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 stand in solidarity with the entire LGBTQ community in proudly demanding their rights, including the rights of the trans community. Trans women are women, trans men are men, and non-binary people are non binary. Labour must continue its support for reforming the Gender Recognition Act and stand up to the Tories' attempts to fuel prejudice against the trans community.
We also need to provide political education all, ensuring all members of our party know about tropes and discriminatory and offensive language. The party should be providing education on TRANS RIGHTS. It should also produce educational materials on all forms of GENDER prejudice - sexism, transphobia, homophobia and biphobia."
2. Will you defend the current Labour Party policy and principle of inclusion of Transgender women on All Women Shortlists?
"YES 100%– NO ROLLING BACK ON ANY OF THE POSITIVES IN THE 2017 AND 2019 MANIFESTO."
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 need to listen to and platform LGBTQ+ comrades, to foster greater understanding of the barriers so many still face to liberation. That includes centring the voices of LGBTIQA+ comrades - recognising that homophobia and transphobia result in people facing greater precarity of employment, housing, as well as barriers to healthcare. The LGBTIQA+ community are our comrades in arms and also part of the class struggle. Without their liberation and inclusion, our movement suffers."
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 stand in solidarity with all liberation groups as none of us are free unless all of us are free. Transphobia is a sign of the times - it’s history repeating itself, with echoes of the panic mongering that resulted in Section 28. Those opposed to gay people back then are the same people opposed to trans liberation now.
I believe political education is vital to make society better. Individuals who have expressed offensive or bigoted views should be given the opportunity to recompense and better themselves through training and education on the subject and through engagement with liberation groups – not as punishment but to better themselves. This is crucial to build a collective movement. But if they are serial offenders acting in bad faith, with no intention of bettering themselves, then of course there should be permanent repercussions for them. Here suspension and expulsion may be required."
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 AND 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?
"The Labour Party does not exist in a vacuum and prejudices in our society exist within our party. We need to be proactive about tackling and confronting all forms of prejudice, providing political education within our movement. Labour needs to be doing this anyway, regardless of the events within the ‘culture war’. We must recognise and celebrate the working class in all its diversity, and ensure the concerns of liberation groups aren’t pitted against each other.
When these events occur resulting in spikes in discrimination, Labour must say loudly and clearly that scapegoating any group is unacceptable and has no place in our party and ensure our whole movement stands in solidarity with liberation groups experiencing bigotry. Labour should be at the forefront of standing up to bigotry and hate."
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.
"There should be greater support for LGBTQ CLP officers to ensure the voices of LGBTQ members in every constituency are heard, and are integral to all campaigning. As I’ve mentioned above, political education is crucial - the dog whistle tactics and wider context of homophobes and transphobes aren’t widely understood and this is the first step in breaking down a culture of bigotry. LGBTQ speakers - particularly trans speakers - should be given a platform, not only to speak on trans issues, but all issues."
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?
"Trans people face significant barriers to their liberation, as I’ve outlined above. Trans people are more likely to be unemployed or in precarious work, and more likely to be homeless, than the wider population. The barriers to trans liberation include barriers to political participation, and this is where we in the Labour movement must work in solidarity with our trans comrades to break down those barriers. We must amplify the voices of trans comrades, and provide training and mentorship to ensure trans people have the confidence and support to become leaders in our movement."
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 AND YES."
10. Name at least one LGBTIQA+ socialist who inspires you, and explain what inspires you about them.
"Marsha P Johnson - the grassroots activist who stood up to police harassment and intimidation of her community and demanded rights for LGBTQ people. They led the way in inspiring confident, collective action and establishing safe spaces for young Black and Latino LGBTQ people in New York."
Solidarity and in Unity