Prime Minister Theresa May has spoken out about trans equality.

Mrs May became the first serving Prime Minister to make a personal appearance at the PinkNews Awards, which was also attended by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.



Speaking at the Awards, the Prime Minister owed to “streamline” the Gender Recognition Act, to make it easier for transgender people to transition, in stark contrast to US president Donald Trump.

She said: “We’ve set out plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act, streamlining and de-medicalising the process for changing gender, because being trans is not an illness and it shouldn’t be treated as such.”

The PM also pledged to introduce inclusive sex and relationship education.

She explained: “We need to keep up our action, so we are pressing ahead with inclusive relationship and sex education in English schools, making sure that LGBT issues are taught well. We’re determined to eradicate homophobic and transphobic bullying.”

She added: “David Cameron says that legislation was one of his proudest achievements as Prime Minister, and it is one of my proudest achievements as Home Secretary. But we need to keep up our action, so we are pressing ahead with inclusive relationship and sex education in English schools, making sure that LGBT issues are taught well.

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“We’re determined to eradicate homophobic and transphobic bullying.”

She added: “We need to keep up our action, so we are pressing ahead with inclusive relationship and sex education in English schools, making sure that LGBT issues are taught well.

“We’re determined to eradicate homophobic and transphobic bullying.”

She added that “Britain has been looking back on a sad chapter of our past,” hailing the campaigners who have ensured the country’s progress over the past 50 years.

“This is always a special event,” May said, “but this year we are marking a truly significant milestone, 50 years on from the Sexual Offences Act and the partial decriminalisation in England and Wales of homosexuality.”

May also listed her government’s achievements, saying: “We’ve completed one of the largest LGBT surveys anywhere in the world so the government can understand LGBT people across the UK.

“We’re implementing a world-leading blood donation policy for gay and bisexual men.

“On the world stage, we’re standing up for LGBT rights, and challenging those governments that inflict discrimination.

“I’m proud to lead a Cabinet with two out members, David Mundell, the first out gay man in a Conservative cabinet, and Justine Greening, the first out gay woman in any cabinet.

“Both build on a legacy of inspirational, trailblazing figures like Lord Smith, who is with you this evening.”

She continued: “We’re supporting great work of the Kaleidoscope Trust.

“I pay tribute to everyone who has contributed to its success, including Speaker Bercow.”

But, the Conservative leader said, the battle was not over.

“There is still a long way to go,” she said.

“Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia have still not been defeated, and they must be.

“Bullying in schools and on social media is still a daily reality for young LGBT people and that has to stop.

“Trans people still face indignities and prejudice when they deserve understanding and respect.

“When we look around the world and we see countries where the human rights of LGBT people are denied and terrible suffering is the result.

“Being trans is not an illness, and should not be treated as such.”

And she told the crowd that “anti-LGBT laws in Commonwealth countries are a legacy of Britain’s colonial past.

“This 50th anniversary reminds us of the power we have to make a change,” she urged.

“Parliament and government have a duty to act, and as Prime Minister, I know that.

“LGBT history is all our history. LGBT success is everyone’s success, and LGBT rights are human rights.”

Theresa May said after the Awards: “It was a huge pleasure to speak at the PinkNews Awards and to recognise Pink News for the great work they do reporting and campaigning on issues of concern for LGBT+ people.

“I am proud to be a member of one of the most diverse Parliaments in the world and of the long way we have come as a country on LGBT+ issues – from the Sexual Offences Act fifty years ago to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples), which I was proud to sponsor as Home Secretary.

“But there is still much more to do and I am committed to seeing that work through – for instance, eradicating homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools, and reforming the Gender Recognition Act – so that we can build a better future for everyone in our society.”

The PinkNews Awards celebrates the contributions of politicians, businesses, campaigners and community groups to improving LGBT+ life in the UK and beyond.

The fifth annual PinkNews Awards was generously supported by Lloyds Banking Group and benefits the Kaleidoscope Trust, which works to fight anti-LGBT+ injustice around the world.

Mrs May entered Parliament as an opponent of LGBT rights, but became a convert for equality during David Cameron’s leadership – supporting the introduction of equal marriage.

