QUESTIONS TO NEC CANDIDATES
1. Do you accept that trans women are women, trans men are men, and non-binary people are non-binary - and will you commit to respecting trans people as their self-declared gender – if so, how will you integrate this approach to tackle the culture of entrenched transphobia, from the grassroots membership up to the leadership?
"Yes, I would seek more information on the extent of transphobia at every level of the party, and also the degree of intersectionality with homophobia, misogyny, ageism, ableism, racism, anti-semitism, Islamophobia, classism and all other forms of prejudice and discrimination. I believe all these must be addressed, and would want to look at how far this is best done separately and how far they share common problems and might benefit from common approaches."
2. Will you defend the current Labour Party policy and principle of inclusion of Transgender women on All Women Shortlists?
"Yes, and I have done so publicly."
3. How would you make sure all identities and all voices under the LGBTIQA+ umbrella are listened to on issues of homophobia, transphobia and transmisogyny, allowing for example, trans people to lead the way on their own liberation.
"I would ask your network and other relevant organisations to help me be aware of all identities and all voices under the LGBTIQA+ umbrella."
4. Do you believe that trans liberation must be an objective of the Labour Party, and that transphobia is antithetical to our collective aims, and if so - would you support the expulsion from the Labour Party of those who express bigoted, transphobic views.
"Harassment, intimidation and discrimination on the grounds of gender identity are against Labour values and against party rules, and the rules should be enforced, as with gender, age, race, sexual orientation, disability, religious beliefs, and all other characteristics. Breaches of the rules should be subject to the party’s disciplinary procedures, with penalties up to and including expulsion."
5. Will you commit to a review of how complaints relating to transphobia are handled? and will you commit to in conjunction with LGBT+ Labour and trans-led organisations to develop a clear code of conduct that includes a workable definition of transphobia?
"The entire complaints system needs review, as it does not deal effectively with complaints of all kinds within reasonable timeframes. I support independent procedures for complaints of sexual harassment and am open to considering this for other areas including complaints of transphobia. I am happy to work with LGBT+ Labour and trans-led organisations on developing codes of conduct and definitions."
6. When the ‘culture war’ tactic is used in the press etc and causes an increase in bigotry against certain gender identities and sexualities (often even further marginalising those with multiple minority identities) how would you ensure that these spikes in bigotry found in wider society aren’t found within Labour?
"If entrenched transphobia is tackled effectively (see question 1) that should reduce spikes within Labour when there are increases in bigotry outside the party."
7. What structures, processes, and changes do you think are required to change the culture within the party to one where homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny etc. is not permitted? – also how will you help to improve understanding of trans and non-binary people in the party.
"I think this also relates to question 1, about tackling the culture of entrenched transphobia. I am keen to discuss suggestions on what structures, processes and changes might help to change this. I hope I would be able to set an example in my own behaviour, but am always open to further education."
8. Why do you think there has never been a Trans person elected in the UK Parliament, or a Trans person selected for a winnable seat for Labour - and what measures do you think need to take place to ensure Trans people are represented within the party?
"I don’t have an answer for this, but I hope there will be progress. Monitoring is an essential part of ensuring equal opportunities. Currently the party records members who self-define as BAME or disabled, but LGBT Labour reported in 2018 that their members did not wish their LGBT+ status to be recorded on party systems. If this changed, it would be easier to see the picture of engagement and office-holding at branch and constituency level, as well as among elected representatives."
9. Do you support the reform of the Gender Recognition Act to improve transgender rights, as well as supporting policies which would improve trans people’s access to necessary healthcare, housing, and employment? And will you organise against and oppose any transphobic policies from our own party or any other?
"I support NEC policy which commits Labour to reforming the GRA and the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that they protect trans people, and to formulating more detailed policy to achieve that goal, while maintaining important safeguards and protections for all women, including vulnerable women. This will include consultation with women’s organisations, LGBT+ groups and other stakeholders during the course of that process. I will oppose any transphobic policies from the Labour party or any other party."
10. Name at least one LGBTIQA+ socialist who inspires you, and explain what inspires you about them.
"Chris Smith, the first openly gay cabinet minister, who came out as HIV positive in 2005 inspired by Nelson Mandela whose son died of AIDS."