Making LGBT History – An Interview with Adrian Trett

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Adrian Trett is Chair of DELGA, the person responsible for the Equal Marriage motion and someone I am proud to call a dear friend. Following the success of the motion I interviewed Adrian about his feelings about conference in general and the motion in particular

Q: What was your overall impression of conference?

A: I was really pleased, I thought it was exhilarating, everyone was so enthusiastic. On the way to conference I thought there may be arguments, but I found it to be a pleasing atmosphere and was thrilled to be there.

Q: How did you feel when you left?

A: I left without any regrets, I didn’t agree with everything. I think we sometimes punish ourselves too much, criticize ourselves when we don’t agree. We do want to stick together therefore there are some compromises along the way. On Free Schools, I did agree with the motion, but was pleased that the debate was not so harsh against the coalition as it could have been. We need to learn to do this better, the media is taking us for ride in misrepresenting us.

Q: How did you feel Nick did?

A: I thought he did extremely well, I liked his speech it was straight to the point, he told it as it was, no vagueness, I had no issues with it. In regards to the Q and A session, I think he is more confident every time he does one, some questions were not the easiest, but I was very happy he was absolutely spot on.

Q: What motivated you to submit your motion on Equal Marriage?

I had been lobbied for some time by others LGBT pals and once we got the lift in May with Lynne Featherstone being appointed as Equalities Minister, I felt it was an opportunity we couldn’t afford to lose. Within weeks I started to work on the motion. I knew we needed to do something, we hadn’t had a policy motion at the last conference and it was our first opportunity to proactively change government policy and it was always something I had wanted to do.

Q: How confident were you about the motion being passed?

A: I was confident it would pass because we had lots of people supporting the debate. DELGA was instrumental in getting people to come and support it, so I was not worried about it not passing. But what I didn’t know was if something would come out of the woodwork, which is what happened with the reference back. In fact the reference back hadn’t appreciated that this very clearly was a permissive motion.

Q: How did you feel when it passed?

It was a day I will never forget, speaking for first time at conference, it was also my partner’s birthday, my parents were watching, it was truly an emotional day. Not only for me but all those who have campaigned for 30 or 40 years, way before I could do anything, and those campaigners were so happy, that meant so much to me, I didn’t realise this until a day or so later, just how good it was, and just what I had achieved, because I am not the sort of person who thinks in that sort of way.

A: How did you feel about Stonewall’s position?

I was very disappointed, but as Ed and Steve said, we don’t agree with them but we will seek to change their position in due course, but as Chair of DELGA I need to maintain a constructive working relationship with them.

A: So what is your next challenge having won this battle?

In terms of policy we still need to fight harder internationally, even some of our European neighbours – quite a few of them need to be brought into line, and there is still the issue of deportation of asylum seekers back to ill treatment. Personally, I think this conference has helped me grow immensely, following my speech it has given me the incentive to go further than I thought I ever could, getting into a position to stand for office in 5 or 10 years time.

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4 Comments

  • Remember the late great Roy Oliver Liberal Councillor (Hungerford) in the 1980s, Gay rights activist and trade unionist

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