British MP likens toxic trans debate to when gay men were accused of being pedophiles
One of the painfully familiar elements in the ongoing fight for trans freedoms is how similar the toxicity is within the anti-trans rhetoric.
Not so long ago were the days when being gay was conflated with being a predator or a child abuser. All the discussion about ‘safe spaces’ basically means there is an air of assumed criminality, simply for being trans.
The Conservative MP for Golders Green and Finchley, Mike Freer, who is also the Minister for Equalities for 2022 has spoken very candidly about what he thinks is the right path forward. We all know how dangerous this talk can be with crimes against trans people increasing by the day.
Freer said: “It gets me down that the debate is so toxic, and sometimes it feels like I am banging my head against the wall, I’ve said for a long time that it felt that we’d gone back to those days when all gay men were paedophiles or gay men were predators,”
He went on: “Some of it is fear of the unknown – they don’t know any trans people and don’t know the community. They don’t understand it because it’s just not within their world. And that’s a big job we’ve got to do working with the trans community. One of the things I’ve been trying to avoid is this horrible debate on body parts. I’m not going down that line because that dehumanises people.”
Back in the 2013 debate on equal marriage, Freer spoke publicly about being gay three years after he was elected. Equal marriage was subsequently legalised and he says it’s the personal stories of LGBTQ+ politicians that marked a sea change in the argument.
Mark continued, in an opinion that’s somewhat at odds with his party: “We have many members of parliament who have got trans siblings, they’ve got trans children, they have got people in their family or wider network that are trans. In the equal marriage debate, originally a lot of the gay MPs thought we didn’t want to be at the forefront [of the conversation], let’s leave it to the allies.”
“But actually if we don’t step up, who else will? That changed the tone of the debate because it allowed colleagues to see the like the human face of the issue. It’s much harder to attack and you help people understand, because they say ‘well, they’re just like you, they’re just like me. And as I keep saying that equal marriage debate taught me that humanising the issue takes a lot of the heat out. So I’m trying to it’s a very personal decision to try and say to people, look, we need people to step forward.”
We couldn’t agree more and for politician to speak such sense is a rarity indeed. We HAVE to change this narrative or we will see more and more hardship for some of the most vulnerable members of society.