Lesbian Labour rejects WG Action Plan

The Welsh Government Action Plan for LGBTQ+ people starts with an acknowledgement that this is not one community…but then proceeds to treat us as one. The refusal to consult with LGBA Cymru or Merched Cymru has ensured that no voice representing same-sex attracted Lesbians was heard.

The Action Plan does not address the high levels of discrimination and attacks, both physical and verbal, experienced by Lesbians, much of it coming from within this so-called ‘LGBTQ+’ community. Stonewall does not represent us. In fact, its description of sexual orientation as based on ‘gender attraction’ erases our very existence.

There is no acknowledgement in this Plan that same-sex attracted Lesbians experience discrimination and obliteration by advancing the myths that a child can be ‘born in the wrong body’ and can change their sex.

A ‘trans-affirmation-only’ approach makes natural desistance very difficult, invariably leading to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and body-changing surgery: the lesbian has been trans-ed away.

The Welsh Government’s support for resources in schools, some for children as young as four years old, sows the seed that a trans identity is intrinsically better than being a Lesbian. We know from the testimony of child therapist Dr David Bell that as many as 70% of girls who express some gender dysphoria will grow up as Lesbians if supported through puberty in an holistic way.

The Welsh Government Plan is peppered with other well-worn myths, in particular the unsubstantiated claim that suicide rates and physical attacks are higher for those who identify as trans. Restating this myth once again implies more urgency in supporting the Trans community, whereas there is a high incidence of poor mental health amongst LGB people as well.

As Lesbians, we are being defined out of existence. We are constantly accused of transphobia and bigotry when we try to assert and maintain our sexual boundaries. Due to this, our mental and emotional health suffers greatly. Worryingly, the frequency of physical assaults against Lesbians and Gay men is also on the rise.

Sexual orientation is not in itself an illness, but for some Lesbians the response of family and society might require mental health services. Adequate funding should be made available for all services for the people this plan seeks to support. However, given chronic underfunding in the NHS generally, prioritising funding for others waiting in the queue for life-saving medical interventions is more important.

We at Lesbian Labour do not support this Plan and see it as divisive both for Lesbians and for women and girls whose rights have not been respected throughout the document.

Merched Cymru and LGB Alliance Cymru are working together to respond to Welsh Government’s LGBT+ Action Plan. See our page here.