Learning the lessons of the past



LGBT History Month is a time to learn the lessons of the past and apply them to the present.

One of my greatest heroes is Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans woman who led the Stonewall Uprising, a protest against police raids of LGBT venues in New York which kicked off the fight for LGBT equality in America.

Marsha’s life was defined by struggle, against poverty, against transphobia, against unfair police practices and hate crime.

Today, I feel so lucky that I haven’t had to deal with the levels of prejudice Marsha went through just because of her gender identity and sexuality.

My party, the Liberal Democrats, have played a crucial role in the battle for LGBT rights in Britain, in government we introduced equal marriage and in opposition, our local MP Ed Davey brought forward the amendment to the Local Government Act that killed off the hateful Section 28 policy introduced by the Tories under Thatcher banning schools from teaching anything about the LGBT community.

However, there is a lot more work to do, like far too many LGBT people across our borough, and across London I have experienced hate crime and discrimination just trying to live my daily life.

For trans people, the fight against unfair reporting and ignorance is far too reminiscent of the battles against homophobia in the 1980s.

This month is a chance to learn from the past to improve the lives of LGBT people in the future.

(Councillor Sam Foulder-Hughes, Alexandra Ward)

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