Labour Get Braver fringe event

Last Month during the annual Labour Party conference we hosted a fringe event in Liverpool called Labour Get Braver, a play on the LGB acronym that neatly captures many of our concerns as same-sex attracted people that our interests are becoming lost within the larger LGBT+++ group.

In collaboration with the LGB Alliance and the Gay Men’s Network, we wished to provide a forum for LGB people to speak of their concerns. We will take these opinions and concerns to feedback within the Labour party.

Watch this space for updates on our YouTube channel soon for some of the speeches made at the event!

Above: the event flyer

Lesbian Labour responds to Angela Eagle


We have written to Angela Eagle to respond to some of her comments made during LGBT Labour’s fringe event at the Labour Party Conference, Monday 2nd October, 14:00

 “There is no such thing as gender ideology”

Gender ideology does exist and there are academic sociologists who have specialised in its study [1] dating back to the 1930s. However, like so many terms, its meaning has been expanded in recent years. Not least, it is now used as shorthand for “…gender identity ideology, the idea that what it is to be a woman/female (man/male) is to identify as a woman/female (man/male), and that this subjective identification supersedes facts about sex class membership” (Holly Lawford-Smith, Gender-Critical Feminism, OUP 2022). Or as Jane Clare Jones (2023) writes: “a belief system… the core claim of which is that being a man or a woman is a matter of gender identity rather than biological sex” (in Sex and Gender, Alice Sullivan & Selina Todd, Routledge).

It is our contention that these definitions capture the fundamental belief of those who maintain that everyone has an inner ‘gender identity’ that can override the sex they are registered at birth. To suggest that there is no such thing as a gender ideology calls into question why trans rights are advanced so frequently and often to the exclusion of LGB rights. If there is no such thing, why is it so important to you to reiterate its existence?

It also calls into question what queer theory is all about, if there is no gender ideology.

“Inclusive RSE materials in schools are being presented as unsuitable. This is not true.”

Miriam Cates, a Tory MP has raised the issues around the unregulated nature of RSE material in schools, often ‘taught’ by non professionals who claim incorrectly, to be approved by OFSTED. In your speech you said her comments were untrue. The following quote from @SaferSchoolsAlliance refers to one such organisation, Educate and Celebrate, funded by Durham County Council and operating in Primary and Secondary Schools across County Durham.

The CEO of Educate and Celebrate, Elly Barnes, promotes a particular agenda, unquestioningly accepting trans ideology and calling for teachers to “smash heteronormativity“. Any school signing up to her organisation is, de facto, also promoting this agenda. Dr Barnes’ advice for schools who think that parents may not appreciate this is to tell them to be secretive about what they are teaching children. This is an anti-safeguarding approach and antithetical to the best interests of children.

We could have chosen any one of several organisations operating in schools across the United Kingdom where teachers, already overburdened with teaching the national curriculum, have outsourced RSE lessons to unregulated providers who are, in the main, transgender activists who do not base their material on science or fact. Parents quite rightly have started to question why they are not allowed to see the material used or why their objections to their child possibly being ‘born in the wrong body’ have often been met with silence from teachers. We have no doubt there is a similar organisation operating in schools in your constituency and we are surprised you have not been approached by unhappy parents wanting to discuss their concerns. 

“Books are being removed from libraries which is tantamount to book burning.”

Apparently you are questioning the recent publicity about particular books being removed from Public Libraries.

These posts are from X (screenshot below) and as you are a regular contributor to the platform we are surprised you were not aware that women across the country have discovered books written by Helen Joyce, Kathleen Stock, Hannah Barnes and others have been removed from shelves in Public Libraries. Women were asked to check if the Libraries in their areas had also removed books and many found they had. The idea that books containing factual information, based on thorough research and sound evidence, should not be available because they might upset someone flies in the face of free speech. 

Some Libraries admitted that books written by the authors named were not on open display and would have to be requested. Other Libraries have not responded to requests for information.

