QUESTIONS TO NEC CANDIDATES

Gemma Bolton
Gemma Bolton
L1405940

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?

"Absolutely. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary people are non-binary. I stand with our Trans brothers, sisters and non-binary siblings and well as the entire LGBTQIA+ community in continuing to fight for their rights. The Right knows that creating divisions of hate between the most marginalised communities reduces their ability to organise. We will not stand for this. We must ensure that as a party we are offering education on allyship and the discrimination the Trans community faces."

 

2.      Will you defend the current Labour Party policy and principle of inclusion of Transgender women on All Women Shortlists?

"Yes, it is important we continue to include Transgender women on All Women Shortlists since they are women. We need to ensure that all voices in the party are heard and provide platforms for those who have historically been side-lined."

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.

"We must centre and platform those leading the way in their own liberation. As allies it’s important not only that we ensure these platforms are available but that we support the creation of LGBTQIA+ networks rather than impose them."

 

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.

"The Labour Party is the party of equality. We must firmly stick to our principles of ensuring this collective aim is achieved. This includes trans liberation. Anyone denying someone’s right to exist, someone’s right to self-identify or proclaiming other transphobic views should not be welcome."

 

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?

"Yes."
 

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?

"I will always call out transphobia. I recently co-ordinated an open letter of solidarity in support of Trans rights and Labour South East policy in this regard (passed at our last regional conference), which called for those representing the party in the region, whether they be councillors or MPs, to abide by our policy. This was in reference to recent transphobia displayed by an MP from the region. This letter has now been signed by well over 150 South East regional members."

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.

"We need to be providing training in allyship and in the discrimination Trans people currently face. We also need to ensure there is more support for LGBTQIA+ officers as well as for the LGBTQI+ networks."
                          

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?

"With the battles currently being fought around the Gender Recognition Act, it is clear now more than ever that we need Trans representation in Parliament. We need to ensure that there is support for Trans people through the selection process as well as protection for whistle-blowers of transphobia within the party, this will help to address this problem."

 

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?

"Yes, it is clear the Gender Recognition Act needs to be reformed. With the Tories constantly threatening to remove it we need to fight harder to ensure it is reformed in the right way."

 

10.  Name at least one LGBTIQA+ socialist who inspires you, and explain what inspires you about them.

"Mark Ashton, who founded Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, inspires me. He embodies my belief that there is no liberation for one of us without liberation for all and our solidarity must be intersectional. Socialism is about standing up for the oppressed, whoever they are, wherever they’re from."

Kind regards,

Gemma Bolton