Here in Manchester this week, the Conservatives Party Conference has been taking place - seeing an influx of concrete blocks, security fences and controversy across the city centre.

6 Oct 2023


Some of the stories this week have related to the LGBTQ+ community both within and outside the

party, and it’s opened - again, this is all in my opinion - some difficult conversations that really need

to be had. But, of course, they have not been without anger, frustration and plenty of

misunderstanding. Quite frankly, it’s all been quite exhausting for me to follow. 


Following a bit of a chaotic day on Tuesday (October 3) where a man, later identified as LGBT+

Tory member Andrew Boff, was escorted out of the conference for heckling Home Secretary

Suella Braverman and accusing her of homophobia and transphobia after she spoke about

“gender ideology and white privilege”.


During the speech, Mrs Braverman also took aim at migrants, the “luxury beliefs” of liberal-leaning

people, and even claimed the Human Rights Act should be renamed the “Criminal Rights Act”.

Natasha Tsangarides, associate director at the charity Freedom from Torture, said following

the speech that she felt the Home Secretary had ‘revealed herself to be grossly out of touch’

and was using ‘marginalised groups as cannon fodder to win cheap political points’.


The Health Secretary also outlined an intention by the government to ban trans women from

accessing female hospital wards. LGBT Foundation later said it would have "detrimental effects on

the health and well-being of trans and non-binary individuals who already face barriers in

accessing essential healthcare services".


The charity added: "This decision will further discourage, or in some cases stop, trans and

non-binary people from seeking care or openly discussing their gender identity and healthcare

needs, ultimately leading to long-term health issues and an increased financial burden on the NHS.

“Inclusive language has played a crucial role in dismantling barriers within the UK healthcare

system in recent years, fostering an environment where trans and non-binary individuals feel more

comfortable coming forward and discussing their healthcare needs.


“We urge the government to reconsider this decision and redirect their focus towards providing

support and resources to the NHS to maintain its world-class, patient-centric, and freely

accessible healthcare services for all.


Further on, the Prime Minister said to a round of applause during his speech on Thursday

(October 4): ”We shouldn't get bullied into believing that "people can be any sex they want to be.

They can't. A man is a man, and a woman is a woman, that's just common sense.”


Journalist India Willoughby posted on X in response to the speech: “Outrageous hate which is

going to encourage bullying and physical attacks by thugs, utterly vile.” Actor David McCulloch

added: "Literally NO ONE is "bullying" you into believing what sex they want to be. Stop this

dangerous, damaging and transphobic rhetoric." 


Again, like I said, it personally all feels very exhausting and frustrating, and it can be quite easy to

not understand where we can go from here. But the influx of positive messages under

#TransRightsAreHumanRights are a good starting point.


Matt J posted: “With every speech / interview / report I see from Manchester this week, it’s

just reminding me that we need to continue to show respect, compassion, and love to all those

who need it. Keep kindness.”


Another said: “I can’t imagine the pain, fear, and anger felt by the trans community watching the

prime minister’s horrible little speech today. We as allies to the trans community need to raise our

voices and create/maintain the safe spaces for our siblings. “


Another wrote: “Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary people are people.

Gender, sex and biology isn’t binary. Trans people aren’t a danger to cis people.”


Complacency is something I hear a lot about as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. We are

often warned that if we get too comfortable, the rights that those before us fought so diligently for

could be taken away from us within a second’s glance. And isn’t that essentially what is happening

right in front of us?


I guess I’ll leave you this week with this extract from Lucy Morgan's GLAMOUR article

(which is well worth a read in full) about how the Tories tend to blame violence against women on

transgender people when it is 'overwhelmingly committed by cisgender men'.


In the piece, she concludes: “Most cisgender women – like myself – are not remotely bothered by

the thought of sharing healthcare spaces with transgender people. As Jess Hacker previously wrote

for GLAMOUR, “Trans people are doubted and maligned, just as cis women have always been.

” We have far more to gain by recognising our shared struggles than allowing the likes of

Suella Braverman to stoke division between us.”


It's been a tough week. But we're made of stern stuff. 


LGBTQ+ Bulletin, 5 October, 2023







This website uses cookies

Like most websites, this site uses cookies. Some are required to make it work, while others are used for statistical or marketing purposes. If you choose not to allow cookies some features may not be available, such as content from other websites. Please read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Essential cookies enable basic functions and are necessary for the website to function properly.
Statistics cookies collect information anonymously. This information helps us to understand how our visitors use our website.
Marketing cookies are used by third parties or publishers to display personalized advertisements. They do this by tracking visitors across websites.