LGBTQ

Letters: Labour and trans rights, for and against homeopathy

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:00

Labour must break from triangulation on trans rights

The Labour manifesto’s wording on trans rights is a result of triangulation on the part of the Clause V meeting that drew it up.

On the one hand, the manifesto calls for a commitment for the reform of the GRA in order to demedicalise the process of application for a Gender Recognition Certificate and the amendment of birth certificates to correspond with gender identity. This is a policy supported by a broad base of Labour Party members and strongly amongst young activists in the party. On the flip-side, the manifesto also calls for a

Transphobia and antisemitism

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 16:20
Author

Natalia Cassidy

In Solidarity 498, in March of this year, I wrote a review of an article by Joni Alizah Cohen in which she drew upon Moishe Postone’s work on the basis of the extreme Nazi iteration of antisemitism and compared this to the way the Nazis themselves as well as the contemporary fascistic far-right rationalise their hatred of transgender people.

She argues that there is a common basis in what she terms abstractions. Jews represent “abstract” financial capital as opposed to the “concrete” industrial capital, whilst the trans woman represents the embodiment of the “abstract” gender vs the “concrete”

Left splits over West Midlands mayor

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:33
Author

Jem Vale

The entrance of former Respect party leader Salma Yaqoob into the contest for the Labour candidacy for West Midlands mayor is causing a bitter row within Momentum and the Labour left as a whole throughout the region.

In principle, the idea of a female ethnic minority candidate is attractive. But Yaqoob’s record makes her a highly problematic prospective candidate.

There are many aspects of Yaqoob’s record that have caused concern, but the most obvious is her campaign, as an independent candidate, against Labour’s Naz Shah in Bradford West at the last general election in 2017.

Now, Shah –

Graham Hellawell 1964-2019

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 08:50
Author

Dan Katz

Graham Hellawell has died, aged 55.

Supporters and members of Workers’ Liberty may well remember Graham from when he took an active and leading part in the Campaign for Free Education in the mid-1990s.

As President of Huddersfield University Students’ Union, Graham helped to set up CfE. For a while the Campaign was a very large force inside the National Union of Students battling against the Blairites’ attempts to ditch free education policy.

Graham was also active in Unison, in health campaigns and in the fight against racism and fascism. In the 2001 General Election he stood as a Socialist

GRA reforms face delays

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 11:02
Author

Misha Zubrowski

Crucial reforms to facilitate basic trans rights have been kicked into the long grass by the Conservatives.

Amendments to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) would have simplified the process for trans people to legally change gender. The current process is long, difficult, expensive, degrading, and excessively medicalised.

Transphobic attacks — almost half of which were physically violent — have trebled in the last half-a-decade. The amendments would not stop these, but are a necessary part of unambiguously standing up for trans rights. Trans people also face horrifically high rates of mental

Violence in Lewisham Momentum

Published on: Thu, 15/08/2019 - 14:49
Author

Mark Osborn

A further series of unpleasant attacks on left activists aligned with Workers’ Liberty took place at the Lewisham Momentum meeting held on Wednesday 14 August.

The most serious incident at this Momentum meeting was that Bill Jefferies of Ladywell ward, Lewisham Deptford CLP, physically attacked me. He hit me on the chin and grabbed my throat, in the hall outside the meeting room as the meeting was breaking up. He is 10cm taller and 40kg heavier than me.

I’m okay, as always. But my chin still hurts and there’s a mark on my neck.

The witnesses to this incident were Tom Harris and Rob Robertson.

The LGBT+ subculture in interwar Berlin and the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft

Published on: Tue, 16/07/2019 - 15:07
Author

Natalia Cassidy

The end of the First World War meant the end of the Kaiser’s rule. The attempted Socialist revolution in Germany in November 1918 and the accompanying wave of strikes forced Kaiser Wilhelm II, as well as all 22 monarchical princes of the German federal structure, to abdicate.

From this it was not the revolutionary socialists, but the social democrats that took power. They established the Weimar Republic, with an SPD (German Social Democratic Party) majority in the Reichstag. It was at the establishment of this republic that, with a vibrant gay and lesbian subculture, the Institut für

Stonewall and the early days

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 09:18
Author

Ian Townson

The “Stonewall riots”, which began on 28 June 1969 in New York, marked the start of the modern lesbian and gay rights movement.

During the McCarthyite witch hunts in 1950s America it was believed that a homosexual underground existed as part of a “communist conspiracy”. It was sometimes called the Homintern (after the Comintern, the Stalinist Communist International). The fearful authorities went so far as to depict this threat to security as a contagious social disease. Despite the fact that it was completely illegal to be gay and despite rabid persecution by the FBI and other state agencies

Leicester protest at Trump’s state visit

Published on: Wed, 12/06/2019 - 13:05
Author

Liz Yeates

Despite the rain and it being a weekday, roughly 100 people gathered at Leicester’s clock tower to protest the ridiculous state visit laid on for Donald Trump. There was a buoyant atmosphere and a diverse crowd — much like the previous Trump actions in Leicester, just a little smaller.

Leicester was an early starter on the anti-Trump circuit due to the rather odd invitation from the Director of the Richard III Centre to Trump, who predictably believes he is descended from the controversial monarch. Leicester against Trump, a coalition of Greens, regular folk, and supporters of Workers’

Ban is antisemitic

Published on: Wed, 12/06/2019 - 12:41
Author

Chris Reynolds

On 7 June, a lesbian pride march in Washington DC, the “DC Dyke March” banned marchers who had Stars of David on their rainbow flags. The organisers said that anti-Zionist Jews were welcome, and that they banned flags with Stars of David because they wanted to exclude all “nationalist” symbols.

Lots of people are nationalists of different shades. Why should they be banned from lesbian pride marches? And Palestinian flags weren’t banned. A similar ban was imposed at a pride march in Chicago in 2017. Root-and-branch anti-Israel politics inevitably spills over into antisemitism.

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