“We can only move forward by making connections”

We established Lesbian Labour three years ago and one of the first things we did was write to the Chair of LGBT+Labour asking for a meeting so we could talk about the experience of Lesbians who were suffering discrimination and homophobia. The response we got was rude and made it clear there would be no meeting. We have contacted LGBT+Labour at other times since but have never received a reply. Lesbian Labour has emailed you, firstly three years ago when we asked if you would be our patron and at regular intervals since. We have never received a reply to any of our emails and when one of our members met you at Conference you made it clear you strongly objected to these emails and had no intention of responding. You referred to the member of Lesbian Labour as “anti-trans” and turned your back on her. So who is it you would like to connect with? We understand from other Gay and LGB Groups that you have also refused to meet them too. Is this a permissible response for a parliamentary representative?

“There are those who seek to divide. They are a tiny minority”

We suggest it is you who seek to divide, as per our above response to “We can only move forward by making connections”. We seek to clarify and uphold single sex and same-sex protections, where relevant to our lives, a position deemed worthy of respect in a democratic society by a UK employment tribunal – but not worthy of respect in the Labour Party, it seems.

Voicing concerns about the impact of gender identity upon single-sex services is not seeking to divide. Objecting to rapists being housed in women’s prisons is not seeking to divide. Wishing to speak openly and honestly about male-bodied people in women’s sports or men in Lesbian spaces is not seeking to divide. Empathising with orthodox Jewish and conservative Muslim women who are excluded by faith from mixed-sex spaces is not seeking to divide.

Further, we do not believe we represent a minority view. The growing number of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual groups [2; 3] whose members share our views, would tend to indicate otherwise. We are also contacted frequently by people still too afraid to speak up and/or attend in-person events. Aforementioned authors have variously achieved Sunday Times bestseller status, and shortlisting for the Baillie Gifford prize for non-fiction 2023 – this is not suggestive of a minority view.

“Section 28 was about forbidding any education or promotion of LGBT lives”

Factually incorrect. Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 sought to prohibit the promotion of homosexuality. The law makes no mention of trans or LGBT, only homosexuality. In other words, no people were discriminated against for being trans by Section 28 – only LGB people. Accuracy with language is important.

Local Government Act 1988. Section 28

“Look at the archives. Know your history” 

This is not much use when it is being rewritten. Our history was Gay and Lesbian only and the struggle for each was unique and specific. Bisexuals were added in the 1990s. To present our history as anything otherwise denies the evidence of the onward march of progress. 

A prominent example of the re-writing of our history is the often repeated lie that a  transwoman “threw the first brick” at the Stonewall riots in New York in 1969. The riots actually began when a butch Lesbian, reported by several people to be Stormé DeLarverie was arrested violently by the police and incited the watching crowd by saying “Why don’t you guys do something!”

Fred Sargeant who was present on the night of the first riot, has given his eyewitness account and spoken extensively about the revisionism underway. 

Fred’s own website states his concern that the historical record of the late 60s and early 70s had undergone a significant change that erased the prominent figures and their contributions as well as the primary role of same-sex activism during that period.

Fred was assaulted at a Vermont Pride in 2022 at the age of 74 years old for protesting in support of same-sex rights

Speaking of Archives; The national Lesbian Archives were deposited for safekeeping in the Glasgow Feminist Library. The Archives used to be referenced on the Library’s website and some of the material was on display but at some point recently our Archives were put away and attempts to access them has been refused. A report from the campaign group Scottish Lesbians describes their visit to the Library and the disappointment they felt that the Lesbian Archives were no longer open to Lesbians. 

Are you aware of the Lesbian Archives? Would you lend your voice to a campaign by Lesbians Groups to move the Archives to a new home where their importance and value will be respected and they will be available for Lesbian researchers?

“Our opponents are funded by the far right and are Christian fundamentalists”

This is a lazy, oft repeated line without any evidence proffered – because there isn’t any. There is in fact an independent opposition voice that has nothing to do with far-right groups. We are members of the Labour Party, past and present. We are same-sex attracted females, some of us hold elected positions in the Labour Party and Local Government. In terms of funding, Lesbian Labour, like other Lesbian campaigning groups, have no funding other than that put in by members of our Team and cash collected in buckets at events. 

Neither are the plethora of new women’s rights groups, the LGB Alliance, or the Gay Men’s Network funded by the far right or Christian fundamentalists. Not one shred of evidence had been put forward to support this slur.

