Now that all the partying over the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act (and it’s nice to be able to write “Act” there, rather than “Bill”) has died down, work is very much underway on the next battles in the campaign for equality. I’m meeting with the other officers, and hopefully some members, of LGBTory this Saturday to plan our next steps.
When I get there, will will need to discuss why we are constantly sidelined by the LGBT community, and this time the emphasis will be on the “T”.
When reading online articles about the equal marriage campaign and the problems surrounding the Bill, you will be hard pressed to find anyone saying anything at all about our hard work in furthering trans equality. There’s little out there about how we’ve lobbied our MPs to remove the spousal veto; or our campaigns in the House of Lords on the same issue. There’s nothing said about our attempts to remove the clause allowing the spouse of a trans person to invalidate their marriage by claiming they didn’t know they’d married a trans person. Whenever the report, evidence or statistics for damning the spousal veto are brought up, I’ll give you very good odds that there’s no mention of where they came from.
There’s a rift in the trans community and it’s along party lines. The Lib Dems and Labour are on one side, and the Tories are on the other. This is not news to anyone who follows politics, but in the trans community in the past I’ve never seen it operate so starkly. We used to all be in this together because we knew that, whoever was in Government at the time, we were still all fighting our real enemy: the transphobes in the Civil Service.
This political split in the trans community serves noone but our enemies. We don’t all have to agree with one-another on every topic under the sun. We will probably never see eye-to-eye on the majority of political issues. We don’t have to. We have a common purpose on these issues. We can work together here. So let’s stop trying to score cheap points off one-another at the expense of our shared goals. Surely we are grown up enough to understand that this bickering is destroying our chances of success?
So let’s stop fighting on this. Let’s actually work together and get the results we all want.