QUESTIONS TO NEC CANDIDATES

Julian Vaughan
L0139019

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 do accept that trans women are women, trans men are men, and non-binary people are non-binary, while in favour of a six month ‘living in acquired gender’ requirement, rather than twoyears as is the case now. The current process to acquire a Gender Recognition Certificate is toocomplex and intrusive and should be streamlined. I believe that the current requirement forspousal consent should be abolished. The world is changing fast and knowledge and opennessabout transgender people and their experiences continues to grow. I will continue to listen topeople’s views and research the issues faced by trans people. In my experience, debate andeducation at grassroots level is an effective way forward, with CLP motions being passed upthrough the party, but the Parliamentary Labour Party, including the leadership must also take thelead. As a NEC candidate, I have pledged to promote policies to tackle the injustices faced by themost vulnerable and marginalised in our communities and this includes injustice anddiscrimination faced by trans people."

 

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

"I will defend this policy - the policy of all women shortlists has proved an effective tool, along with others, and trans women should be included."

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.

"The LGBTIQA+ issues are many and complex, but need addressing throughout society and this has started most effectively in schools. Research shows clearly that the ground-breaking work being done in many of our schools has broken down prejudice and fear in much wider circles."

 

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 that there is no place for prejudiced or bigoted views within the Labour Party. The debate on this issue is extremely toxic and puts many people off engaging in discussions on the issue. I believe it would be beneficial if comrades on both sides of the debate could engage more constructively and attempt to find a way forward on an issue which creates such divisions."

 

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?

"I believe that a regular review of all complaints procedures are essential if we are to promote equality. The complaints process should be easy to access, easy to understand and have clear timelines as to the steps involved and how long the process should take. It should also have independent scrutiny. Yes to a code of conduct and workable definition of transphobia."

 

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?

"Ignorance feeds bigotry and I would combat this ignorance by taking steps to address misconceptions to promote tolerance and respect. This would include training for role holders across CLPs as well as asking the Labour leadership to be an ally to trans people."

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 believe that our party must strive to represent fully the positive society it represents - greatprogress has been made in recent years with regard to trans issues and prejudices - we need todiscuss this progress within our CLPs and at all levels. I would push for more training andeducation on these issues throughout the party."
                          

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?

"Firstly, a lack of a current or historical role model in UK politics. Further, ongoing discrimination against trans people and a reluctance to put oneself forward for elected positions as a result of this. I believe that as trans issues are discussed more openly and fully without prejudices, these goals will be realised, but we should encourage trans people to stand both in internal and public elections and take positive steps to ensure that there are trans candidates placed in winnable seats."

 

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. Equality is at the very heart of everything I stand for personally and politically. I have alwaysand will continue to oppose prejudicial policies of any kind. Trans people suffer fromdiscrimination and poor access to health care, housing and employment and this inequality facedby trans people must be tackled as part of a drive for a fairer and more tolerant society."

 

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

"Peter Tatchell for his many years of campaigning and I have found Katherine Foy’s approach to the NEC election inspiring as she has a lot of good ideas, but does not claim to have all the answers –very refreshing from a political candidate!"

I will continue to talk to people and research the issues raised in the questionnaire.

Many thanks,

Julian Vaughan

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