Trans Day of Visibility
Trans Day of Visibility

On Trans Day of Visibility 2021, Luke Pollard MP has released the following statement:

Today is the Trans Day of Visibility. Plymouth has a growing trans and non-binary community and I am proud to speak up for trans people in Parliament.

As Plymouth’s first out MP I believe I have a special responsibility to provide a platform to amplify the experiences of LGBT people in Plymouth. Trans people remain one of the most discriminated groups in society and despite progress there is an enormous amount of work still needed until trans people can enjoy the same rights and freedom from fear enjoyed by other communities in our city.

So today, I wanted to encourage you to do a few things to make Plymouth a safer and more welcoming environment for our city’s trans communities. So here’s five things you can do:

  1. Be an ally. You don’t need to be trans to be supportive of trans rights. You can be an ally, you can create safe and welcoming communities and you can call our hate and discrimination when you see it. I have my pronouns (he/him) on my website and social media bios and encourage others to share their own pronouns to help people feel comfortable – it also shows you are an ally.
  2. Fight for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minorities access to support. People don’t exist in single boxes and that’s the same with trans people too. Just as straight people or gay people or cis-gendered folk aren’t all the same colour, the same height or with the same experiences that’s true of trans communities too. Some trans people face additional discrimination because of their skin colour or background.
  3. Support trans-inclusive education. Age appropriate education on LGBT issues is something that helps our young people understand the rich tapestry and diversity of our society. Helping our young people understand their own feelings, their place in the world and respect and understand others is a vital part of education and that should apply to all aspects of the LGBT community. Trans young people are some of the most likely to try to take their lives. Let’s ensure that our schools are safer places for young LGBT people.
  4. Support better access to healthcare. One of the most common issues raised with me as an MP by trans people is problems accessing healthcare. Long waiting lists for gender clinics, difficulties accessing GP services and refusal of GPs to support trans people are all sadly common problems. Everyone should be able to access healthcare free at the point of need and in 2021 we need all our healthcare practitioners to be trained in trans healthcare and understand how to treat people with respect. There are some amazing healthcare professionals in Plymouth doing this but there are others where more progress is needed.
  5. Support the fight to be protected against conversion therapy. The Government is dragging its feet on its pledge to ban conversion therapy. These are cruel and harmful practices seeking to ‘cure’ LGBT people. There is nothing wrong with being LGBT and there is nothing to cure. I want to see a new law brought forward to ban LGBT conversion therapy. Trans people have been subject to this awful type of abuse and as your MP I want to reassure you that I will vote to ban LGBT conversion therapies. They’re cruel and have no place in the 21st century. I also back the ability of trans people to self ID.

Trans people deserve to lead full and free lives in their own gender and identity. But sadly there is too much hate towards trans people and we have a Government still too keen to start a culture war against trans people. I won’t stand for this and will call out hate.  The Equality Act, the last piece of legislation passed by the last Labour Government, protected trans people alongside other protected groups. I do not believe there is should be a trade off between one protected group and another.

So, today on trans day of visibility please take some steps to make our city and our country a safer and more welcoming place for our trans friends. There is a lot of work still to be done so let’s recommit ourselves to do this.

If you have any views of questions please let me know #plymouth. This is an area I know not everyone is familiar with so happy helping answer some questions if that’s useful.

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