You are a long-standing MP, currently the Chair of the National Executive’s Equalities Committee, a woman with power and influence in the Labour Party. A patron of LGBT+Labour, an Affiliated Organisation that has publicly told us that we have a problem with our sexual boundaries. LGBT+Labour apparently no longer supports same-sex attracted homosexuals and, having listened to your speech, we realise neither do you. Many LGB people have said they will not be voting Labour at the General Election because Labour is no longer the party of equality and it has failed to acknowledge the conflict between sex and sexual orientation and gender ideology, a conflict that brings with it rising homophobia and the discrimination against Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals. 

Lesbian Labour and other LGB campaigning groups deserve to be heard by you and the wider Labour Party, we make up over 3% of the population in the UK. If you refuse to listen then many will refuse to vote Labour.


Lesbian Labour


Additional References:


[2] A non-exhaustive list of LGB groups who hold similar values include Lesbian Fightback, The Lesbian Project, Gay Men’s Network, LGB Alliance, Lesbian Strength, and Jenny’s Bar.

[3] The group Scottish Lesbians presented their new report Lesbians Coming Out at Filia 2023 (12th-15th Oct) in Glasgow. It provides a snapshot of contemporary Lesbian lives by means of information gathered through a questionnaire. Strikingly, even though the questions did not mention gender, 82% of Lesbian respondents raised the topic of gender as having a negative impact on their experiences of coming out.


Our response to recent policy shifts

Now Labour policy is committed to retaining a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria as the requirement for obtaining a GRC, where does the party stand on its own policy internally of self id?? There needs now to be a streamlining of the approach to ensure we all live within the law and are no longer dictated to by Stonewall law.

It has been like watching paint dry inching the policy towards this position, 5 years solid slog. But we have arrived at a place which promised to protect safe spaces for women. We weren’t actually asking for much. Just an impact assessment. That’s all. Well made policy which takes everyone into consideration.

Where does this leave us as Lesbians? Well, unfortunately for us there is still a long way to go. As same-sex attracted women in a world and party that believe in the forced teaming of sexual orientation with gender identity we are still invisible.

The APPG on LGBT issues believes it speaks for the community, as does LGBT Labour our affiliated organisation. But none of them include us or our gay brothers.
The party is still on the Stonewall diversity index and receiving training from groups who go along with the redefinition of homoSEXuality to be based on gender identity, not biology.

So do stick around and keep arguing for the end to “no debate”, for the inclusion of same-sex attracted people on all gay panels and organisations, and for the protection of SEXual Orientation as a discrete protected characteristic.

Meanwhile let me remind you that our very existence and culture is based on the autonomous right to assemble and associate with others of our kind. That is not about safety, privacy or dignity. It is about precisely what being women-loving women means.

So does this move to protect safe spaces for women include lesbian spaces?

There is still work to be done.

But for today let’s celebrate.

This post refers to Anneliese Dodds’ recent article in the Guardian

Write to your MP in support of Lesbians, using our template letter!


On the 12th of June, Parliament will hold a debate in response to a petition signed by over 100,000 people, requesting a clarification to the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristic of Sex. Organised by, the petition seeks clarification that Sex in law refers to biological sex and does not include the legal fiction conferred by a gender recognition certificate. This is important for women but especially so for Lesbians, since our same-sex attraction (and its protection thereof) is contingent on sex in law meaning biological sex.

We are concerned that this message will be forgotten in the debate since few are aware that Stonewall, and other large organisations that supposedly speak for Lesbians, now define sexual orientation as same-gender orientation!

Please copy our template letter text below to write to your MP ahead of the debate to bring this to their attention. Do feel free to add your own personal touches. You can find out who your MP is and how to contact them by clicking here

Template letter:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to you as your constituent to draw your attention to an upcoming debate in Westminster Hall on the 12th of June at 4.30 pm, scheduled as a result of a petition, to clarify the definition of the protected characteristic of sex as it appears in the Equality Act 2010. The petition, which was organised by the organisation Sex Matters, attracted more than 100,000 signatories. A counter petition which also reached the debate threshold will be debated at the same time, indicating how many people are concerned about this issue.

The Equality Act defines nine protected characteristics which are all given equal weighting in terms of protection in the law (disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, maternity and pregnancy, religion or belief, race, gender reassignment and marriage or civil partnership).

