Here’s how people and organisations have responded to the latest anti-trans actions of the government
BY MILLICENT MACHELL, IMAGE BY ORIEL FRANKIE ASHCROFT VIA PEXELS
By now, you are probably familiar with the messy story of Boris Johnson’s “conversion therapy” ban announcement. On 31 March, a document was leaked to ITV news which stated that the government would no longer fulfil its pledge to ban “conversion therapy”, the pseudoscientific practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
This U-turn was naturally met with vocal outrage and within hours, it was reported that the prime minister had changed his mind again. He had decided that the government would ban “conversion therapy” but not for transgender people.
The LGBTQI community is outraged by this blatant display of transphobia. In protest, Stonewall and over a hundred other LGBTQI and HIV organisations have withdrawn from the governments upcoming Safe To Be Me conference which was set to take place on the 50th anniversary of the first official London Pride marches in June. The conference has now been cancelled.
Social media has been rife with anger and sadness at the disrespect shown to the trans community.
Some people used #LGBwiththeT to express their solidarity:
None of us are safe unless we are all safe. Conversion therapy cannot be damaging a cruel for one set of people but not for another. Resist this governments cynical and coordinated attack on trans people. #LGBWithTheT https://t.co/ZWvpXo7ipT— Divina De Campo stream DECODED (@Divinadecampo) April 1, 2022
Conversion practices are abuse and there is not a single person in the LGBTQ+ community who deserves to be abused for being who they are. These practices should be consigned to the dustbin of history. If we keep standing together, they will be.#BanConversionTherapy #LGBWithTheT pic.twitter.com/JeXIzxUzrN— Nancy Kelley (@Nancy_M_K) April 4, 2022
The government U-turning on this – but not banning trans conversion therapy – is a farce. Conversion therapy hurts *all* LGBTQ people. #LGBwiththeT https://t.co/mIke7tvqXW— Zing Tsjeng (@misszing) April 1, 2022
The LGBT Foundation released a statement on the government’s reversals to banning conversion therapy: “the rights of marginalised groups facing oppression should never be pitted against each other for political gain“.
‘Conversion therapy’ is a repulsive practice, which the Government’s own research shows causes harm to LGBTQ+ people. This is backed by NHS England and other major bodies in the UK who have all warned that all forms of ‘conversion therapy’ are “unethical and potentially harmful”.— LGBT Foundation (@LGBTfdn) April 1, 2022
Some of the UK’s most senior religious leaders condemned the decision to exclude trans people from the ban…
Excl: Some of the UK’s most senior religious leaders – including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams – have written to the PM urging him to ban trans as well as gay conversion therapy.— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) April 4, 2022
“To be trans is to enter a sacred journey of becoming whole”. pic.twitter.com/LqccCzHfqZ
…As did many mental health organisations.
Here’s a thread with just some of the psychological and mental health organisations who have issued statements to say a ban on conversion therapy must equally protect trans people https://t.co/AGnwpejgiL— BPS Sexualities (@BPSSexualities) April 5, 2022
Iain Anderson, the former LGBT Business Champion and advisor to the government, resigned over the issue with this letter:
It has been the greatest privilege of my life to be @GEOgovuk #LGBT Business Champion. Sadly today I have resigned from that role. My letter to @BorisJohnson here 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ pic.twitter.com/JTrd0yAZBB— Iain Anderson (@iain_w_anderson) April 5, 2022
Another flurry of social media posts came after organisations began to boycott the Safe To Be Me conference.
BREAKING: Over 80 LGBT and HIV organisations in the UK have pulled out of the government’s international LGBT conference this summer due to trans conversion therapy being excluded from the ban.— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) April 4, 2022
Makes the conference essentially pointless. Hugely embarrassing for govt.
Stonewall led the way, and over 100 organisations withdrew from the conference.
Due to the Prime Minister’s broken promise on protecting trans people from the harms of conversion therapy, we regret that we are withdrawing Stonewall’s support for the UK Government’s #SafeToBeMe2022 conference 🧵 pic.twitter.com/ioht3DuwO0— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) April 4, 2022
Akt – an organisation which supports LGBTQI young people in the UK experiencing homelessness – withdrew, pointing out how trans people are more likely to have experienced conversion therapy than cis people:
Of the LGBTQ+ young people akt supports, 49% are trans. The government’s own data points to how trans people are more likely to have experienced conversion therapy than cisgender people, with trans people of colour disproportionately impacted by this abhorrent abuse. 4/6— akt (@aktcharity) April 5, 2022
The event has now been cancelled.
One Conservative MP tells me tonight:— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) April 5, 2022
“We have mortally wounded ourselves with the LGBT community.”
A second says “It’s abhorrent”. https://t.co/doHOmzTFrc
If you want to take action and #BanConversionTherapy, write to your MP through this useful tool from Stonewall.
Conversion practices are abuse. They must be banned. In every setting and for everyone subjected to it. We demand a ban which is inclusive of all LGBTQA+ people. Speak up to #BanConversionTherapy, continue emailing your MPs 🚨https://t.co/gM5r3RYVyo— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) April 4, 2022
And finally, remember…
❤️ Trans right are human rights— Lizzie Williams (@lizziewheelz) April 5, 2022
🧡 Trans right are human rights
💛 Trans right are human rights
💚 Trans right are human rights
💙 Trans right are human rights
💜 Trans right are human rights
🤎 Trans right are human rights#BanConversionTherapy
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