Image via Instagram

munroe bergdorf has been appointed to a labour lgbtq+ advisory board

A glimmer of light in an otherwise dark political landscape.

|
Feb 27 2018, 3:05pm

Image via Instagram

Everyday it feels like the news headlines bring us closer to the ever-impending apocalypse. Brexit talks are going nowhere, Theresa May prefers chlorinated chicken to being in the EU, and exorbitant tuition fees are slowly strangling the creative industries. Jacob Rees-Mogg is a political operator being taken seriously by large amounts of population. In the midst of this bleak political drizzle is a glimmer of a rainbow; Munroe Bergdorf has been appointed to a Labour LGBTQ+ advisory board, whose role it is to “advise Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Dawn Butler MP, on issues affecting the LGBT+ community to help form and push through fairer and more effective policy change.”

The appointment provides a welcome, necessary voice for LGBTQ+ communities in mainstream politics -- something conspicuously absent. Theresa May hardly has a gleaming history as LGBTQ+ ally, despite her recent efforts to remodel herself as one. At last year’s PinkNews Awards, she said, “We’ve set out plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act, streamlining and de-medicalising the process for changing gender, because being trans is not an illness and it shouldn’t be treated as such.”

Obviously being trans isn’t all illness, but it’s also not a trend you can jump on in the hope that it’ll modernise the Conservative party. While it’s nice to see Theresa May on her journey to becoming Better Person, it’s hard to have much faith in someone with a history of voting against single-sex couples’ adoption rights, or pushing for IVF clinics to only consider treating women if there’s a male figure present, or just not bothering to show up at all to vote for equality legislation.

Then there was May’s January cabinet reshuffle, where she sacked Justine Greening from her roles as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities. As PinkNews reported, Greening was the most senior out member of parliament and was pushing for LGBT-inclusive sex education and gender recognition reform. Her sacking left the future of these initiatives in the lurch.

And while conservatives have since pledged that they’re forging ahead with Greening’s proposed legislation, more actual LGBTQ+ voices within parliamentary politics in any capacity is very much needed. Ones who can speak directly to their experiences, ones who have a track record of genuinely pushing for LGBTQ+ rights, ones who can be a role model for future generations. Ones like Munroe.