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PinkNews Awards

Jeremy Corbyn shares his pronouns in solidarity with trans community at PinkNews Awards

Nick Duffy October 16, 2019

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the PinkNews Awards (Paul Grace)

Jeremy Corbyn introduced himself at the PinkNews Awards by sharing his pronouns, before delivering a rousing speech about the need for progress on LGBT+ issues.

The Labour Party leader made the comments in a speech at the annual event in Westminster on Wednesday, which also received a video address from prime minister Boris Johnson.

Jeremy Corbyn: There’s a long way to go on LGBT+ rights.

Speaking at the event, Corbyn said: “My name is Jeremy Corbyn, pronouns he/him, and I’m very proud to be here tonight.”

He said: “On Monday, we should get confirmation that equal marriage will become legal in Northern Ireland.

“This is thanks in no small measure to all the work done by people in this country over many years, and the complete change in attitude in the Republic of Ireland as well.  We’ll have equal marriage across the whole of the UK.

“We still have a long way to go. The cuts since austerity came in have disproportionately affected LGBT communities, especially sexual and mental health services. That has to change.

“To end new HIV transmissions we need to reverse the cuts in public health as well, and introduce routine commissioning of PrEP as soon as possible across the country.”

Jeremy Corbyn presented the Drama Award to EastEnders
Jeremy Corbyn presented the Drama Award to EastEnders (Paul Grace)

He added: “There’s also some disturbing figures we have to bear in mind. Transphobic hate crimes surged by 37 per cent last year.

“Homophobic hate crime rose by 25 per cent. We have to come together to defeat this hatred perpetrated by fundamentally nasty people on the streets of our country.”

He added: “The whole issue about inclusive education is very important, that children growing up in our schools understand what living in an inclusive liberal society is actually about.

“We want our children to understand the history of the struggle for LGBT rights, the history of how recognition came about, and that it’s a good thing to live in a diverse society.

“I’m determined that we see an improvement in LGBT education in this country.”

Drama Award presented to EastEnders for outstanding LGBT+ representation.

The Labour leader also presented the Drama Award, which celebrates a TV series that has significantly represented issues affecting the LGBT+ community.

He quipped: “What I also enjoy is drama. I sit in a place full of drama a lot of the time, but drama comes in many, many forms.”

The award went to BBC soap EastEnders.

Praising the show, Corbyn said: “They educate, entertain and inform in the great traditions of that institution.”

This year Albert Square got a Pride parade, a drag performance, a gay kiss, and the sight of Phil Mitchell punching a homophobe.

It’s part of new producer Kate Oates’ plans to make the 34-year-old BBC soap more diverse, after EastEnders was previously accused of not being an authentic depiction of modern London.

Writer Pete Lawson said: “35 years ago EastEnders started and I was fifteen, and there were no LGBT people on TV.

“I would have loved to have seen the life that was out there waiting for me. If you told me then that 35 years later I would have been here with this amazing show, I would have been amazed.

“It would have made me very, very happy. As a show we had the first gay kiss, the first gay Muslims, we had the first trans character, and this year we wanted to tell the story of Pride.

“We wanted to show a day in the lives of our community that for so many of us is important, for so many of us it’s a time when we first stood somewhere with hundreds and thousands of people and said ‘these are my people, this is my family, this is where I belong.'”

The nominees for the Drama Award were:

  • Butterfly, ITV
  • Pose, FX / BBC
  • Gentleman Jack, BBC
  • Sex Education, Netflix
  • EastEnders, BBC

This is the seventh annual PinkNews Awards, sponsored by Amazon, and taking place at Church House, headquarters of the Church of England.

More: Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, PinkNews Awards, pronouns

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