In March of 2019, I was outside a supermarket with many other Labour Party members supporting a candidate in the local elections. I did not know any of them for I was registered at a different CLP, but I was there in support of the candidate – my dearest friend who was supporting me through transition.
There were about thirty of us – beating the drum about austerity when something very unexpected happened.
A man on a bike rode into us – not an accident – on purpose.
No one was hurt, but he immediately started shouting at us about anti-Semitism and Jeremy Corbyn. Trying to de-escalate the scene, many people were trying to reason with him, but the more they talked to him voices got louder – both sides were throwing bricks. Because if someone shouts at you what is the natural thing to do – shout back.
Enter one trans person with a big smile and “how can I help – you are obviously upset” said I.
His voice slowly got softer, he was then talking, fifteen minutes later he was considering joining the Labour Party, he shook my hand, and away he went on his bike.
“How did you do that,” the others said – “he was so aggressive.”
“I listened,” I replied.
And that’s what I did when I spoke to Sarah Phillimore yesterday, listened and found mutual ground – no capitulation of trans principles, just find mutual ground to build on, with the potential now to significantly improve trans health care with new ideas.
I dont know if the angry cyclist joined the Labour Party, but I do believe he will vote Labour for years to come.
For the full story about my chat with Sarah click HERE.