After the government’s turnaround in conversion therapy, transgender people more than ever need LGB allies

Last night, the LGBTQIA + community experienced a roller coaster of emotions when the news came that the government had decided to drop its ban on conversion therapy, breach of four years of promises that the horrific practice would be banned. When outrage from the LGBTQIA + community followed and plans were made to protest, we received another U-turn: ban on conversion therapy was back on, but only based on sexuality – with transgender people being deliberately left out.

After many years of quarreling and debate, The government has finally recognized that it is a cruel and inhuman thing to force people to change their identity in order to be more in line with the personal values ​​of others – but only for lesbians, gays and bisexuals. No comments have been made by the government recognizing queer sexualities such as pansexual for these protections, despite the awareness of pansexual MPs like Layla Moran.

The movement follows a pattern of behavior that transgender activists and hate researchers have noted in government and media reports that appear to be designed to split TQIA + from the LGB with an extra focus on T. This includes statements by Boris Johnson that “the basic facts of biology remains overwhelmingly important ” in the Prime Minister’s question last week – an example of dog whistle rhetoric that is now mostly used to oppose different aspects of transliv, but as recently as a few years ago, expelled strongly in opposition to gay life as well.

The government’s choice to meet with groups such as the LGB Alliance – a group that has been controversially awarded charity status by the charity commission and repeatedly broadcast on trans issues in the media despite claiming to be a charity focused on lesbian, gay and bisexual people – is another example of these divisive tactics. Also depending on the recycled homophobic rhetoric who has his roots in conversion therapy practicethe LGB Alliance even excludes lesbian, gay, and bisexual transgender people.

The alliance maintains that it is not transphobic and “defends the rights of lesbians, gays and bisexuals whose rights in law are based on sexual orientation and not gender identity”. Yet last year’s conference participants at the LGB alliance were even seen accusing a trans woman of being a “pervert” and regularly refers to lesbian and bisexual transgender women as “straight men”.

We have seen similar strategies in recent attacks on Europe’s largest LGBT charity, Stonewall UK. Since 2016, the year the organization became inclusive for trans people following repeated calls from the trans community for support, Stonewall UK has increasingly come under transphobic shelling.

It has been targeted with letter writing campaigns trying to undermine confidence in StonewallBBC podcasts “investigating” the charity and its influence as a lobby group, and numerous self-employed and Government agencies withdraws from Stonewall schemes that conveniently cite costs as the problem, as at the time it was bombarded with pointed letters from anti-trans groups. There have even been attempts at that smear CEO Nancy Kelley regarding comments she made that transphobia does not differ from any other form of bigotry.

It all gives a gloomy reading, especially if you are a transgender person who has even skimmed the surface of transgender history. Because we’ve been here before as a community. In 1973, Sylvia Rivera, co-founder of Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), took to the stage in New York City during the Christopher Street Day Liberation Rally to give the speech, now known as the “y’all better quiet down” speech. In parallel with today, she handed it over to a bunch of scorn and buh and discussed one lack of solidarity with transgender and working-class homosexuals from a predominantly middle-class, white-headed homosexual liberation movement.

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Almost 50 years later, we are repeating the same mistakes again. We have middle-class gay-lesbian, gay, and bisexual people leading buh and scorn against transgender people begging for survival and support, and oppose any attempt to help them through this well-orchestrated moral panic. We have even seen groups like the aforementioned LGB Alliance try to put a positive spin on the original news that the ban on conversion therapy had been completely abandoned. In a statement, it claimed that such a decision by the government meant that conversion therapy was “already illegal” despite the fact that there is no legislation against it at the moment. It is immediately about suggesting that transition is a form of gay conversion therapy.

With the government dangling carrots in front of cis-gay lesbians, gays and bisexuals by banning the form of conversion therapy that is likely to affect them, there is a real concern that years of solidarity between cis-sex and transgender members of LGBTQIA society can disappear. The story speaks for itself. The trans community needed queer cis communities in 1973, we needed them all the way up through 2016, when Stonewall finally stepped up to help us, and we still need them now. Transgender people can tolerate the lack of support. But what it has cost our society over decades is immeasurable.

It’s not all doom and gloom: a recent study from Gay Times shows that nine out of ten respondents think that the current media coverage of trans issues is harmful. We have also seen an almost unilateral decision to pull out and protest against the government’s LGBT-targeted Safe To Be Me conference this year, a global “equality” conference that has been described as a pinkwashing event in large parts of society, including groups. like Gendered Intelligence. BP, Virgin Media, Vodafone, OVO Energy, NBC Universal and others have withdrawn from the event. Without sponsors and partners, the government may have to pay the massive bill themselves.

I can only hope that cis-genders who have spoken out against excluding transgender people retain this energy up. Not just for this conference, but for the long struggle for liberation that lies ahead of us all. Now more than ever we have to make sure we lock our arms and refuse to leave each other. If you are unsure of what you can do to help, please seek out charities and organizations such as Gendered Intelligence, Trans Actual, Stonewall and the Trans Safety Network. When it comes to asking how do we achieve unity and protection? I remember the words of Lord Michael Cashman; together, only together.

Gemma Stone is a freelance journalist and co-founder of Trans writes

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