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?
"I absolutely believe that trans women are women and trans men are men and I stand in solidarity with all those who are being discriminated against. We must ensure that we adopt policies that uphold this and a programme of broad and inclusive education that helps all members understand the experiences of trans people."
2. Will you defend the current Labour Party policy and principle of inclusion of Transgender women on All Women Shortlists?
"Absolutely, for me there is no question about the inclusion of trans women on All Women Shortlists."
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.
"As with all liberation issues, policy must be initiated by those who identify in the groups affected. The NEC’s job is to hear these voices and work out how policies can be funded and implemented."
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.
"I believe trans liberation must be an aim of the party and we have to tackle transphobia. Whilst education would always be my first option in tackling transphobia, ultimately we have to be prepared to take any action necessary against bigots."
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?
"Our whole complaints system needs overhauling and we should include transphobia complaints in this. I would also support a new code of conduct as outlined."
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?
"We can never fully insulate the party from our discriminatory society but we must create a culture of tolerance and comradeship in the party, some of which comes through education which means that those bigoted views will face a wall of opposition at every level in 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 do believe that some discriminatory behaviour is due to lack of education and knowledge of the lives and struggles of LGBT+ people. The party must empower LGBT+ comrades to lead an educational initiative to tackle this. Where this approach is not possible, the new code of conduct as outlined should be used to empower strong action against those who do not support equality in our party. A formal LGBT+ structure within the party would, I hope give solidarity to those facing discrimination and help change our culture."
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?
"The lack of trans representation sadly is alongside underrepresentation of many minority groups in Labour and more widely. The truth is the only people who can identify the barriers and problems that exist are trans people. I will be an enthusiastic ally to trans members in doing what is needed, in education or affirmative actions if elected to the NEC."
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 do support GRA reform and it is awful that this has now been dropped. However, for me the primary fight must be to have sufficient quality healthcare, advice and social support. The delays for Gender Identity Services are a clear human rights breach and the failings of the services are also I believe a driver of transphobia, giving ammunition for those who oppose equality. It is really clear that in any campaigning on these areas, we’ve got a lot of work to bring the whole party with us so an educational approach internally has to be the start."
10. Name at least one LGBTIQA+ socialist who inspires you, and explain what inspires you about them.
"Being a proud citizen of Sheffield I would of course have to say Edward Carpenter! His story is an inspiring one, with too many facets to really do him justice. Not only was he present at the earliest stages of organised socialism in this country his life helps bring to light the realities of LGBT life in a time when society tried so hard to pretend it did not exist."