We often receive comments and posts from writers from all over the world. Since most of our staff is in the United States, we enjoy receiving written perspective from other countries. Here is one such piece from a reader in theUnited Kingdom.
On December Friday the 13th, the UK elected Boris Johnson to lead a conservative government for the next five years with the biggest majority since the 1980s. For many (obviously) this was a triumph. For the few, this could be the darkest day in UK history.
The few I mentioned, of course, are the LGBTQI+ community. A minority which the Conservative Party have repeatedly voted against rights for. I and the tight knit group of gay and queer friends I have, are utterly horrified at the results.
We campaigned together for a Labour Government. Their manifesto directly mentioned many LGBT-centric policies, the Conservative Manifesto mentioned none. We were at food banks in our city (yes, the 5th largest economy in the world has opened food banks under a Tory Government), raising money for those who cannot afford it anymore.
We warned our family members, we have witnessed firsthand how a conservative government has treated us as gay people.
Let’s begin with the party leader, Boris Johnson. In 1998, the current Prime Minister described gay men as ‘tank-topped bum boys’ in an article for the Telegraph. A few years later, he likened same-sex marriage to three men marrying a dog. These are claims that Boris has to this day not apologized for.
Although Mr. Johnson has in the past voted for queer and equal rights, he has also voted against them. He did not back the Equality Act, which was an act to introduce discrimination protections for queer people. This is the UK’s current Prime Minister, let me reiterate.
Now, his party. In 1988, the Conservative Party, who were currently in power under Margaret Thatcher’s rule, introduced a new law titled ‘Section 28’ and was a law that banned schools from teaching students about homosexual relationships, effectively eradicating a huge swathe of identity in the UK. Gay people were hushed in the education system. We were mere fantasy. This law stayed in effect for 15 years, until the Labour Government repealed this in 2003. For 15 years, each pride event rebelled against the law, we galvanized as one against this evil law, we did all we could. For 15 years.
It wouldn’t be fair of us not to talk about the steps the party has made in recent years to condemn their past actions. In 2009, the Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister David Cameron apologized for Section 28, which was bittersweet, as the Conservative Party have repeatedly delayed trans-inclusive legislations.
The Gender Recognition Act has suffered many setbacks and delays due to shambles surrounding the current Brexit and party leader changes. The Conservatives are the Destiny’s Child of British Politics, with members switching more often than I change my t-shirt.
Theresa May spoke at the 2017 PinkNews Awards and stated that her conservative party were to streamline the act, which makes it easier for trans people to change their gender legally, and this has still not happened.
Trans people in the UK at this point must prove that they have been living as their preferred gender for at least two years and be medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria, which is then approved or refused by a blind panel.
This leads us up to today. With rumors that our NHS will be privatized, dramatically raising the price for medicine, including drugs such as PrEP and PEP, and their insistence on “getting Brexit done”, how long until we are looked after.
We are living in Austerity in the UK, people are dying, and finally, we are feeling something stirring. People are making noise. This will prove to be an interesting five years…
Here’s a video from November that mirrors the same thoughts from above.
Looks like The UK now has its own messy yellow haired racist bigot as a leader. Congrats world.