There are elections coming up shortly in the UK so I have been wondering how I should vote. For various reasons I have not been able to cast a vote for over a decade so whatever I thought of the political parties was academic. In that decade I have transitioned and at the same time transphobia has been growing. In truth I feel disillusioned with politics to the point that I wonder whether there is any point in voting at all as nobody seems to listen and self-interest, lies and deceit seem to be the order of the day.
Of course, doing nothing is what allows such gross behaviour in our leaders to flourish, so I should try and make my vote count. So what do you do? These are local elections so the flavour of the governing party in Westminster will not change. In local matters being trans is not generally a matter of any interest it is much more about whether our local community should oppose the large scale building development or transport problems etc.
In my town I have only received the usual propaganda from one party, the Lib Dems. I imagine the Conservatives, with the sitting M.P, are too complacent to bother (though last time they came second in the local elections), Labour probably view it as a lost cause having only 4% of the vote at the last election. There is no sign of the Green party, they seem to be concentrating on Bristol in my part of the country. If there are any independents I have yet to notice.
So what is the policy in relation to trans people from our political parties. Liz Truss for the Conservatives is back tracking on reform to the Gender Recognition Act and has allowed the committee advising her Ministry on Transgender issues to come to an end. There is clearly no appetite to deliver on their promises.
Labour have a policy which states “A government will help save lives not ruin them. We will champion rights for LGBT+ communities across the UK and reform the Gender Recognition Act.”.
The Lib Dems have adopted a stance against transphobia saying defining people as being a “biological” man or woman as being transphobic. It also states that “There is still too little awareness of the transgendercommunity and the issues surrounding transgender communities are very often misunderstood. With this in mind a priority is to raise awareness of transgender people. To set an example in doing so Government should lead the way”.
The Green Party states that “the Green Party recognises that trans men are men, trans women are women, and that non-binary identities exist and are valid. We shall respect transgender and non-binary people’s identities as real. The Green Party shall include, and push for further acceptance of, transgender and non-binary people within all areas of society”.
All of the parties despite their statements have difficulty with elements wanting to protect women’s rights and members supporting gender critical views. It remains a minefield for the political parties. I hope that by calm discussion and raising awareness of trans communities and transgender issues progress will be made by all of the parties in time. However despite much reading I really am little closer to knowing how I will use my vote apart from not supporting the current majority party in Westminster. Maybe I will discover an honest candidate with integrity before the day arrives…. I can only hope.