Why the election result is bittersweet news for trans people

(L-R) Britain's main opposition Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner and Britain's PrimeMinister. Keir Starmer join a Pride Parade in London on July 2, 2022

Looking at their manifesto, it is clear the party lacks any true commitment to bettering my community (Picture: NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP via Getty Images)

Waking up on the morning after the landslide victory for Labour was bittersweet.

While I could not be more pleased about the decimation of the Conservative Party, I am also not feeling optimistic about what this new government will do for trans people or the wider LGBTQ+ community. 

Looking at their manifesto, it is clear the party lacks any true commitment to bettering my community.

While they vow to fully ban conversion therapy and make hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people an aggravated offence, they don’t seem to actually address some of the biggest barriers trans people face in the UK.

On top of that, their proposals on reforming the Gender Recognition Act are lacklustre and don’t seem to address the parts of it that are most outdated – removing the need for a medical diagnosis in order to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).

They don’t address the unacceptably long waiting lists specifically for trans-related medical care for adults, or the current ban on puberty blockers for young people in England. They don’t address the rampant transphobia that festers in our media landscape and politics that we suffer every single day.

Even Theresa May’s Tory government in 2017 was more forward thinking than Labour is currently. She said that ‘being trans is not an illness and should not be treated as such’, as she proposed to remove the need for a medical diagnosis altogether.

I have been using these spaces all my adult life without any issue (Picture: Ugla Stefania Kristjonudottir Jonsdottir)

But sadly instead of her proposals becoming a catalyst for change in the UK, it became a vehicle for anti-trans sentiments that have become increasingly toxic, dehumanising and hostile – and Labour appears to have fully jumped on that bandwagon.

In the meantime, many countries in Europe have moved ahead with legal gender recognition that does not require a medical diagnosis – often referred to as self-ID or self declaration – with great success. 

So instead of Labour looking to the future, and taking note of countries that have made progress in this area, they seem to be set on being stuck in the past. 

To make matters worse, some of the Labour Party’s MPs have been criticised throughout the years for their comments on trans people, such as Rosie Duffield. She has consistently positioned herself as someone with ‘gender critical beliefs’, calling trans women ‘male-bodied biological men’. 

And despite calls over the years to remove the whip from her – including by LGBT+ Labour – she has remained as an MP for the party. She was just re-elected as the MP for Canterbury too.

Similarly, Wes Streeting has previously said in his role as Shadow Health Secretary that ‘gender critical’ people should not be ‘written off as bigots’, as well as suggesting he doesn’t fully believe trans …read more

Source:: Metro


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