Friday 1 March 2019 LGBT+ / Stories / Women and Equalities

Meet some of the LGBT activists across our movement


Melantha, co-chair of our affiliated society LGBT Labour 

“For me, LGBT History Month is so important because it’s vital that we celebrate the LGBT role models who are so often cut out of the wider conversation. The month is a great opportunity to dedicate the time and space to talk about these people and lift them up.

Young people who aren’t sure about their sexuality or gender identity benefit from seeing role models who not only survive as LGBT people – but who thrive. Role models let the next generation of LGBT people know that they’re not alone and it’s okay to be who they are.”

Read Melantha’s full story on Instagram.


Emily, Britain’s first openly transgender parliamentary candidate and disability and equality activist

“I’ve been active with Labour since I joined the party in 1980, and in 2015 I became the first transgender person to stand as a parliamentary candidate. As a disabled woman, as an LGBT woman and as a feminist, I want to champion intersectionality and champion women who come from all kinds of backgrounds.

I think LGBT History Month is a lens we can look through to make LGBT people more visible in everyday life as well as political life so that our contribution can be recognised and so that we can make more advances.”

Read Emily’s full story on Instagram.


Rohit, lecturer and Labour councillor in Newham

“I grew up in Bengal, India, so for me it was a no brainer that Labour would be the party for me. I moved to the UK when I was 20, and I’ve been a Labour Party member since 2010. In 2017 I stood as a parliamentary candidate in East Hampshire – Damian Hinds’ seat. I was the first openly out BAME candidate at the time.

LGBT History Month is a great time to celebrate the diversity in our community. As a BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) queer man, the dual discrimination and prejudice I’ve faced has come from within the LGBTQ community, from the South Asian community for being LGBTQ and from overall society for being both South Asian and LGBTQ. This is why intersectionality is so important, and it’s clear that there’s still so much to do to end prejudice and discrimination from all sides.”

Read Rohit’s full story on Instagram.


Dawn Butler, LGBT ally, MP for Brent Central and Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities

“When we focus on an awareness month like LGBT History Month, it gives us the opportunity to reflect and to think about how far we’ve come in the fight to conquer the struggles faced by that community. It’s always good to re-examine who we are, to consider the intersectionality that exists, and re-examine how we think about things and how we treat people who are different from us.

I’m a proud and loud advocate and ally to the LGBT community in my role at Labour and in my personal life too. Equality is something I’m really passionate about, and equality means equality – it means we have to fight for each other’s rights to achieve it. We must use our privilege and platform to advance the rights of those more marginalised than us.”

Read Dawn’s full story on Instagram.


Philip, artist and Labour councillor in Lambeth

“This year’s LGBT History Month theme is ‘peace, reconciliation and activism’, which is something I can relate to and think is important. I’ve campaigned with Labour since I was a teenager, and for me, no other party has done as much for LGBT equality as Labour. That’s why I’m so proud to be a Labour councillor, representing both my community and my area.

LGBT safe spaces are crucial, and one of the things I’ve been proud to have worked on is the campaign to protect LGBT venues in London – The Mayor’s LGBT+ Venues Charter.”

Read Philip’s full story on Instagram.


Anton, trade unionist and Labour activist

“LGBT and Labour have overlapped for most of my adult life. From my time as Chair of the Greater London LGBT Unite Committee 25 years ago to my time serving as Secretary and then Chair of LGBT Labour (we called it the Labour Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights back then!), I’m proud to have been part of Labour’s history advancing LGBT rights.

The relationship between trade unions and the LGBT community is a long and proud one. Lesbians and gays may now have equal rights, but it didn’t just happen by magic, it was down to the tireless work of activists, communities and campaigners and thanks to a Labour Government.”

Read Anton’s full story on Instagram.

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