Far from being a niche cause, trans rights affect all sectors of society. It's time for us all to stand up for themby Sophie Cook / July 25, 2017 / Leave a comment
“Freak! Pervert! Show us your c**k!”
The words were spat in my face, the hatred and disgust evident in every strained sinew of the man’s neck.
I looked him in the eye, registering his animosity and continued along Victoria Street to my meeting in Westminster.
For transgender people experiences like this can be a daily occurrence: bigotry, prejudice and lack of education confront them on all sides.
When I was selected as the Labour Party candidate to contest the previously safe Tory seat of East Worthing & Shoreham in this year’s General Election, I was told, quite bluntly, “this isn’t Brighton”—the implication being that I shouldn’t expect the same degree of openness to diversity that our neighbouring town is famous for.
And yet, in the space of five short weeks, we achieved the seemingly impossible: increasing the Labour vote by 114 per cent. With one of the biggest swings in the country, at 19.8 per cent, we turned constituency into a near marginal.
The voters had proven that my gender identity wasn’t relevant them when they were choosing who they wanted to represent them and protect their rights.
The labour movement needs to recognise trans rights
The fight for the rights of minorities, all minorities, is very close to my heart and I hope that the same is true of everyone within the Labour movement.
One of the most important aspects of socialism for me is solidarity: we speak out for those that are denied a voice; we are stronger together.
Many people wonder why transgender rights matter, even within the LGB community. After all, the logic goes, LGB is about sexuality, and the T relates to gender identity.