Tuesday 22 March 2016

Dear NUS, from a former Rep who happens to be a gay man

Dear NUS,

I happen to be a former rep for my former University/Polytechnic. I also happen to be a gay man who is from Northern Ireland and currently residing in Northern Ireland. I also happen to be cis and the mover of the Transgender part of the Scottish Liberal Democrat motion on equal marriage which has since become law in Scotland and needs work in England and Wales, but not though any misogyny or transphobia or biphobia on my part.

The point of NUS LGBT+ campaign must surely exist for represent all parts of the spectrum to stand up against oppression not within the LGBT+ community but within the student community. While the vote at the NUS LGBT+ annual conference  this week seems to free up the LB&T sections from being under represented the omission of a specific spot for gay men may have repercussions that the current myopic stance may lead to an LGBT+ society in some Universities having an executive without any input from a gay man.

Of course biphobia is not merely an issue that occurs within the gay men of the LGBT+ community. I also have encountered a number of Lesbians who are radically oppressive to all gay men, but the NUS LGBT+ campaign is not excluding a position for Lesbian specific position because of certain of that group's misandry. Many gay men do feel sick when TERF's attack and deny those who identify as Transgender their identity. And as we have seen from some Transgender people, such as Caitlyn Jenner and Kellie Maloney, that not all those who are Trans are sympathetic to the LGB sectors.

I for one will acknowledge that in some instances the LGBT+ spectrum is far from ideal as there are differing agendas for the different parts at play at different stages. But as a former NUS rep, who happens to be a gay man I find the fact that this motion grouped all of one section of the LGBT+ spectrum with universal negativity as a reason to potentially exclude them in certain instances from having a voice on LGBT+ matters as counter productive.

I will continue to fight for equality for all and fight oppression wherever I see it occurring and will not be prejudging any group based on the behaviour of a few, now negated their point of view based on those prejudices. If I ever do, you can send me a DUP or heaven forbid a UKIP membership form.

Sunday 13 March 2016

The silenced minority #ldconf #lgbt

I have just listened to most of the Liberal Democrat motion on increasing diversity of our MPs. While there were women (the main beneficiaries of the motion), disabled, BME and Trans speakers on this motion. One of the minority groups that is not represented in our MP gay men was not represented, indeed through most of the speeches LGBT+ rights was barely mentioned.

In fact the most mention of LGBT+ candidates came in the request for a reference back. This is a way to ask for the motion to be looked at in more depth and brought back to a later conference. The call for the reference back mentioned LGB and non-binary inclusion to be considered. This was not even voted to be debated. So it appears that Liberal Democrat Conference didn't even want to listen to the concerns of LGBT+ representatives on this issue.

Between the lack of those called, the lack of consideration from most speakers and the failure to even listen to the reference back, it appears that Liberal Democrat Conference does not care about the impact of have no LGBT+ representation and the fact that the chance of having any gay male MPs after the 2020 election appears almost non-existent.

As as gay man who has stood in three election cycles I will be almost 51 at the 2020 election, but almost 56 at the 2025 election. I have spoken on issues affecting women, disability and BME people at conference in the past. I'm not someone who only speaks at conference for people like me, but today I'm sorry that conference seemed to have a debate covering a wide range of boxes, but each of those from a box or boxes addressed "mostly" only those within their box and little outside that box.

It has therefore as a result of the debate this morning that this candidate sees no way to advance as a candidate. There is a lot I can offer to the party going forward, but the party this morning has just shut the door on the potential for me as a Westminster Candidate.