This has to be the final nail in the coffin for all LGBT+ Conservatives
The lack of substantial modern evidence that the Conservatives are an anti-LGBTQ+ party in 2021 has been one of the many sticking points of members of our community who support the Tories. Obviously, the prime minister called Gay people “tank-top wearing bum boys”, but you will hear many trying to justify that behind the ever-growing wall of ignorance that is bad satire.
The fact of the matter is, any self-respecting Queer person has known that the Conservative Party is not for them, does not support them and will not support their needs for years now. Section 28 was the only beginning of Tory bigotry’s long line; however, I would argue that Parties who have more practice covering bigotry will always do a better job. This is why, about Gay and Trans rights, the Tories had always seemed too clean since they took credit for the excellent work of the Lib Dems in the coalition when “Same-Sex” marriage was legalised, especially in comparison to the leading opposition.
I have made it abundantly clear about the problems of the Labour Party under Keir Starmer on both this platform and on my Twitter. Still, frankly, the only reason I think he’s slipping up is that he forgets that “progressives” over time become “conservatives” if they don’t adapt and change. In other words, he’s a living, breathing example of why Conservatives tend to be either old or rich, and he’s verging on both. He slips because he’s not used to being the bigoted one, whereas the Conservatives’ whole thing is opposing positive change for the minority (unless it’s the minority of wealth holders). They are much better at hiding it.
This is why it has been so impossible to adequately substantiate the leading Party’s Queer-phobia in recent years because rather than changing, they’ve got better at hiding it from the average person. Finally, however, the mask has cracked. It came into the public eye that, on March 31st, the government’s LGBT Advisory Panel was disbanded due to a series of resignations from key members due to the “hostile environment for LGBT+ people among this [the current] administration.” Those words, spoken by Jayne Ozanne when she left the panel on March 10th, marked the first of many comments from that board as they left because the government seemed to be “digging its feet” in over the issue of conversion therapy – a torturous practise of attempting to turn Queer people “straight” through religion, despite it having no religious president whatsoever [if Jesus had said “thou shalt commit the torturous act of gay conversion therapy to free my children from sin” then I would’ve understood].
Jayne Ozanne works to ensure the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ Christians at every level of the Church of England. As an essential religious figure on that panel, it was a huge blow to the Tory shell to see her go first, but I think it sets an essential precedent. A precedent which almost immediately began to show, with two more appointees resigning in the following weeks, one of whom was James Morton.
Before we break down what he said, I would like to quickly add some food for thought addressed to anyone who’s got this far and has begun to feel offended by this Tory Slander. Whistleblowers are an essential part of any working society. Without them, we wouldn’t know about the atrocities in the USSR, Maoist China and Iraq. We wouldn’t be able to point out the wrongdoings of the USA in Vietnam as they committed war crime after war crime, killing innocent civilians with chemical weapons. We wouldn’t know about the trend of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party under Corbin or the weak leadership of May. The fact is, whatever side of the political spectrum you may be on, whistleblowers are essential in establishing who we do and do not support and when there is a trend of whistleblowers, they’re more likely than not going to be telling the truth. This isn’t Tory slander; this is what every regressive or repressive policy the Tories have stood with has led to, from not standing with their policy to reform the Gender Recognition Act to include Non-Binary people to electing a Prime Minister who has been openly homophobic with hard-right fascist influences. There were three open resignations from this board before it was quickly disbanded, and I am sure that there would have been more if they had been left to it.
In a letter of resignation to Priti Patel, James Morton said, “The lack of engagement that you, minister Badenoch and the Government Equalities Office civil servants have had with us as a panel, coupled with the rhetoric used in ministerial statements, leaves me with no confidence that the UK government wishes to protect the existing quality of life and human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people,” concluding that, “The UK government does not seem, through words or actions, to have any desire to build a country in which trans people are among those free to live their lives.” The transphobia in this government is so rampant, and frankly, I think it’s the only part of the government that accurately represents the people. They would much rather hold on to the transphobic voters than create real change in this nation, but we already know that, considering they are, as I said, the party opposing positive change for minorities.
It’s got so bad that even MPs who have dedicated their lives in support of the community are openly transphobic. A member of the committee against Conversion Therapy, Dean Russel, said to me when I asked him why the Conservative Party was so against reforming the Gender Recognition Act that, “there is a much wider debate to be had” about who has the right to go into the correct bathroom, whilst stumbling and mumbling over his words finishing off by deadnaming Elliot Page in a sudden bout of “support”. Regardless of his motives, when asked about the GRA, his first thought was “spout transphobic lie to a bunch of children and then incorrectly name drop and deadname a public figure”. He’s declined to comment any further on this time and time and time again when I have asked him to on social media, but he’s not my MP, so I am not of his concern.
The Tories are festering a “lack of engagement” and the “rhetoric used in ministerial statements” paired with the whistleblowers who think that “The UK government does not seem, through words or actions, to have any desire to build a country in which trans people are among those free to live their lives” and are more interested with the maintenance of “the existing quality of life” for Queer people, despite rising hate crime numbers. It appears to me, dear reader, that the Conservative Party are “digging their feet in” on a lot more than just Conversion Therapy. In fact, it appears they wish to repress any acceleration of Queer rights and protections across the board, to the point of maintaining a policy that stops people like me from being legally recognised as who I am. All cis people can have their gender on their passport, live their life as their gender identity, go into the correct toilet and enjoy a significantly lower risk of violent crime than any queer person, especially trans women and non-binary people.
New Conservative legislation aims to remove many public gender-neutral toilets. That means every time I need to have a piss when I’m out with my friends, I am forced to out myself to everyone around me as AMAB. Lies in the Conservative manifesto would have meant that I could have put my gender identity on my passport, but now I am stuck with having an “M” on it. I had to live 18 years of my life lying to myself about who I was, only to find out that who I was wasn’t accepted on any legal level in my country. I could walk down the street and be attacked or worse for just living as who I am. Rather than protect me and the thousands of others like me, the Conservatives think they have done enough, think they’ve gone far enough, think that there’s no need to give Queer people any more protections, let alone the right to be themselves. These things that may seem insignificant to you are everything to me, and I envy every single cis person who gets to live their life without question or debate.
If the Tories were doing enough, I wouldn’t have to write this article or any of the others about similar issues on my blog; I probably wouldn’t even be as politically minded as I am because I would have the freedom of not having to worry every day that my identity could come into question. This is not a country of LGBTQ+ equality, nor is it a country of LGB equality. This is a country of White, Conservative G man equality, the only member of the LGBTQ+ community who can revel in his freedom whilst the rest of us suffer, despite the reality that the very rights that they enjoy were handed to them by transgender and gender-non-conforming women of colour, throwing bricks on the streets of New York. The privilege of the White Conservative Gay Man is not an accurate representation of the rest of the LGBTQ+ community, but it is clear that our government thinks that it is.
There’s your substantial evidence.