I whole-heartedly agree; the political parties need to do more to proactively engage gay people in the political process. There are too few gay councillors and having more would be very advantageous to the parties. Far more diversity is needed in local politics, not just on sexuality, but also age, gender, race etc.
But James, there’s more to the gay scene than G-A-Y. Try something a bit less vacuous!
G-A-Y is namechecked four times, Lady GaGa twice, and the Prime Minister but once! What is New Tory coming to?
You definitely need some Eric Clapton in your life.
I am an out trans women and an elected Liberal Democrat district councillor, sitting on Cambridge City Council. I have generally found my fellow councillors to be extremely supportive, and the opposition have not seen fit to make any personal jibes over my transgender status. I do try to make a point of looking for the LGBt angle in the work I do on the council, and I recently succeeded in getting Cambridge City Council to amend its equality policy, for example, so that it won’t discriminate against trans people in employment or service provision, even where the 2010 Equality Act allows for it.
I’m sure I would find things harder in many other places, but thus far my experience of being out, trans and elected has been entirely positive.
To be fair, I don’t feel like I couldn’t join any of the mainstream parties or that I would be hindered from standing for election. In this instance, the problem isn’t to do with parties not doing enough to attract LGBT people, the councillor who authored this piece obviously had trouble dealing with his sexuality full stop. It was specific to him and his own fears, so he can’t then heap the blame onto political parties because he wasn’t strong enough to deal with himself. Just look how many gay MPs there have been in the last decade, way before he even became a councillor. If he’d been that worried, surely he would have joined a party with a better track record on such an important issue for him (though the Tories have improved since 2006). Sorry, but I think it’s about the personal barriers of the individual than the attitudes of Tory, Lib Dem or Labour (BNP, English Democrats and UKIP don’t count as they don’t really like anyone, let’s face it). Anyway, aren’t politicians supposed to be strong enough to take on these challenges? Well, that’s what I hoped for when I went to vote.
Especially the Conservatives.
It would also be nice if all those who were openly gay in politics (and I’m assuming that politics, like any other thing, already attracts LGBT poeple who aren’t open) took a more positive stand on LGBT issues and didn’t always mimic what their straight counterparts say and consistently merely tow the party line.
As far as I can see if I contact another gay MP and get told to bugger off becuase I’m not a constituent of theirs and to contact some anti gay local mp then I really don’t care how many gay LGBT mps etc there are ….
Yes it would be nice to have more openaly gay MPs etc but please remember that you are gay ….
Well done, James, now that you’re out and open, why not open your eye? While you’re waiting the “old guard to dye off”, the coalition you support is recruiting the “new guard”, as much homophobic as the old one. And if you dare to open both eyes, you’ll notice they’re also pulling the plug on the life support of the old, the ill and the vulnerable. There should be life outside the G-A-Y and the London scene. Think about yourself a few years down the line from now. Think about it.
tories are evil…shame on gay tories!
The politics of the future will ask for more courage than merely just looking for acceptance. We all know that women in the UK face great hostility in politics and in the work place. So when it comes to LGBT in politics, the game has to be bigger, higher and better than what the Tory’s have offered us. To date, everything we’ve achieved in terms of rights (yes what is rightfully mine) has been half-achieved by Labour. So, spin aside, I need to see action from the Lib Dems, Tories AND Labour before I’ll drink their half filled cups.
Welcome out. Good for you James. I hope you are one of those in the conservative party who are relentlessly lobying Cameron hard for gay marriage. I also hope you are also strongly encouraging others within the party to come out.