Andrew Adonis, a politician who came out only three months ago, doesn’t understand why an MP coming out is important
British lawmaker Andrew Adonis, who leapt into headlines late last year after coming out as gay, doesn’t understand why politician Layla Moran coming out as pansexual is important.
Liberal Democrat and potential party leader Layla Moran came out as pansexual to PinkNews yesterday, criticising parliament as a “weird, backwards place” for LGBT+ people.
Pansexuality means someone who is attracted to people regardless of sex and gender identity. The prefix ‘pan’ means ‘all’, rejecting the gender binary and the qualities it separates.
But the Oxford West and Abingdon Member of Parliament’s announcement appeared to scrape Lord Adonis, the Labour politician who came out as gay to a newspaper last year.
‘The fact that you can say it’s not a story is down to those who fought while you were silent’: LGBT+ activists condemn Andrew Adonis.
Detractors quickly piled on the peer, flagging that he himself publicly came out in a similar way to Moran, while others noted that, given the low representation of pansexuality, the need for such stories remains.
Why is this a story? https://t.co/XGciHb1tML
— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) January 2, 2020
“Because, sadly, it still needs to be,” explained one user, “and needs to be until people get that it not longer needs to be.”
Lord Adonis’ take prompted potent reactions from LGBT+ Twitter users:
You made your own coming out a story. Which you did well into middle age, enjoying the protection of money + status. Some of us came out as teenagers, in the last century + with nothing. The fact that you can say it's not a story is down to those who fought while you were silent. https://t.co/FAKbqPICJc
— Patrick Strudwick (@PatrickStrud) January 3, 2020
— David Chipakupaku (@David_Chippa) January 2, 2020
absolutely abhor when ppl do this. it’s patronising + performative. ofc it’s a story. we live in a society which still has homophobia deeply rooted within it, in which hate crimes against LGBTQ+ ppl are rising. its news when someone in public eye comes out bc its still brav https://t.co/jpb46mZ76w
— Ben Smoke (@bencsmoke) January 3, 2020
Because it's important for young LGBTQ+ kids that no matter what the world throws at them they can overcome it and do whatever they want to do. That's why people coming out is a story, because it still matters. https://t.co/nLvKcpF9zo
— Caitlin ?️?? (@CaitlinRose52) January 2, 2020
Some users rushed to Lord Adonis’s defence, noting that as vital as visibility is, “we should live in a world where this isn’t a story because it should be that simply [love is love].”
I get what @Andrew_Adonis means, is in the nicest way that we should live in a world where this isn’t a story because it should be that simply #loveislove. I thought that too (& I’ve congratulated @LaylaMoran myself) people should be able to be happy without having to justify it.
— Catherine D #tacticalvote #CitizensAssembly (@Groovycathers) January 3, 2020
As much as Moran coming out provoked pan-erasure from some, countless lawmakers, figureheads and activists welcomed her announcement as a momentous leap in pan-representation in politics.
Love is love and people should talk about it when they damn well choose. Happy she is happy. https://t.co/J12PUuaOQZ
— Jess Phillips MP (@jessphillips) January 3, 2020
— Chardine Taylor Stone ? (@misschazmatazz) January 2, 2020
Not so long ago the press would hound any MP who wasn’t heterosexual. Now the UK has more MPs who can publicly be themselves than any other parliament in the world. Such good news ? https://t.co/J09lYO2dPC
— Benjamin Butterworth (@benjaminbutter) January 2, 2020
PinkNews contacted Lord Adonis for comment, who said he had “nothing more to say” on the topic.
“Except that I hope we are soon in a world where people’s sexuality isn’t a media story.”
Layla Moran: ‘I feel now is the time to talk about it.’
Moran explained that her coming out in the context of being an MP has been “slightly more difficult” than telling her friends and family.
“I feel now is the time to talk about it, because as an MP I spend a lot of my time defending our community and talking about our community.
“I want people to know I am part of our community as well.”
She continued: “I don’t know if there’s any other (MPs) who would identify as pansexual, and not that many who identify as bisexual – there are a few women who are brilliant role models who have come out in their lesbian relationships.”
Similarly, Lord Adonis, who came out publicly four years after splitting from his wife, described coming out to loved ones as “difficult”.
“It was very difficult. I mean, in the scale of things I had to deal with in my life, it was just one of them.”