Any trans person who has lived through the last four years or so must like me have wondered what is going on. Suddenly everything ‘kicked off.’ We can look back and pinpoint when it all started – when Self-id was mooted as the answer to GRA reformGRA Reform Gender Recognition Reform Bill - Scotland https://www.gov.scot/news/gender-recognition-reform-bill/ Published 03 March 2022 09:34 Part of Equality and rights Simplifying how trans people apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate. See Also https://mermaidsuk.org.uk/mermaids-manifesto-for-gra-reform/ https://www.stonewall.org.uk/what-does-uk-government-announcement-gender-recognition-act-mean . New anti-trans organisations emerged like Woman’s Place UK (WPUK), Fair Play for Women and more recently, Labour Women’s Declaration (LWD).
They all claim they do not discriminate and are not transphobic, perhaps not realising the correct definition of transphobia which is, (according to Google & Oxford Languages) – “dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people“.
Enter, at last, the potential cavalry – Labour Trans Equality.
Well, cavalry for Labour Party members at any rate. And I would argue of all the political parties we have suffered far worse from transphobia than either the Tories (who were in the main anti-trans anyway) and the Liberal Democrats. WPUK was born out of the Labour Party with its founders claiming socialist roots. They then had a disagreement with the party, making the statement of “Defend us or expel us.”
Labour officially did nothing but rumours abound about what happened behind the scenes. Then came LWD – to most of us just WPUK re-branded to make it closer to the party.
As my blog yesterday demonstrated Gender-Critical people, often members of WPUK & LWD started to make waves within CLP’s while still arguing they were no way transphobic – just protecting women’s sex-based rights. I am yet to work out how trans rights conflict with women’s rights – for me, the Equality Act works fine in protecting everyone.
But whatever your point of view the truth is that in the last four years the lives of trans people has gone backwards with no visible reform of the Gender Recognition Act and an attack on our very existence. Hopefully, Labour Trans Equality will agree on a strategy to turn back the tide both inside Labour and within society itself.
The formation of a “Trans” group within Labour, must not be seen that LGBT+ Labour has failed. It has not. LGBT+ Labour has been instrumental in so many issues in making the lives of LGBT+ people so much better – not just within the party, but for LGBT+ folk across the UK. The problem that we have is that suddenly new anti-trans organisations seem to be springing up every five minutes – and I would suggest it needs some trans expertise to counter it.
And the sponsors of Labour Trans Equality have precisely that.
To date, we have not seen “the meat on the bones” of Labour Trans Equality (LTE), but I am sure as seasoned party members, they know all the problems if not all the answers. But can I moot one area where I would like LTE to take us -and that is education. Because we are going to have great difficulty in countering the hearts and minds of the gender-critical, but there is all to play for in relation to the rank & file membership.
We need a definition of “transphobia” within the party very urgently and a formal plan on how we can train and roll out educators somewhat similar to being “a trans ambassador.” We need to get our voices out to every CLP which may mean educators working within several adjoining CLP’s because I doubt if every CLP has an openly trans member.
I hope too that the sponsors have a pathway to the party hierarchy and NEC members. Working with LGBT+ Labour because I am pretty sure that those who fight against us have lobbied very hard.
Labour Trans Equality offers new hope to trans members like myself that ultimately we can get many more Labour trans members, councillors and yes – that MP too. For pro-rata to the population there should be six trans MP’s sat in Parliament just now and as we all know there has never been one.
And we can only achieve that MP after achieving acceptance in the party and society – let’s all hope Labour Trans Equality can deliver.