Her own Prime Ministership has been beset by controversies over LGBT rights due to her confidence-and-supply deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which is strongly opposed to LGBT equality.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May recently expressed her personal support for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, in an exclusive column for PinkNews.

Writing for PinkNews, Mrs May affirmed: “I want all British citizens to enjoy the fullest freedoms and protections. That includes equal marriage – because marriage should be for everyone, regardless of their sexuality.

“And while that is a matter for the devolved government of Northern Ireland, I will continue to make my position clear – that LGBT+ people in Northern Ireland should have the same rights as people across the rest of the UK.”

Read her speech in full:

It’s a huge pleasure to join you tonight.

I want to thank PinkNews for hosting this event and all your pioneering campaigning on issues of concern to the LGBT community.

Bringing to attention issues that all to often get overlooked.

This is always a special event, but this year we are marking a truly significant milestone, 50 years on from the Sexual Offences Act, and the partial decriminalisation in England and Wales of homosexuality.

Britain has been looking back on a sad chapter of our past, and celebrating how far we have come.

I was delighted to host a reception in Downing Street to meet with LGBT people from all walks of life.

We have come far in 50 years, and we should remember those who campaigned for so long to deliver the positive change.

They thought for what they knew was right with courage and determination and made our country a better place.

There is still a long way to go.

Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia have still not been defeated, and they must be.
Bullying in schools and on social media is still a daily reality for young LGBT people and that has to stop.

Trans people still face indignities and prejudice when they deserve understanding and respect. When we look around the world and we see countries where the human rights of LGBT people are denied and terrible suffering is the result

This 50th anniversary year reminds us of the power we have to make a change.Parliament and government have a duty to act, and as Prime Minister I know that
I’m a proud member of the most diverse government in the world, and the most diverse Conservative government ever. A government with LGBT members and ministers in the Foreign Office, Department for Education, Business Department and Scotland Office.

I’m proud to lead a Cabinet with two out members, David Mundell, the first out gay man in a Conservative cabinet, and Justine Greening, the first out gay woman in any cabinet.

Both build on a legacy of inspirational, trailblazing figures like Lord Smith of Finsbury, who is with you this evening.

Progress we’ve made has been the result of cross-party reforms. A Labour peer and Conservative peer took the Sexual Offenses Act through Parliament 50 years ago.
Great strides were made by the last Labour government. I was proud to be the Home Secretary who published the equal marriage white paper, I was proud to be one of the sponsors of the bill and proud to vote for it to become law, so that today no matter who you are, you can enjoy the love and support of marriage.

David Cameron says that legislation was one of his proudest achievements as Prime Minister, and it is one of my proudest achievements as Home Secretary. But we need to keep up our action, so we are pressing ahead with inclusive relationship and sex education in English schools, making sure that LGBT issues are taught well. We’re determined to eradicate homophobic and transphobic bullying.

We’ve set out plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act, streamlining and demedicalising the process for changing gender, because being trans is not an illness and it shouldn’t be treated as such.

We’ve completed one of the largest LGBT surveys anywhere in the world so the government can understand the experiences of LGBT people across the UK, and find ways to improve public services for LGBT users.
And we’re implementing a world-leading blood donation policy for gay and bisexual men, reducing the deferral period for men who have sex with men from 12 months to 3 months, and exploring how to introduce individual risk assessments.

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I pay tribute to the work of Freedom to Donate in campaigning on this issue.

On the world stage we’re standing up for LGBT rights, and challenging at the highest level those governments which allow or inflict discrimination or abuse

The anti-LGBT laws which remain in some Commonwealth countries are a legacy of Britain’s Colonial past, so the UK government has a special responsibility to help change hearts and minds.

We will insure these important issues are discussed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which we are hosting in London next April.

We’re supporting great work of the Kaleidoscope Trust, and I am pleased that they are also the beneficiaries of this evening.

The Trust does splending works and I pay tribute to everyone who has contributed to its success, including Speaker Bercow.

We’ve come a long way but there is much still to do, and the government has a plan to deliver. We are committed to ensuring that we work that through, because LGBT history is all our history. LGBT success is everyone’s success, and LGBT rights are human rights.

The PinkNews Awards is generously supported by Lloyds Banking Group

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