Profile: Harry Bishop

Harry Bishop is the newly elected President of Community and Welfare for the 2017/2018 academic year! He will soon be taking over the repsonsibilities of our current FXU Community and Welfare President: Alexa Webster. Keep on reading to find out Harry's Drag alter-ego, how he dealt with homophobic comments during his campaign, and what he plans to accomplish during his presidency! 

(Pictured: Harry Bishop.)

Zodiac: Gemini and just like the Gemini twins, I have two faces—Harry and Bettie. 

Pronoun: He/his.

Age: 20.

Favourite colour: Yellow.

HC: So now that you've been elected to be the new President of Community & Welfare for the 2017/2018 academic year, what are some things you wish to accomplish while in your position?

HB: There are so many things I’m excited to work on next year. One of the things I’m most passionate about is introducing a new welfare mentor scheme, which I call SEVs or Student Empathy Volunteers. Essentially, it would be an informal way for students to meet one-on-one with a fellow student, who will have received some of form of support training, to talk about whatever they want. If you’re anxious about your counselling session then you could meet before to talk things through, they could come and wait in the waiting room for you, or you could meet afterwards for a coffee to reflect on it. But essentially, it is up to you what you meet to talk about: academic stress, coming out to your friends and family, hate crime of any sort. Honestly, it is up to you. 

HC: While running, you faced tons of homophobia for being an openly gay man in the election. How did you deal with the hate and negativity and what advice do you have for people who might experience the same discrimination? 

HB: So, the FXU elections team, supervised and run by Ben Rowswell, do everything they can to support all students standing in elections, from a night of training to drop-in sessions every day throughout the week. So they were absolutely amazing. But my advice for anybody who receives homophobic abuse, or abuse of any sort for that matter, speak out. Speak out and be proud of who you are. If you have any problems next year, please do not hesitate to come and find me, come and chat with me, let’s get coffee and cake. I’m always on your side! 

HC: How did you get into drag and who are your top three favourite drag queens?

(Pictured: Harry Bishop with Bianca Del Rio.)

HB: Bettie is a hoot! I call myself an extrovert trapped in an introvert’s body. So, I created the character of Bettie as a way to express myself and my creativity. For me, drag should never be taken too seriously, it is irreverent and offensive but all in good humour. There are two reasons, really, of course I was inspired by some of the fabulous queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race but also by the beautiful queen, Marsha. P Johnson, the ‘P’ stands for ‘Pay ‘em no mind’, a reference RuPaul herself often says on the show. She was also the person who threw the first brick and started the Stonewall riots back in 1969 that brought about the Gay Liberation March, which we now know as Gay Pride. But as for my top three favourite drag queens: Bianca Del Rio is a legend in the industry and I admire her talent, enviously. Myra DuBois, a British drag queen, who never fails to have me in stitches. Lastly, Katya Zamolodchikova (who was robbed in All Stars 2!). 

(Pictured: Harry Bishop with other past FXU Commnittee and Welfare candidates. 

HC: If you could be any animal, which would you be and why?

HB: So, Alexa just did Animal Medicine Cards with me to find out what animal I truly was and the cards came back and said I was in some kind of transition between a bat and a wolf. Which really doesn’t help. But I think I’ll have to go all out and say, a seal. I like seals. Seals are cool.  

HC: What’s something that you’re looking forward to?

HB: I can’t wait to work with all of the new presidents over the summer to start planning our exciting year of plans and, most importantly, to start delivering on our manifestos. I have a really big manifesto but I am so eager to start working on all of those different points which I think will make a hugely positive difference to students’ lives. But, personally, I’m looking forward to seeing where Dean’s ‘fashion’ sense goes next year. 

Thank you so much Harry!