Today, I awoke to some news I was expecting but still deeply disappointed by: the UK General Election has been won by the Conservative Party, and this time with a majority, so the years of them being vaguely restrained in coalition by a small gaggle of not-overly-effective Liberal Democrats will now be succeeded by the years of them dismantling the British welfare system in earnest. It seems almost needless to say what the implications of their well-known disdain for the NHS may have for British trans people (who, if they are not rich, depend on the thing), but since I was only recently resigned to a life of self-medicating in any case, I can hopefully take those all-too-likely depradations in my stride. If nothing else, I did at least get the MP I voted for in my own constituency: namely Mr. Stephen Doughty (Labour), who was kind enough to give me the following response on a topic very close to my heart…
Thank you for your email. I am delighted to pledge my support for the Trans manifesto and have contacted them to make clear my support.
As a patron of LGBT Labour, I am very aware of the discrimination against Transgendered and non-binary people across the world – and I personally pledge my full support to helping end that discrimination.
Very best wishes
Labour and Cooperative Candidate for Cardiff South and Penarth
The Trans Manifesto, incidentally, is an initiative launched by the LGBT Consortium to encourage the election candidates to pledge their support to various principles including the equal rights of trans people, developing positive portrayals of trans people in the media, continuing and improving medical access and administrative procedures for transitioning people, and so forth. The full list of Conservative candidates who responded (and who did not) reveals the following about the winning party:
Did Not Respond = 53
Declared Full Support = 17
Offered “Qualified” Support = 13
Declined Support Outright = 4 … and credit to them for at least having the guts to declare their principles, however prejudiced, for public appraisal. I am yet more suspicious of the fifty-three candidates who preserved their ominous silence.
However, among the candidates who declared their support, one name in particular stood out:
One can but hope, with those few openly antagonistic (and those many lukewarm) comrades at his back, he will remember this pledge in the years to come. I certainly will…