Lesbians are becoming invisible, lost in the ever-growing LGBTQIA+ list which was developed without our participation. It covers a range of very diverse groups with varying needs and agendas. Our rights and views are never a priority for the organisations which claim to represent us. Anti-lesbianism is rarely mentioned in discussions of ‘homophobia’.
Anti-lesbianism is a combination of
Prejudice against our same-sex attraction and relationships
Misogyny – prejudice against us as women
Sexism and sex discrimination
The Labour Party, at all levels, consults LGBT+ Labour, an unelected affiliate organisation, on any matter concerning the groups supposedly represented. Given their emphasis on ‘same-gender’ rather than same-sex attraction, the voices of lesbians have been silenced. We are covered under two protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010 and the Party’s policies need to reflect that and be responsive to the views of lesbians in Labour.
We need a voice! LESBIAN LABOUR is that voice.
Lesbian Labour is a channel for the voices of lesbians in the Labour Party. We are same-sex attracted women and our sex and sexual orientation are protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. We intend to assert our rights and our views, and to make our voices heard.
Lesbians have been mis-represented by lobby groups such as LGBT+ Labour and Stonewall for too long. We refuse to be defined by their male-centred agendas, imposing the notion of ‘same-gender attraction’ on us. This disrespects our sexuality and promotes a form of homophobia by ignoring our rights as lesbians. We shall continue to define ourselves as lesbians and to protest against the oppression we face.
We demand that our rights as a protected group under the Equality Act be fully incorporated into party policy, that equality impact assessments are always done to ensure our needs are protected, and that lesbians are properly consulted about any matter that concerns us.
We assert that lesbians are women who experience sex discrimination and misogyny, as all women do. The oppression of women is based on our sex class, it is material and not a question of identity. ‘Gender’ is about socially-constructed roles and stereotypes and cannot be used as a synonym for sex. As lesbians, we rebel against regressive gender role stereotyping.
We challenge the assumption that our interests can be conveyed as one part of the diverse groups included in such organisations as LGBT+ Labour. Our experience and our needs are particular to us as lesbians and must be heard as such.
We demand respect for lesbian spaces, free from intrusion. The harassment and hatred of lesbians, in addition to misogyny, is not the same as the harassment suffered by gay men or by groups defined by the subjective notion of ‘gender identity’. Like other oppressed groups, we demand respect for our own social, cultural, educational, political and recreational places.
We support same-sex attracted teenagers and young people in the face of the homophobia which encourages them to identify as transgender. We do not regard a life of medication and harmful surgeries as ‘affirming’; rather, we consider that young lesbian and gay teens need space and encouragement to explore their emerging sexuality.
We recognise that lesbians may be young, old, mothers, of any race, culture, ethnicity, religion, of any class, and differently abled. We support and show solidarity with all lesbians world-wide, not least those facing persecution, racism, deprivation of liberty, and assaults on their dignity and lives.