Tag Archives: Trans Rights

LGBT+ Allies need to step up

On March 31 2022, Boris Johnson announced he was U-turning on the government’s pledge to ban conversion “therapy”; a form of abuse that seeks to undermine someone’s gender and/or sexual identity, and gaslight them into believing how they view themselves is wrong and must be “corrected”.

Due to backlash from politicians across the House; including a number of Tory MPs, and LGBT+ pressure groups Johnson acquiesced – to a point. He has promised to uphold the ban on gay and bisexual conversion therapy but has failed to do the same regarding trans conversion therapy. What has been made very clear is that the LGBT+ community is viewed as nothing more than a vehicle to gain votes for Boris Johnson. The way he is willing to make such rash, disgusting decisions that compromise the rights and safety of individuals serve to highlight that now, more than ever, LGBT+ allies need to rally around the community and bolster our support.

We cannot expect trans people to shoulder the burden of standing against societal, and now state-sanctioned oppression alone. If we want to see real change, we must create platforms that amplify trans voices. We need to contact MPs, MSPs, MSs, MLAs, Councillors, Mayors, anyone and everyone that is integral to our political system and encourage them to speak up against such prejudice. We must listen, not to respond, but to understand and learn from trans people, the negative experiences they face and what we can do to mitigate them. It is our moral responsibility to defend and uphold the individual freedoms of all people – a responsibility that our government has abandoned.

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Sex, gender and everything in between: why we need new language to help people understand trans rights

I am a trans ally. Trans rights are human rights, and we should be doing everything that we can to ensure that they are enforced and everyone is given the respect and dignity they deserve.

Unfortunately, all too often when engaging in this area one of the first hurdles is getting past inaccessible language.

First of all, there is the term “assigned”. People are “assigned a sex at birth”. That’s a really misleading phrase. What we actually mean is that they were assigned a description of their sex – typically male or female, based on characteristics that they have.

But that’s not really very accurate. I have a daughter, and we definitely didn’t go through a process of checking levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. We didn’t check her chromosomes, there was no extensive check for genital abnormalities. We “assign” a description of their sex, based on a whole raft of assumptions. It can be years later that people figure out that that was inaccurate.

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Liberals and the cancel culture

The sujet du jour; at least on Twitter, seems to be “cancel culture”.

I’m a newbie on Twitter and as I have scrolled through my feed and seen various threads; I’ve noticed a schism between Lib Dems, on this particular issue. On one side there are Lib Dems, advocating the necessity to protect the individual, human and civil rights of the oppressed and that freedom of speech doesn’t come with freedom from consequence. On the other side are those Lib Dems who see freedom of speech as a key tenet to liberalism. An article by Tim Farron (advocating the latter), exemplified this schism with Tim being supported and rounded on, in equal measure. However, this isn’t a divide about free speech – it is a divide in the discourse of what is morally absolute and what isn’t.

Within social justice, liberals will always seek a moral universalism when advocating human rights for the oppressed minorities. The danger is, this advocation can fall into absolutism and that those opposing the perceive moral truths by absolutists are not only wrong, they are immoral; leading to those opposing their worldview to be swiftly labelled “racists,” “bigots,” “Nazis,” etc. In a democratic society our cultural norms, ethics and morals, evolve over time through societal discourse. Absolutists, in shutting down what they perceive as immoral; shut down the debate. In effect, they break the social contract that allows for moral consensus to be agreed upon.

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Young, Liberal and ready to fight for trans representation on Manchester city council

Manchester – a city of equality and fairness. A place where the Tories homophobic section 28 had no chance without a fight. Known for our world-famous gay village, we aren’t a city that shys away from ensuring that representation matters, are we?

We are home to the largest group of Labour Councillors in the country and we, Liberal Democrats, were close to taking control of Manchester City Council at one point before the coalition. Yet, Manchester has never seen an openly trans politician. Ninety-six seats on our council and not a single openly trans, non-binary or gender diverse councillor insight.

You would expect a city so liberal and diverse like Manchester to have had many trans politicians by now, but because we haven’t, I’m here to say that enough is enough. No more hollow words on trans rights – but real progressive action. Just imagine being a young trans person who has little hope in society and feels that not a single politician truly represents you, because that’s what it’s like for me and so many right now.

Posted in Op-eds | 29 Comments

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