Our Statement on the ‘Safe to Be Me’ Conference
Considering the UK Prime Minister’s reneging on his promise to protect transgender and non-binary people from conversion therapy, LGBT Great regret to announce we can no longer support the UK Government’s forthcoming 'Safe to Be Me' conference. We remain aligned with Stonewall and over 80 other LGBT+ organisations in the UK in this matter.
We also note that this is a decision we, indeed the entire community, do not take lightly. The 'Safe to Be Me' Conference should represent a pivotal moment for LGBT+ rights and inclusion, with the UK adopting a leading and vocal position on the global stage. However, the U-turn on conversion therapy that the UK Government has taken stands to leave victims and potential victims at risk of abuse and lifelong harm. The 'Safe to Be Me' conference intends to shed light on best practices and drive positive change for LGBT+ individuals. Yet, at the same time, the UK Government is knowingly pursuing a course of action that fundamentally strips away critical safeguards from trans and non-binary people.
There is no question that conversion practices are a form of abuse. They cause severe and long-lasting physical and psychological suffering, violate the human rights of LGBT+ people, and were found by the UN to “amount to torture” in some cases. The UN Independent Expert report on conversion practices found that individuals subjected to this abuse experienced “significant loss of self-esteem, anxiety, depressive syndrome, social isolation, intimacy difficulty, self-hatred, shame and guilt, sexual dysfunction, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as often significant physical pain and suffering.”
The UK Government must begin to practice what it preaches in safeguarding lesbian, gay and bisexual people and transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people in equal measure.
The UK Government must:
- Confirm an immediate ban on conversion therapy for sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Admit that the UK Government is struggling with the issue and must seek more support.
- Establish a transgender and non-binary steering group to advise on, and enact, necessary policy reform.
If you are affected by this important issue, or would like to discuss it in detail, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the LGBT Great team