The importance of sex as a protected characteristic, particularly to women and girls, cannot be overstated. However there is currently a great deal of confusion whether ‘sex’ in law means biological sex solely, or including sex as modified by a Gender Recognition Certificate – which describes the status of transgender people who hold a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). Clarification will allow for the provision of clear and lawful single-sex services, in scenarios in which sex is the more relevant classifier and not gender. Examples of services or provisions in which sex is a more appropriate classifier than gender is in medical settings or sport. Transgender people are of course protected under the category of gender reassignment, as they rightly should be from any form of discrimination.

The protected characteristic of sexual orientation however is also contingent on the definition of sex as meaning biological, and it is for this reason that I write to you. Lesbian, Gay men and bisexual people all experience same-sex attraction, that is, attraction based upon biological sex, not gender. Gender is not relevant to sexual attraction.

Stonewall has in recent years quietly modified their definition of homosexuality to centre around gender, and not sex. Since they also explicitly include “cross-dressers” under their definition of transgender, this means that many males now self-define as Lesbians. Under this climate, it is impossible for Lesbians to meet and gather openly without men wishing to join or simply disrupt our events.

It is therefore not necessarily automatic that the proposed clarification of sex will protect same-sex attracted people. Lesbians , in the words of Anne Lister ,“Love and only love the fairer sex”. It is unacceptable that they should be forced to include men – indeed it is outright homophobia. Lesbians’ sexual orientation is exclusive of males as it is based upon biological sex.

I therefore urge you as my elected representative at Westminster to attend the debate and consider speaking on behalf of same-sex attracted people –  to explicitly clarify the definition of sexual orientation in law to mean attraction to biological sex.

Yours Sincerely,

Your constituent

Lesbian Labour Speaks to Victor Madrigal-Borloz


Standing up for Lesbians – our own Paula Boulton’s thoughts on her meeting with the United Nations Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

Last Thursday I was fortunate to be invited to meet with Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the United Nations Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity whilst he was on a fact finding mission in the UK to inform his report.

I was in a 45- minute shared meeting with Dennis Kavanagh from Gay men’s Network, and Kate Harris from LGB Alliance. Originally we had been invited to meet alongside 4 other organisations: Sex Matters, Fair Play For Women, Safe Schools Alliance and Labour Women’s Declaration. We successfully argued for a separate meeting for those of us concerned with Sexual Orientation.

My intention was to represent the grassroots Lesbian voice of Lesbian Labour, Lesbian Strength and Lesbian Fightback.

I hoped to establish an open channel of communication with Mr Madrigal-Borloz and to agree to ongoing dialogue.

Like many others, I had noticed that his work so far seems to have focused almost entirely on gender identity and ignored the other half of his brief-sexual orientation.

Below are the notes I made at the meeting.

Meeting notes – International Maritime Museum 4th May.

Present: Paula Boulton (Lesbian Labour, Lesbian Strength, Lesbian Fightback) Kate Harris LGB Alliance, Dennis Kavanagh GMN, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, IE SOGI UN

The meeting was 25 minutes late starting because he had over run in the meeting with FPFW, Sex Matters, SSA and LWD. We insisted that we be given our full 45 mins.

He refused to share who he had met with. However, there is a photo gallery on twitter of many of those groups. Notable absences – us.

He acknowledged that we had complained that he was not doing his job but thought we should use the meeting time constructively to share views rather than focus on his shortcomings.

He chose not to watch the suggested 4-minute detransitioner’s video as he wanted to talk to us instead. Asked for it to be sent.

He tried to suggest a dynamic for the meeting. In the end it was a free flow.

This was the first time Paula had met him and she asked that this be the beginning of further contact as it was not possible to cover all the ground in one go. He agreed and asked for evidence to be collected and sent to him to inform his report.

He said he didn’t know about Hoyle in Tasmania and questioned whether this was within his remit and asked why she had needed a permit for a private party.

He also had not heard of Nancy Kelly’s comment’s about “Sexual racists” but assured us that he considered the notion of anyone being coerced into unwanted sex to be unacceptable.

He genuinely responded to the idea of Lesbians being expected to have sex with men as ridiculous but has not joined the dots. He believes TWAW. Appealing to him as a Gay man imagining women in gay male spaces fell on deaf ears as he considers TMAM.

He had not heard of the Cotton ceiling and seemed unaware of the threats and protests we as Lesbians have to put up with. Many examples given including policing at Lesbian Strength and violence at Pride.  The HER dating app fiasco also news to him.

