There was a time when I was a Tory - defender of Margaret Thatcher and a Tory party member.
I quit over one issue. The Tories brought in Sunday trading, (yes - I am that old), and I felt that it was very wrong. It was not because of the religious connotations - it was very much to do with working people suddenly being deprived of a day off when all the family and friends could get together.
Suddenly Sunday was not "special" any more. Perhaps that one event moved me to become a socialist - I did not join the Labour Party at that time, but slowly became more radical, sometimes mixing with lovely people that are close to Marxism.
What I discovered was profound - people caring about people, not money. They cared about social justice, housing and health.
I joined the Labour Party about three years ago, but did not attend any Constuiency Labour Party (CLP) meetings principally because I was "trans." Deep down, even though I "pass," had surgery and transitioned, I was concerned about all the questions, like who I was and what work I did. Yes at 68 I still work - but I dont want to discuss my job, I wanted some privacy.
The bottom line was I did not want to "out" myself. I wanted to be a woman in everyday society and join a women's choir for goodness sake!
Then I heard from a CLP member (and my best friend) that several new members had suddenly joined "my" CLP - all were women and all it would appear, Gender-Critical (GC). They even proposed a motion for discussion promoting in part, the ethos of WPUK, which some members thought was transphobic. Now I was very aware of WPUK - I had written about them in-depth on my website which I launched after Liz Truss made "that speech" back in April when it looked like trans rights were going to be eroded.
This website is my contribution to the trans cause, and my current crusade is to debunk the slur "trans ideology" which the GC has so successfully implanted into the media. I am not an ideology I am biology! The sort of things I am writing can be seen by clicking HERE but be warned it is a long read, (I want the first page of Google), so please just keep reading this blog for the moment and come back later for your nighttime reading.
Because even though I am not the best speaker if there is one thing that I can do reasonably well is write. Years of practice in my former life - ironically "safeguarding" kids but not in the way the GC mean of stoping kids being themselves. By now, of course, I am aware of the GC tactics of WPUK & LWD being the same people with different badges. Am I an expert? - well, no, but I have learnt an awful lot and learning more every day. I will continue to learn & fight for everything that is right.
Trans rights are human rights!
But a few weeks before Christmas came crunch day at my CLP. So to cut a long story short, I attended that CLP Zoom meeting and outed myself in front of eighty or so people. It is reasonable to say the proposer was more than shocked! She spoke for ten or more minutes describing that gender was a social construct and not real. I countered it in ten words "My gender is my personal belief to my rightful sex."
In fact, I (with some help from some allies) countered all the arguments she and others raised. It was pretty predictable and easy for me, to be honest - after all, I had a Twitter apprenticeship, research, and owned a trans activist website. The GC were stopped in their tracks!
They lost the vote - with the lady proposer then holding up a placard saying "women were being silenced." Not true of course, she had much more time than I and democracy had prevailed. Moreover, I maintain trans rights are not in conflict with women's rights in any shape or form and that we are all equal.
The next day WPUK were going mad on Twitter also claiming "women were being silenced". Well, I was there and women were not silenced.
But do not think of me as a heroine here - because the women members of my CLP who opposed the WPUK members took an awful lot of online abuse for the following few days, while I "zoomed" away (at that point at least) completely unscathed. That was the benefit of them not knowing me, but of course, I will not have that luxury going forward.
But I do not underestimate the task that is ahead.
The Labour Party is under attack at all levels because what happened at my CLP has occurred and is occurring at other CLP's. And having infiltrated certain parts of the GC machine by trying to be a peacemaker, I know what a difficult task this will be. So yesterdays announcement on Twitter that a new organisation has been formed to promote our cause within the Labour Party is very welcome.
Labour Trans Equality is a new group sponsored by Emily Brothers, Heather Herbert, Suzanna Hopwood, Dr Natacha Kennedy, Councillor Anwen Muston, Cllr Osh Gantly, Dr Heather Peto and Astrid Walker. Because I have "kept my head down" in the past, I only know of Heather Peto - we have DM'd a few times.
I totally support Labour Trans Equality. Our party is being invaded by people who are anti-trans and transphobic.
The GC get very touchy about being called "transphobic", the dictionary definition of transphobia is "dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people" - something they are certainly guilty of - prejudice.
A link to the Labour Trans Equality website can be found by clicking HERE. Their Twitter handle is: @LabourLte
Will I do anything to help?
Well, I am "out" now, purely because I had to use my trans experiences and knowledge to counter the arguments put forward by WPUK/LWD members. I felt obliged to "out" myself because if I did not, who in my CLP could speak with any authority for trans folk?
My anonymity is gone, instead of being seen as a woman I will be seen as "trans."
No doubt some in my CLP admire me for what I did or being trans - others will despise me. This is not what I planned but we are where we are and now my activism will be even stronger.
So try stopping me working with Labour Trans Equality - and I hope you will join with me in defeating transphobia in the Labour Party.