This Monday evening (26th Sept) our own Paula Boulton delivered a speech (pictured far right ) on behalf of Labour Lesbians at the Labour Women’s Declaration conference fringe event titled:
“What do women need from the Labour manifesto?”
She spoke alongside Dame Diana Johnson MP, Cllr Nina Killen, Cllr Emina Ibrahim, Judith Green, Karen Ingala Smith and writer Joan Smith in a night that covered a wide range of issues affecting women. Here is Paula preparing her speech the day before.
You can view a pdf copy of her speech HERE and watch her deliver the speech on our youtube channel HERE
Thoughts on the cancelled alphabet soup conference, the “enlightened” response from the C of E, and the government’s cautionary approach to banning conversion therapy for gender identity.
A global conference which focused on banning such practices (see article) everywhere would have been a useful step.
Instead… histrionics. Footstomping. “If you don’t do what we want we won’t play”. Stonewall and other well- funded groups financially incentivising rainbow washing and virtue-signalling whilst denying same-sex attraction, should be ashamed of themselves.
Whilst the dust is settling on the government’s double U – turn on banning conversion therapy, let’s remember that Lesbians are particularly impacted on by this issue.
We are not a political football to be kicked around. If the government or the opposition really care about LGBT they need to stop performing concern, virtue signalling, rainbow washing, diversity and inclusion point scoring, and start listening to what each group has to say.
There is no rainbow community. We each have distinct needs and issues.
We can tell you about the L
That stands for Lesbian
80% of girls presenting at GIDS clinics, supported to be themselves through puberty, would turn out to be same-sex attracted women. i.e. Lesbians. Instead we are transing away the gay.
Simply copy and paste the text below into a blank email and send to the following email addresses. Please ACT NOW and let the UN refugee agency know that more must be done to help.
Kenya email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Kakuma UNHCR Protection office in Kakuma: KENKA@unhcr.org firstname.lastname@example.org Geneva
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org CC: Tayyar Sukru Cansizoglu (Head of Sub Office Kakuma)
Dear UNHCR, We demand that you IMMEDIATELY ensure that movement passes are issued for all LGBT refugees to leave Kakuma Camp. We demand that you give your protection for all LGBT refugees to transit safely from Kakuma Camp to Nairobi and to be protected for the duration of their time in Kenya. According to The Statute of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the ‘essential function of UNHCR is to provide international protection to refugees and to seek durable solutions to their problems by facilitating either their voluntary repatriation or their integration into new national communities in safety and with dignity’ FiLiA believes that the residents of Block 13 in Kakuma camp are not being protected or having due regard to their safety or dignity. LGBT Refugees in Kakuma Camp are facing violent attacks on a daily basis and in 6 years UNHCR has proven that protecting them in the camp is not possible. UNHCR operates the camp at Kakuma and the neighbouring Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement – https://www.unhcr.org/ke/kakuma-refugee-camp UNHCR’s own Guideline No. 9, which deals with claims based on sexual orientation and / or gender identity, recognises that non-state actors may be agents of persecution where the state is unwilling or unable to protect them. The residents in Block 13 are experiencing harm capable of amounting to persecution and have no recourse to protection from the state or apparently from UNHCR. https://www.unhcr.org/…/unhcr-guidelines-international… UNHCR’s Guideline on Gender-Related Persecution, which deals with sex and gender in refugee claims, acknowledges that gender-based violence encompasses persecution on the basis of sexual orientation, and that sexual violence is capable of amounting to persecution. Women in Block 13 are at risk due to both their sex and their sexual orientation. Article 5 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights confirms that nobody shall be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. Article 7 of the same – all are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection against discrimination. Article 14 – everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution. The conditions in Kakuma for those who are resident in Block 13 fail on these counts. Having sought asylum from persecution in their countries of origin, they are exposed to continued persecution and to inhuman and degrading treatment and discrimination due to their sexual orientation. This undermines the purpose of the Refugee Convention and compounds the suffering of the refugees in Block 13. Please do your job and protect these Refugees. Yours sincerely,
Banning conversion therapy which prevents anyone from attempting to ‘cure’ or change a person’s sexual orientation is welcome news. However, the proposed legislation lumps sexual orientation in with gender identity. These are two very different things which in fact contradict each other in the context of conversion therapy, making this proposed bill unworkable and dangerous.
Conversion therapy for sexual orientation happens because people take issue with who we love and who we are attracted to – namely a member of the same sex (natal women) – and attempting to force us to be attracted to the opposite sex (natal men). Specifically for lesbians, conversion therapy covers a whole host of behaviors from pressure to have sex with men: “You just need a good f***”, “You haven’t met the right man yet”, “I’ll show you what a man really is” etc. or talking therapies which attempt to ‘treat’ the ‘illness’ of same sex attraction, through to corrective rape.
Young women who come out as lesbian in the rainbow community nowadays will invariably be asked when they will be transitioning to male – “if you like girls then that means you’re a boy – are you sure you’re not trans?”. Many of us who have short hair are asked about preferred pronouns far more often than colleagues or friends who are ‘gender conforming’. Many young lesbians in fact tell us they attempted transitioning to avoid lesophobia. We consider this a form of conversion therapy.