Lesbian Labour were in Liverpool this week handing out leaflets and speaking to delegates at the annual Labour Party Conference. Our concerns include the loss of single sex spaces and provision in public life, which particularly affects us same-sex attracted women.
Unfortunately we were literally and metaphorically left out in the cold given the Labour Party’s refusal to tolerate diversity of opinion over same-sex attraction and single sex services, after refusing stall applications from same-sex champions The LGB Alliance, the feminst charity Filia, as well as the Labour Women’s Declaration. This of course only made us more determined to get our message out there, and with our pop up stall we did!
Hannah and Paula with our pop up stall
Canaries were iconically used in coal mines to detect the presence of deadly carbon monoxide. The bird’s rapid breathing rate, small size, and high metabolism, compared to the miners, led birds in dangerous mines to succumb before the miners, thereby giving the miners time to take action.
Lesbians are the canaries in the coal mine.
Lesbians were removed from Pride Cymru in Cardiff this August bank holiday.
Shock, horror, outrage! Over 3 million people watched the video on twitter as Get The L Out activist Angela Wild clarified the police response.
But to many of us this was no surprise. This is our “normal”.
The LGB Alliance Cymru today wrote to the Welsh Counsel General and Minister for Health regarding Gender Identity Services in Wales and their impact on same-sex attracted young people.
This comes after the law firm Pogust Godhead announced today its intent to pursue group legal action against the Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust, and their gender identity services clinic. Dr Hilary Cass recently wrote the the NHS, stating
A fundamentally different service model is needed which is more in line with other paediatric provision, to provide timely and appropriate care for children and young people needing support around their gender identity. This must include support for any other clinical presentations that they may have.
This comes as the Tavistock’s gender identity clinic announces its closure as of early next year. In light of these developments LGB Alliance Cymru urges the Welsh government to reassess its stance on gender affirmation. We at Lesbian Labour support the LGB Alliance Cymru and welcome this update from the Cass Review.
You can read the LGB Alliance Cymru’s letter to the Welsh government here
This summer for Pride month, Lesbian Labour wanted to do something for Lesbians. We are often frustrated by the lack of Lesbian voices during Pride month and beyond, and rather than relying on the narrative that Stonewall and Pride events present, we wanted to talk to a wide variety of lesbians on the ground. Our own Paula Boulton had the idea to start a ‘Proud Lesbian’ series. Here at Lesbian Labour we’re all proud of being Lesbians, so Paula thought we should interview other proud Lesbians. She was curious to find out – what’s happening in Lesbian lives? Are Stonewall law policies surrounding gender affecting Lesbian lives or not? As Paula says, “How seldom do we hear lesbian voices, how seldom do we read lesbian voices represented in the media? real stories of lesbian lives”.
So Paula set out to find out the answers to these questions and put out some feelers. What none of us were prepared for was the response from Lesbians worldwide wishing to talk about their stories and have their voices heard. Lots of Lesbians contacted us wishing to take part in the project. It’s now a very eclectic mix of Lesbians spanning different ages, religion, politics, jobs and life experiences – as detailed in the linked promo video below.
Greetings on the first anniversary of the launch of Lesbian Labour website, marking a full year in the public gaze.
Picking up where we left off in the last newsletter, we had a busy time at autumn conferences. At FiLiA we joined in with the Women Uniting cross-party meeting, sharing woefully similar tales with our GC sisters from the other political parties. We were joined by Joanna Cherry, who has consistently spoken out about Lesbians in parliament. We also took part in a Lesbian Spaces session and have continued to network since with a very diverse group of Lesbians busy trying to set up safe Lesbian events in real life. Our stall and merchandise were there with everyone else and we were very visible due to my dual role as musician welcoming every women to conference wearing my Lesbian Labour hoody.
At the LGB Alliance conference we again placed ourselves with our sisters from the other parties and had a steady flow of sales and conversations at our stall. Sadly, at both events we heard over and over again that Labour has lost women and is certainly losing Lesbians.
We have continued to battle with the closed doors within LGBT Labour. Despite our repeated efforts they have steadfastly refused to engage with us at all. This leaves us effectively without representation in our own party. We are considered a negligible number of Lesbians who insist on maintaining our sexual boundaries and retaining the legally accurate definition of same-sex attracted females.