This trans Labour member is spearheading efforts to ‘tackle anti-trans rhetoric’ in the party and maybe, finally elect a trans MP
Local efforts to tackle anti-trans rhetoric in the Labour Party are being spearheaded by a transgender man.
Dylan Tippetts, the LGBT+ officer for the Bridgwater and West Somerset Constituency Labour Party (CLP), wants “an educative approach to tackle anti-trans rhetoric” and to improve transgender representation in the party.
“I know the trans community deserve better than a fight between anti-trans groups, ‘legitimately concerned’ members and trans members,” Tippetts wrote in Labour List.
“We must be mature and listen to all sides of the conversation and take opportunities to educate when someone is misinformed, because that way we gain friends rather than enemies in the upward, worldwide battle for trans equality.”
Tippetts outlined the progress made in the past eight months — such as his local branch considering how to improve trans representation — as well as the steps that still need to be taken.
His comments come a week after Labour MP Nadia Whittome condemned Tory equalities chief Liz Truss for “fanning the flames of populist hate” against trans people with her “quibbling” over announcing Gender Recognition Act reform.
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After months of tension and anxiety for the trans community, Truss has now promised to publish the government’s response to the GRA results “over the summer”. Shadow women and equalities minister Marsha de Cordova MP said Labour “will be holding her to her pledge not to roll back trans rights”.
Cordova and Whittome’s commitment to trans rights came after trans Labour members accused leader Keir Starmer of “complicit silence” following a Sunday Times article in June that claimed the Tories planned to attack trans rights.
Amid the increasingly toxic public debate about trans lives, Tippetts’ optimism about addressing transphobia in the party is refreshing.
He continued: “As a local party, we have achieved great things over the last eight months to advance trans rights. Most significantly, my local branch passed a motion titled ‘delivering a trans-inclusive Labour Party’.
“In this motion we noted how anti-trans rhetoric is still given a platform in the party, called for an educative approach to tackle anti-trans rhetoric and considered how we could improve trans representation at all levels of the party.”
Tippetts recently held a local event with Luke Pollard, Plymouth’s first out MP, who “highlighted some amazing work going on in his constituency that supports trans and non-binary people as well as the LGBT+ community as a whole”.
“The members who attended this talk found it inspiring and felt more aware of issues faced by the trans and wider LGBT+ community,” Tippett concluded. “Because of this, our CLP will be hosting more events like this one on a variety of topics and I encourage other CLPs to consider doing the same.
“It is important to have these conversations in safe environments, so members have the opportunity to learn and ask questions.”