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Editor’s comment: I welcome council’s LGBT vow

PUBLISHED: 18:02 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 18:02 18 July 2018

Haringey BME LGBT+ charity Wise Thoughts on last weekend's march

Haringey BME LGBT+ charity Wise Thoughts on last weekend's march

Archant

I’m delighted to see Haringey Council signing up to do more for LGBT+ equality.

Those questioning the need for a council to worry about such things when it has roads to pave and budgets to set need only look towards the continuing row about trans women at the bathing ponds on Hampstead Heath. Or, for that matter, at the small group of boorish transphobic protesters who gatecrashed Pride in central London earlier this month with a vile message about transgender people I won’t repeat.

It was my first Pride, as it happens, something that may seem odd given that I am a 30-year-old gay man who lives in London, but then I always was boring.

In some ways, we’ve come a long way since section 28, that divisive and stupid law that banned schools from giving people like me any sex education. And in other ways we are still backward.

Gay people aren’t the primary victims of hate crime. And we as a group, who know more than some but less than others what it means when society is set up to favour other people, should be helping lead the charge against all forms of discrimination. So long as some are treated differently because of race or gender or class, equality is a lie. If the Windrush scandal can happen in 2018, we shouldn’t be lulled by the existence of gay marriage into thinking that we have won any more rights than is politically expedient.

So coming out in support of minority groups like Haringey have done isn’t some abstract point-scoring exercise: it is people in power sending a message that they have the backs of people whose rights are still being denied by others.

Which is why I’d like to make it absolutely clear discrimination – including transphobia – has zero place in this newspaper. If we see or hear anti-trans comments or policies, we’re going to be calling them out just like we would racist or homophobic or sexist ones. We have your backs; I hope in doing so we can do justice to those who far more bravely had the backs of people like me decades ago.

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