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Conservative Conference, Ranjith Kankanamalage, BBC and other LGBTQIA+ news this week
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Conservative Conference, Ranjith Kankanamalage, BBC and other LGBTQIA+ news this week

Jamie Wareham
Jamie Wareham

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The decisions putting the UK on a list with Poland, Hungary and Russia

It's entirely possible to be LGBTQIA+ and a tory. So says Boris Johnson's wife Carrie.

This week at the Conservative's first IRL conference since the pandemic, and we learned some stark facts about the UK's direction for queer rights.

It was made clear by the Equalities and Foreign Office Minister Liz Truss, that self-ID for transgender people won't happen while she's in charge. Speaking to The Telegraph’s Chopper’s Politics Podcast at a fringe event she said ‘Medical checks are important.’

There is currently a four-year wait to begin these 'checks', and it takes two years to go through them. The process, which Truss says they "simplified" this year, means transgender people can be stuck in limbo for six years before legally being recognised as the person they've always been.

Truss ended her conference by heading to Manchesters Cruz 101 nightclub to dance to Tina Turner's ‘Simply The Best’ at a party hosted by LGBT+ Conservatives. - Yahoo

It followed an event, hosted by Stonewall, where Carrie Johnson gave a speech about everything her husband Boris Johnson had done for LGBTQIA+ rights in the UK. It's significant because it was her only appearance at the weekend. Even more, given equalities minister, Liz Truss, has been urging government departments to quit the charity’s Diversity Champions programme.

Carrie spent her four-minute speech, talking about what her husband had done for us. Johnson, who called us "tank top wearing bum boys", also lifted the foreign office ban (brought in by another Conservative) on embassy's displaying pride flags she argued. Indeed, there was a whole bunch of things we should thank Boris for, as Patrick Strudwick fabulously sums up in i News this week.

But ever since Johnson took over the party, its LGBT manifesto drafted by Theresa May's government, has been kicked into the long grass. Transgender reforms have been shelved and just last week the ban on conversion therapy was delayed.

Elsewhere at the conference, Nadine Dorris says she regrets "voting against love", as someone who voted against same-sex marriage. - LBC

Dominic Raab described misogyny as something men can face from women. - BBC

But perhaps the sentiment that says everything you need to know is the LGBT Conservative group were given 'Section 28' of the conference floor. - The Mirror

What is this all telling us?

Well, the culmination of all of this coming out of the conference is why the Council Of Europe has blamed the UK government for our rising hate crimes. Indeed, it's placed us alongside Hungary, Poland and Russia as countries that are actively rolling back LGBTQIA+ rights. That's Boris Johnson's global Britain.

The overriding theme from the conference is the war on 'woke' cancel culture and against 'identities politics' seems to be full-on.

I last faced this at university, against a set of Student Union officers who said identity politics divided us. The argument goes that by focusing on our identities, we were forgetting we were all human.

Sounds sensible at first glance. But it misses the fact that we aren't simply just human. We're humans, with lots of wonderful differences, that have unique and dedicated needs. Something anyone that comes from a marginalised background will always understand.

It's a gamble too because though this argument can land well with some older voters, a new generation of young people is growing up beyond the binary.

They are growing up in a world where their difference is exactly what they want to be celebrated. Indeed, where our differences are the very thing, that unite us.

Jamie Wareham, he/him, gay,queer,disabled I started QueerAF to fund queer media careers. Will you join our movement?
P.S. - We beat those Student Union officers by acting like radical queers. We turned up, modeled the change we wanted to see, and got a seat at the table. So, a big thanks to this week's set of founding members including John Wareham - who are going to help us do this, by funding a new generation of queer creatives. Do you know anyone who could be our next founding member to make more of this work possible?
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