MP Mhairi Black has addressed the House of Commons in a poignant Pride speech, highlighting the growing campaign being actively mobilised against the trans community.
On July 1, the MP gave an impassioned speech spotlighting how right-wing media and online press have been complicit in enabling worrying levels of homophobia and transphobia in the UK.
In an effort to translate the real-life struggle of the community, Black portrays a “snapshot” of what it is like to be LGBTQ in the UK.
“There’s evidence that we are more likely to self-harm, more likely to feel suicidal, more likely to have negative experiences in accessing health care, more likely to be the victim of a crime, and less likely to feel safe enough to report it to the police,” she says addressing the House of Commons.
While acknowledging the UK’s colonial history in exporting homophobia and its gradual movement towards a more accepting society, the MP goes on to reveal harrowing statistics of how the trans community are currently being let down by local and national services.
For Black, the worrying cultural animosity towards the trans community is a symptom of an “organised and concerted international campaign” which has been exacerbated in the last five years.
An ICR study Black mentions underlines how the growth of transphobia has been visibly marked in recent years. Following Biden’s first 100 days in office, the study found “transphobia has long been one of the most major and ubiquitous narratives around which the far-right mobilises, and that transphobia should be recognized as a security concern.”
The MP continues to draw parallels between the far-right’s strategy to drum up fear through transphobia and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and the growth of LGB accounts sharing equally anti-trans sentiments online.
Black’s speech elaborated on how the fundamentalist right would leverage such tactics in targeting minority demographics to further drive a narrative of transphobia.
This shockingly included seeking out communities amongst “women, sexual assault survivors, ethnic minorities who value modesty, economically challenged children, and children with anxiety disorders” who could be “drawn in” to the rampant transphobia.
“As with all far-right tactics, a minority has been targeted, and hatred and distrust are stoked against them by preying upon people’s fears. In this instance by projecting a manipulative and false narrative that there is a conflict between trans rights and women’s rights. When the truth is, we are battling the same problems and the same patriarchal beast,” Black stated.
The MP added: “We see trauma and poverty being treated as a recruitment tool. We see attacks against women organizations, and rape support crisis centres for daring to be trans inclusive, but worse yet we see a media in this country that continually platforms and projects these hateful, disproportionate views uncritically.”
As these systemic and cultural issues interlock, Black noted how her office has received an influx of messages from the trans community who are feeling distressed.
“People from all across the UK, who have contacted me, because they’re too frightened to contact their own MPs. These are constituents of Tory MPs, Labour MPs, and I’m ashamed to say SNP MPs,” Black stated.
“And I have run out of excuses to give them because there are numerous parliamentary inquiries and reports, which make clear the expert legal and medical advice and explain clearly what the lived experience and reality is for trans people, and it’s there for anybody who wants to educate themselves on the matter.”
Black moves to end her speech to address the LGBTQ+ as a whole: “This is an ugly and shameful time for all of us. But that shame is not yours to feel or yours to carry,” the MP says.
“This will pass and in the meantime, know that there are allies everywhere that are with you and are fighting for you publicly and behind the scenes. And like our community is so often having to tell people, we are going absolutely nowhere.”
You can watch MP Mhairi Black’s full Pride address to the House of Commons here or below:
Over the last five years there has been an organised and concerted campaign mobilised against the trans community. My speech on Pride in 2021. 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ pic.twitter.com/tl3brafqH7
— Mhairi Black MP🏳️🌈 (@MhairiBlack) July 1, 2021