This week has been a tough one for the trans+ community.
Firstly, the Prime Minister had plans to scrap the conversion therapy ban which had been promised for 4 years. Appalling!! In response to outrage from the LGBTQ+ community and our allies, the PM then did an embarrassing U-turn on his position. What he now proposes is a partial ban. One that protects lesbian, gay and bi cisgender people, but leaves trans people, including trans children, extremely vulnerable and at continued risk of abuse. A number of gender critical groups had fought for the ban not to include conversion therapy relating to issues of gender identity. This decision is blatant transphobia from inside our government, showing that they would rather appease these groups than support the trans+ community.
In response to this shocking decision, Stonewall, along with many other LGBT+ organisations (including us!) have withdrawn from the 'Safe To Be Me' conference. You can read the full statement from Stonewall here: www.stonewall.org.uk/safe-to-be-me
This was set to be the UK's first LGBT+ conference and could have been a landmark moment to improve LGBT+ people's rights in the UK. They would only see our participation if the PM reverts to his promise of a trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy. However, due to the boycott from LGBT+ organisations across the UK, the Safe To Be me conference has now been cancelled. www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61002448
What are your thoughts on this issue? What steps can we take to fight for a Trans-inclusive ban? How can we tackle transphobia in the government?
It's another divisive tactic where trans people are once again being used as a wedge issue rather than treated as human beings deserving of respect, love, dignity and protection. Things I can think we can do off the top of my head are:
- Write to your MP and vociferously state that this legislation is unacceptable and ask what they are doing to challenge it. - Support forms of protest against the exclusion of trans people from the ban. I believe Stonewall and other groups are leading some of these protests: - This one is really important: check in on your trans friends and family and make sure they're okay. Ask how you can support them and let them know that they are loved and cared for and that things will get better, because there are millions of people willing to fight for their rights.