From the start of his career, Jeremy Corbyn has defended LGBT rights, writes TOMMY HIBBITS
I’VE been a Jeremy Corbyn supporter since the beacon of light rose from the backbenches to Labour leader with a landslide victory.
His presence emerged while our political climate seemingly lacked any progressive energy.
As a member of a group within society that has fought relentlessly over the years to have the rights we have now, seeing the emergence of a man urging a new kind of politics brought a wondrous sigh of relief.
People were becoming tired of Tory politics, and rightly so. As the light of hope for many was about to diminish, Corbyn became the leader of the “people’s party,” giving hope that the party would return to its true values rather than continuing its apparent “Blairite” trend.
I’m the first to admit that, as a gay white man, compared to a lot of people within my community, I haven’t had it the hardest, but it doesn’t mean it’s been easy.
Throughout Britain, a nation disguising itself with having liberal values endured 5,597 hate crimes against homosexuals in 2015, with a 22 per cent rise from the year before. That’s merely the ones reported.
It’s a chilling statistic for those of us who have battled with our identity growing up in this hetero-normative world.
It’s a topic that is barely addressed in the mainstream news and this ignorance continues to harbour the hate.
This is why when Corbyn addressed this issue and spoke about us in his 10 policies for a greater politics, it cemented the fact that he is the advocate we need to protect more of my community from the aggression and aggravation we face on a daily basis.
Throughout Britain, homelessness has become such a sorrowful problem that we need plans to help prevent this.
With 24 per cent of homeless youth identifying as LGBT+, we’re at a higher risk of being made homeless from homophobic or transphobic parents.
Corbyn has emphasised this problem with his plans to build one million more homes, both private and council owned. It’s this type of social housing we need to help the homeless youth of today, and will help put a halt to LGBT+ homelessness and beyond.
Let’s compare this to our unelected leader Theresa May. She has either voted against or been absent from any same-sex voting topics and voted consistently against the promotion of human rights and equality acts since 1998.
Corbyn has consistently voted against every anti-LGBT Bill, as well as promoting equality, LGBT and human rights since he first set foot into Parliament in 1983.
Even at a time when Thatcher was ripping the soul and dividing our nation, Corbyn was there for the birth of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, a magical combination of those suffering from inequality coming together to fight against the mistreatment they were both receiving during those dark days.
The prehistoric attitude enshrined in Section 28 — which Corbyn always opposed — has been surpassed and we have fortunately come a long way since then.
To know that Corbyn has been with us since the start, when even the idea of homosexuality was a far cry from being accepted by the leaders of our nation, to see a man that has stuck with his notions and has never been afraid to truly stand up for what he believes in, for not playing into the hands of the elitists in Westminster, instead using his platform to meet the minorities around our country, a leader practicing what he preaches, are some of the countless reasons I believe him to be the person we must get into Downing Street.
With the Labour election concluding on September 24, a question unanswered is how the £25 increase from the last election is even justifiable if not an attempt to prevent people from voting Corbyn?
The “people’s party” charging its members, who have already signed up to pay monthly, an extortionate rate to vote in the leadership election is sly, absurd and downright intolerable.
I’d expect this from the Conservatives, but not Labour. It just proves the ever growing shift in our Labour Party today, going from a left and socialist background to the Conservatives’ little brother. Instead of playing into the hands of the right, Labour needs to bring itself back together and get behind its leader instead of derailing him at every attempt.
From homophobic claims, to racism within the shadow cabinet, there seems to be no end of sabotage towards him. But like the phoenix, he will continue to rise from the ashes.
Under the Conservative government Labour will prevail at the hands of Corbyn, our country will unite and our political system will honour the people that need it the most.
This goes way beyond my gratitude and support as a gay man. This is bigger than people realise.
Finally, there is a man that has galvanised sections in our society that have long been forgotten to join this movement. Elite political classes are freaking out. For such a “forward thinking” country, we’ve been trudging blindly, wrapped up in the idea of keeping our politics moving at the rate it has.
We’re close to having a progressive government again, one we haven’t had since Labour’s post-WW2 government and the introduction of the NHS, nationalised transport, an education system for the nation and the largest housing programme in history.
With Corbyn leading Labour, and the flux of people getting behind him, the ruling class are facing the biggest threat they’ve had in years. This is why they will use every possible move to stop this happening. We must fight alongside Corbyn and ignore the deafening shrieks of media and the Establishment.
It’s the most exciting thing to happen to Britain in decades, and if we prevail, we have a chance at real change: a democracy.