We are the voice of Lesbians in the Labour Party
Lesbians are becoming invisible, lost in the ever-growing list of minorities (LGBT+). This was developed without our participation and covers a range of very diverse groups with varying needs and agendas. Our rights and views are never a priority for the organisations which claim to represent us.
Anti-lesbianism is rarely mentioned in discussions of ‘homophobia’.
Anti-lesbianism is a combination of
- prejudice against our same-sex attraction and relationships
- misogyny – prejudice against us as women
- sexism and sex discrimination
OUR FOUNDING STATEMENT
LESBIAN: same-sex attracted woman
WOMAN: adult human female
Lesbian Labour is a channel for the voices of lesbians in the Labour Party. We are same-sex attracted women and our sex and sexual orientation are protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. We intend to assert our rights and our views, and to make our voices heard.
Lesbians have been mis-represented by lobby groups such as LGBT+ Labour and Stonewall for too long. We refuse to be defined by their male-centered agendas imposing the notion of ‘same-gender attraction’ on us. This disrespects our sexuality and promotes a form of homophobia by ignoring our rights as lesbians. We shall continue to define ourselves as lesbians and to protest the oppression we face.
1. We are an Equality Act protected group
We demand that our rights as a protected group under the Equality Act be fully incorporated into party policy; that equality impact assessments are always done to ensure our needs are protected; and, that Lesbians are properly consulted about any matter that concerns us.
2. We are Women who experience misogyny
We assert that Lesbians are women who experience sex discrimination and misogyny, as all women do. The oppression of women is based on our sex class; it is material and not a question of identity. ‘Gender’ is about socially-constructed roles and stereotypes: it cannot be used as a synonym for sex. As Lesbians, we rebel against regressive gender role stereotyping.
3. We will amplify the specific voices and views of Lesbians
We challenge the assumption that our interests can be served as one part of the diverse groups included in such organisations as LGBT+ Labour. Our experience and our needs are particular to us as Lesbians and must be heard as such.
4. We demand respect for Lesbian spaces
We demand respect for lesbian spaces, free from intrusion. The harassment and hatred of Lesbians, in addition to misogyny, is not the same as the harassment suffered by gay men or by groups defined by the subjective notion of ‘gender identity’. Like other oppressed groups, we demand respect for our own social, cultural, educational, political and recreational places.
5. We support same-sex attracted teenagers
We support same-sex attracted teenagers and young people in the face of the homophobia which encourages them to identify as transgender. We do not regard a life of experimental medication and harmful surgeries as ‘affirming’; rather, we consider that young lesbian teens need space and encouragement to explore their emerging sexuality.
6. We express solidarity with diverse Lesbian communities in the UK and elsewhere
We recognise that lesbians may be young, old, mothers, of any race, culture, ethnicity, religion, of any class, and differently abled. We support and show solidarity with all Lesbians world-wide, not least those facing persecution, racism, deprivation of liberty, and assaults on their dignity and lives.