Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Why I support the Trans Manifesto

I have just read in Pink News that the LGBT Consortium are writing to all general election candidates to support the Trans Manifesto.

There are three main strands to that manifesto:
  • Regard trans individuals as equal citizens with equal rights, 
  • Empower trans individuals to be authorities on all aspects of their own lives, 
  • Encourage diverse, representative, realistic and positive portrayals of trans individuals.
Regular readers will know my record on Transgender issues, but I understand in the run up to the election some of you are landing on my website for the first time. So here are some of the things I, a Cisgender* gay man, have worked on to achieve the three aims above.

Firstly just over five years ago it was I who took the Trans elements out of the Equal Marriage motion to Scottish Liberal Democrat conference and turn it into an amendment. The reason was  there were issues such as the spousal veto, the need to dissolve or divorce an existing partner before starting gender reassignment etc that needed the extra time this would allow to explain to a hall full of people, many of whom did not know a Trans person closely enough to know about these issues.

Also having set up LGBT+ Liberal Democrats Northern Ireland along with TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland) launched an North/South onslaught through social media, blogs and comments sections against Irish bookmakers Paddy Power, for their Transphobic advert for the 2012 Cheltenham Fesitval.

As a sportsman I stand up against Transphobia as much as I do against homophobia. Knowing all too well from personal experience how uncomfortable you can be made to feel even in a gym locker room by being different. It is something that needs to be kicked out of our sporting arenas.

Until the recent inclusion of Transgender campaigning with the remit of Stonewall, I refused to include the silent "t" within their name whenever I posted on social media, or in a block. Constantly querying representatives of Stonewall England and Wales whenever I saw them about this (Scotland were more forward thinking).

I continue to stand beside my Trans friends with great regard, empowering and encouraging them and others who are less vocal and in line of sight of political leaders. Part of how I currently do that is by serving on the LGBT+ Liberal Democrats executive committee. Sadly many Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual individuals take the same view that Stonewall did until last year and neglect the T in LGBT, but I'm also reminded of the line in the movie Pride "Your struggle is my struggle" this holds true for me in relation to Trans issues.

I fully support, indeed have been fully supporting, the strands of the Trans Manifesto for years and will continue to do so, but can do even more if elected.

* individuals who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity

No comments:

Post a Comment