House of Commons debate trans exclusion from the conversion therapy ban, with one MP praising Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney

House of Commons debate trans exclusion from the conversion therapy ban, with one MP praising Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney
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The parliamentary debate into trans people being excluded from a ban on conversion therapy began yesterday.

Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney received an honourable mention for inspiring “young trans people across the world” in the process.

 

The House of Commons yesterday (June 13) debated a petition signed by over 145,000 people calling for a trans-inclusive ban on the archaic practice of conversion therapy.

MPs from across the political spectrum spoke up in defence of trans people and called for a ban covering all LGBTQ+ people in the UK.

 

The debate was raised in the HOC thanks to a petition, signed by over 145,000 people, calling for a trans-inclusive ban on the unethical practice.

More than one in 10 trans people in the UK have been offered or have undergone conversion therapy, according to the government’s own National LGBT Survey.

 

The petition was created after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson scrapped plans for a ban covering all LGBTQ+ people, instead confirming plans to move forward with legislation outlawing conversion therapy only on the basis of sexuality.

 

During the debate, Labour MP Luke Pollard, gave a ‘shout out’ to trans Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney and touched on his own experience growing up in the UK as a closeted gay teen.

“When I was a spotted, closeted teenager, there were not an awful lot of LGBT role models in society. No professional footballers or Olympic athletes,” Pollard said. “There are now.” 

“We have visibility in our society. I am pleased with all my heart that young people can now see LGBT people both in the public eye and on screen.

 

Pollard continued, “As some members will know, I am an unapologetic fan of Netflix’s Heartstopper. I remember being both Nick and Charlie at school.”

“Yasmin Finney, who plays Elle, is epic in her acting; however, for me, it is her class and visibility as a trans actor, and her transfer to the Doctor Who universe, that has inspired not only me but young trans people across the world.”

“That visibility and legitimacy has saved lives.”

 

Heartstopper co-star Joe Locke tweeted a response to Yasmin’s parliamentary mention, saying “You’re changing the world @Yazdemand and I am so proud of you.”

While Kit Connor, who plays Nick in the show, said “this makes me so happy @Yazdemand”

While Yasmin herself called Pollard’s reference to Heartstopper, which has already been renewed for  second and third season, and its transgender representation “a moment for the history books.

Then adding “Nothing better than to be seen as a young black trans girl just trying to make a difference”

 

The practice of conversion therapy can take various forms but often refers to any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity, using psychological, physical, or spiritual interventions. It is based on the assumption that being lesbian, gay, bi or trans is a mental illness that can be ‘cured’.

These therapies are widely considered ineffective, unethical and harmful for anyone who undergoes the process.

In response to the petition, provided on 12 May 2022, the Government said:

“We will introduce a ban protecting everyone from attempts to change their sexual orientation. Recognising the complexity of issues we will consider the issue of transgender conversion therapy further.”

 

Read more about conversion therapy, from the perspective of a trans person, by clicking here. Clips from the debate below.

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