Labour’s lead LGBTQI adviser calls for show of solidarity from gay, male community
BY DIVA STAFF
Labour’s lead LGBTQI advisor, Anthony Watson, has issued an open letter backed by high profile personalities in an attempt to unite gay men in solidarity with the trans community.
The equality tsar’s rallying cry comes as Stonewall, Britain’s leading LGBT charity became embroiled in a “trans toxic row.”
The ‘conversations’ about the nature of gender versus sexual orientation has led to controversy within the LGBTQI movement and beyond, with key allies of Stonewall publicly withdrawing funding over the issue.
Stonewall’s Chief Executive, Ruth Hunt, resigned from the charity – but said she stood by Stonewall’s work on trans rights and recognised that “reconciling” people’s needs across LGBTQI communities, “has not always been a comfortable conversation.”
Mr Watson, a member of the board of directors of GLAAD and a patron of Diversity Roles Models, who also chairs Dawn Butler MP’s Labour diversity board, wants gay men to stand shoulder to shoulder with trans people and hopes the signatories – who all identify as gay men – will reassure them that they are not alone.
The letter, which has attracted names from the worlds of media, celebrity, politics and community activism, begins:
“I am writing this letter alongside many other gay men of different privileges. Just as lesbians have shown their support through #LWithTheT we now stand in public solidarity with our trans siblings.
“As gay men we have watched in horror at the cruelty inflicted upon the trans community. We are outraged.
“The most vulnerable people in our society are marginalised, scared and endangered. Trans communities, and in particular trans children, are under attack on a daily basis.
“What do trans people want? They want the right to live their lives in peace, to be free from violence and discrimination, and to enjoy equal protection under the law. What they want, in short, are the same basic protections and rights we as gay men enjoy.”
Read the full letter here.
Speaking about the letter, Mr Watson added:
“Gay men for far too long have been silent on the issue of trans rights. We need our trans siblings to know why stand with them in solidarity as they lead the fight for their rights. We are in this fight with you.
“LGBT+ broadly, and trans people in particular, are already seen as a minority in British society. We have to fight harder than anyone else for our voices to be heard and to be taken seriously.
“Trans people are by far the most at-risk section of our community and Media coverage of trans people is toxic, relentless and inaccurate – having a devasting affect on our trans siblings.
“There has been a lot of venomous and erroneous noise recently around the nature of gender versus sexual orientation. I want to be absolutely clear:
“Trans men are men. Trans women are women. Non-binary identities are valid.
“Trans rights are human rights.”
Dustan Lance Black, George Takei, Simon Blake OBE, Owen Jones, Charlie Condou and Dr Ranj Sing are just some of the 72 high profile gay men to have alredy signed the letter.
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