October 6, 2022 - 10:15am

What a difference a year makes. In Manchester in 2021, the LGB Alliance was nearly excluded from the Conservative Party’s annual Conference after a protest by the Party’s own official LGBT group, the LGBT+ Conservatives. Some members of that influential group, whose event last year was addressed by Carrie Johnson, claimed the presence of the LGB Alliance made them “feel unsafe”. One even said it made her “feel sick”. 

In the end, a spokesperson insisted the Party had to defend free speech. More pity, then, that Labour, the Lib Dems and SNP have seen fit to ban us from their conferences for two years in a row. I suppose the prospect of speaking to someone with whom you disagree was just too terrifying.

If the reaction at Tory Conference this year was anything to go by, there has been a genuine shift in mood. There have been queues to speak to our reps, and not just from Party members. Staff at the venue and those working on commercial stalls in the hall have jostled with MPs, peers and a gamut of sometimes unlikely seeming allies from dog-collared vicars to observant Muslims all keen to find common ground with a gay charity that proclaims a belief in free speech and child safeguarding. “At last”, said one woman serving tea who asked me what my badge represented, “it’s about time gay people stopped promoting all this weird stuff.”

Child safeguarding kept coming up as a theme and was the focus of our own event. Everyone wants to ensure that trans people’s rights, which are protected under the Equality Act, are maintained and cherished. But the way in which gender ideology is pushed in schools and in certain parts of social media is undermining the mental health of a generation. We have to find ways to protect a tiny minority without patronising the majority of young people through the denial of basic biology.

One common refrain from parents was that they were grateful we existed because, while they were determined to resist the absurdity of enforced pronouns or the attempted erasure of women’s sports, they were worried they might unwittingly find common cause with homophobes: “It’s really important to know gay people also oppose this.” 

It’s particularly important for those within the Conservative Party who remain traumatised by Section 28. The last thing mainstream Conservatives want is an opportunity for critics to label them the ‘Nasty Party’ again. It’s a measure of the success of the gay rights movement that one of the worst accusatory labels in British politics is that of ‘homophobe’. Unfortunately, the LGBTQ+ lobby has developed the habit of carelessly dropping this H-bomb on anyone who dares to push back against any of their demands, no matter how extreme.

This bullying approach has only been made possible by the trans takeover of the gay rights movement, dating in the UK from 2015 when Stonewall moved from being an LGB organisation to an LGBT one. This made any criticism of Stonewall’s policies or those of any of a further 400+ LGBT+ organisations on the promotion of gender identity within schools or the undermining of single sex spaces not just transphobic, but somehow homophobic, too.

The irony is that nothing could be more homophobic than the central demand that the definition of homosexuality should change from same-sex to same-gender. Our rights as gay people are protected under law as individuals who are same-sex attracted. Same-gender orientation would mean that gay men are attracted to biological females as well as males; as for lesbians, they not only could be attracted to biological males they could even be biological males themselves.

We gender-critical gays are ahead of the curve. We see the dangerous implications of gender identity ideology up close and know it’s our responsibility to warn the rest of our fellow citizens. It is to their credit that the Conservative Party has heeded this warning. It is deeply saddening that this country’s liberal Left is yet to do so.

is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and Head of Research at the LGB Alliance