Self-excluding from Lesbian activities which have become inclusive was invisible to him. The underground nature of Lesbian life and the resulting lack of role models for young lesbians was news to him.

He claimed to have met with lots of Lesbians and suggested that our view was minority since he hadn’t heard it. Was unmoved by examples of the no debate exclusion we face and that if we were not present then clearly there would be a one-sided view.

When challenged about why he hadn’t published submissions and his statement that some were hateful – he explained that he had to ensure anything he published passed the RABAT plan of action. He had received over 6000 pages of submissions and there was a long process of checking in place. When told that we expected any which stated our views to be considered hateful he asserted that he had never used those words about LGB Alliance at all. Nor has he suggested any of us are linked to right-wing funders etc.

When we explained that there was no representation of same-sex attracted homosexuals on panels and in organisations due to the exclusive nature of LGBT+ organisations he assured us that he wants to acknowledge the plurality of opinions. He is by nature INCLUSIVE and that means opinions too.

I mentioned Kakuma and the fact that lesbians there face discrimination along with the other block 13 inmates but also are in danger from men claiming to be Lesbians.

We discussed the chilling effect of Hate Crime legislation referencing Tonje Gjevjon and our recent Lesbian not Criminal tour.  Paula gave him a message from Rosa in Malta about Lesbians self- excluding for fear of fines if they correctly sex someone. He asked to request that Rosa contact him directly as he has met lots of Lesbians in Malta and all are happy.

He did not accept the premise of homosexual detransitioners – and felt that we were suggesting that trans people do not have agency to make their own choices

He was confused about UK Law and genuinely thought gender identity and gender reassignment were different words for the same thing. When we quoted that gender reassignment was a protected characteristic for those who have undergone or propose to undergo gender reassignment, he explained that this can be extrapolated to mean any trans person since that is their eventual aim.

He said that we were governed by international human rights law and that in the statute of Rome gender identity already exists.

We explained that it does not exist here in legal parlance at all.

He was unaware of Keira Bell, Sonia Appleby, the recommendations in the Cass review, or what David Bell has said. The idea that our “Gender medicine services” were being shut down as unfit was news to him. We said they were all major news stories and that UK was leading the way in protecting children and that we are proud to be called terf island. He says he doesn’t use that term. He also claimed to be unaware of the growing number of countries and US states rejecting Puberty blockers.

He said clearly “any dynamic that affects women’s bodily autonomy is my concern”

The redirection of EU funding to so called “Inclusive” LGBT+ groups was raised and the Lesbians Denied project mentioned. His remit does affect EU policy and Law.

He insisted that he was able to listen to opposing views and rejected our assertion that he couldn’t be considered an independent expert with such a fixed view. He disagreed and felt he was able to do his job and assess cases and would do so if the information came to him through the correct channels of communication.

We requested he stop using the term Lesbian women since this implies there can be Lesbian men – he agreed.

The meeting felt unresolved and ran over time. It was a frank and forthright exchange of opinions and information.

Requests for us to send evidence was reiterated at the close and that dialogue was to be ongoing.

Paula Boulton 04.05.23

“Wrong sort of Lesbian?”

What was clear is that he needs evidence of the situations we face as Lesbians as he was unaware of our plight. Hardly surprising given that we exist almost entirely underground and back in the closet again. He clearly thought that he had spoken to Lesbians -who are, after all part of the many LGBT groups he has met. But the idea of us being the “wrong sort of Lesbian” was news to him.

He assured me that he was an independent expert, despite his obvious belief in gender identity and dismissal of biological sex.

He said he would gladly receive evidence through the proper communication channels.

In the last week I have spoken to many Lesbian groups and organisations and many are sending him evidence as a result.

He, on the other hand, has spent the last week writing his

Country visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (24 April – 5 May 2023) End of mission statement

End of mission Statement

This has confirmed for me how much evidence we need to send him. The report is very thorough and shows clearly who he met with and thus the one-sided picture which emerged for him. He has done an excellent job of speaking to those in need of protection against violence and discrimination on the basis of gender identity – mentioned 35 times. The word trans features 84 times.

The other part of the mandate – sexial orientation is mentioned only 29 times, the word Lesbian only 9 times, and gay men only once.

We ask that he now listen to and meet with Lesbians to arrive at an understanding of the violence and discrimination we face.

Please send evidence to

Copy me in at