Supporting Trans and Non-Binary People Within the Liberal Democrats — My Speech

A non-binary femme person in a gender neutral bathroom
A non-binary femme in a gender neutral bathroom — Image from Gender Photos at Vice (CC BY 4.0)

Hello conference, thank you for coming.

I’m trans and bi, about as out as it gets. I got my GRC about this time last year at Conference.

I’m not ashamed to be out.

But I am afraid to be out.

Being trans or non-binary and out in the UK is a scary thing as attacks on who we are have skyrocketed. Sadly — sometimes — even from within our community.

Trans and non-binary people in the UK live in a country where too much of the media is hostile to us — hostile to the very idea that trans and non-binary people should exist without being questioned about our right to be ourselves.

It’s against this backdrop that trans and non-binary people in the UK must live their lives.

The truth is that when you’ve spent a day studiously ignoring the people who stare at you — filming you — talking about you like you’re a freak in a circus show — you need to be amongst people who don’t treat you like that. You need to be amongst a community that accepts you.

Acceptance is an important thing to trans and non-binary people. It’s important to everyone, but often our cis binary peers take it for granted.

Acceptance is a simple thing.

It’s a thing of moments; taking the time to respect another enough to accept them; the respect to accept that somebody who says that they are a he, or a they, or a ze, or a she, that is who they are.

The respect and acceptance that it is not for you to demand that another person cannot be who they say they are.

It is not a belief to accept that a woman is a woman. It is not an act of faith to accept that a non-binary person is non-binary.

It’s just an acceptance of a fact;

non-binary people are non-binary,

Trans men are men,

Trans women are women.

We are accepted as ourselves and sheltered at the most vulnerable times of our lives, whether that’s in hospital or seeking shelter from abuse.

And yet, a third of the way into the 21st century and here we are again with our right to use the toilets we choose to use — rather than being forced into using facilities that are imposed upon us — up for debate.

Yet again we find our dignity — even our very existence as ourselves — up for debate.

Despite what some may claim trans women aren’t “predators in disguise” or hide “predators amongst us”.

Trans men aren’t “confused lesbians” who “mutilate themselves”. “Sterilise themselves”. “Need protecting from themselves”.

Non-binary people aren’t “fake attention seekers” or “people too naive to understand the difference between who they are and the gendered stereotypes of society”.

We aren’t oddities.

We aren’t freaks.

We aren’t “others” to be treated as afterthoughts, or not thought of at all.

I am a woman. Just the same as any other.

We are people, just the same as any other person.

As equally deserving of respect and acceptance.

It is the third decade of the 21st century and all we ask is that this is accepted and respected.

Please vote for the motion

Thank you.

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