Photo credit: Lesbian Labour
Artillery Row

Can the plan

Mark Drakeford is desperate to impress with his LGBTQ+ Action Plan

Mark Drakeford is desperate to impress the big boys in Westminster — keen to show them that the government in Wales is every bit as grown-up as its English counterpart.

The Welsh First Minister probably thought he was onto a winner when he lent his support to the LGBTQ+ Action Plan, a magical document which promises to “create a society where LGBTQ+ people are safe to live and love authentically, openly and freely as themselves”.

After a grassroots revolt in England, proposals to allow gender self-identification were dropped, and attention is finally being paid to the long-term impact of treatments offered to children with gender dysphoria. In Wales, however, the Labour-led administration has adopted policies discarded by the UK government, promising to “seek to devolve powers in relation to Gender Recognition and support our Trans community”.

Provincial, myopic, and tone-deaf, the Welsh Government only sought advice from those with whom it already agrees, delegating much of the consultation process to Stonewall and creating an “expert panel” of favoured trans activists. Ordinary people in Wales — many of them life-long Labour Party supporters — are angry.

Around 150 protesters stood on the slate steps of the Senedd yesterday morning to protest the plan and organise in defence of sex-based rights. They were met with a small counter protest; a gaggle of around 50 trans activists.

On social media trans activist Lu Thomas — chair of the Government’s “independent expert panel” — referred to those gathered to protest the LGBTQ+ Action Plan as “radicalised and confused” and “cannon fodder for the shady and gutless true bigots pushing forth with the lies, manipulations and propagating an agenda of division”.

It was probably the first time someone spoke on the steps of the Senedd about the joy of multiple orgasms

Having followed the progress of the global campaign to eradicate sex-based rights for the past few years, I cannot claim to be impartial. But as both camps began to assemble, I spoke to two young women trans activists. Polite, awkward, and brimming with righteous anger, they told me that they were both “gay”, though one added that she was “non-binary”. When I asked one why she was there, holding a sign which read “women ≠ vagina”, she said the issue “angered” her “more than more than anything in the world”, adding earnestly: “It doesn’t make sense for you to be an activist and then oppress other oppressed groups. You don’t choose your sexuality or gender identity. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to just accept somebody as they are.”

Essentially, these young women who believe themselves to be feminists are doing exactly what good girls do under patriarchy: being “kind” by caring for people they believe are less fortunate.

Hiding their erections behind these good intentions are a legion of abusive male trans advocates — men who have come to “realise their true and authentic selves” as women after a punishing a diet of “sissy porn” and woke politics.

Trans activism has captured the world because, to the porn-watching population, womanhood has been reduced to a fetishized performance, a costume to be slipped into as easily a slinky dress. For many lesbians, the answer to the crushing weight of male sexuality is not to eradicate sexist stereotypes, but to opt out of the fight by identifying as “non-binary”.

The Welsh Labour-led government is parading around wearing the cast-offs of Westminster Conservatives

The young trans activists I spoke to seemed nervous. After one glance at social media it became clear why. Ahead of the event, organisations such as ACT (a Cardiff-based activist group) advised counter protestors to “disguise your identity (this helps stop TERFs [trans exclusionary radical feminists] from identifying and harassing you later)” and “Don’t leave the protest alone, and make sure that you are not being followed before heading home.”

Every movement needs its myths, and being on the side of multinational corporations and pornographers — not to mention government policy — is a tricky position for any self-respecting “civil rights” movement to find itself in. As such, transgender activists vehemently believe, or purport to believe, they are at risk from so-called TERFs.

Looking across at the counter-protesters, Susan, a middle-aged lesbian from LGB Alliance Cymru, laughed and told me: “Apparently a load of them live in a squat, what do they think we’re going to do? Turn up and hoover?”

A small group of counter protesters also gathered at the Senedd (Photo by Josephine Bartosch)

Despite being smeared as far-right fascists, the protestors could not have been more diverse. Were one inclined to reduce humans to tick boxes, every age, colour, and background was represented. The rally itself was called by the groups LGB Alliance Cymru, Merched Cymru, Lesbian Labour and Labour Women’s Declaration.

Speeches ranged from pleas to the Welsh government from disaffected Labour Party members, to joyous, cheeky pronouncements about lesbian sex — it was probably the first time anyone had stood on the steps of the Senedd and spoke about the joy of multiple orgasms.

The trans activists who jeered, whistled, and attempt to drown out speeches were overwhelmingly white and most of them appeared to be very young. It would be easy to dismiss them, if it weren’t for the fact that they have the ear of the Welsh government.

One of the last speakers was an artist called Sonya Douglas. She literally lost her voice as the result of a coercive relationship and needed therapy before she could speak again. She told me: “I was a singer when I met him, a performer, poet, a real live wire. And I reduced, reduced, reduced until the space I took up was acceptable to him. A small space. A quiet space.”

Most of those on the political frontline in Wales know that reality matters

Now that she has her voice back, she will not be bullied into silence again. Addressing the counter protesters, she said: “Every single child over there reminds me of my own daughter. Spirited, young — you want a future, and we want to give you a future… True equality, true inclusion is actually love. And love does not avoid the hard stuff, and love does not say ‘OK, you can have it regardless’ and love doesn’t lie to you.”

Her point was that the idea one can change sex is a lie, and that believing otherwise will only lead to future disappointment. In response, the counter protesters jeered and sought to silence her with whistles and chants of “transwomen are women”, a real-life version of the social media block.

At present, the Welsh Labour-led government is effectively parading around wearing the ill-fitting cast-offs of Westminster Conservatives, fancying themselves to be “on trend”. Young women may be easily persuaded that they can utter magic words and identify out of their bodies, but most of those at the political coalface in Wales know that reality matters.

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