUHB, who nominated Jack for the award, said: "Jack has play a key role in helping to broaden awareness and understanding of trans issues across the NHS in North Wales.

"He is an extremely nice person, and a terrific ambassador for BCUHB and I sincerely hope this is recognised in the awards.”