A photo of Keir Starmer giving a speech at a Labour conference where UK Labour is outright lying, probably. Keir Starmer's transgender son may cost him the 2024 election. Photo by Rwendland, Wikimedia Commons
A photo of Keir Starmer giving a speech at a Labour conference and gesturing wildly. Photo by Rwendland, Wikimedia Commons

Keir Starmer’s transgender son may not in fact exist. However rumours circulated via transphobic individuals and groups on Twitter are nonetheless calling for the removal of his leadership of The Labour Party. Which could see disaster for Starmer ahead of the 2024 election.

It is absolutely no secret that I am no supporter of Keir Starmer or his version of The Labour Party. My first ever byline in a paid publication was in fact criticising him for having not took any kind of meaningful stance on transphobia within The Labour Party. In the years since that piece things have only gone down hill in my opinion.

Numerous Labour MPs and representatives have engaged in support for anti-trans efforts. Including Wes Streeting, Tonia Antoniazzi, Keir Starmer himself and pehaps most infamously Rosie Duffield. Who is currently being widely criticised on social media for “a denial of Nazi war crimes against transgender people”*.

*Specifically Suzy Izzard said she would be murdered in Nazi Germany for being trans and Rosie Duffield liked a tweet by someone completely ignoring that fact to call her a “straight white man with blonde hair”.

I know for a fact that trans people and allies within The Labour Party have been making the case for excluding transphobes from the party and supporting trans equality. I’ve spoken with them, I’ve commissioned them to write for us even! It breaks my heart to see so many people who have dedicated so much time to this party being repeatedly failed by it.

But it does warm my heart a little to see that all of these efforts to ignore transphobia and pander to the Murdoch press may nonetheless blow up in his boring red tory face. All due to Keir Starmer’s transgender son who – as we said earlier – may not even exist at all!

Strap in because you are about to be exposed to some grade A transphobic conspiracy theorising. Okay so; two days ago Keir Starmer did a bit of a press tour saying he worried about the toll of the election on his kids. Different outlets have described his children as being “two boys” and “one boy and one girl”. This has led transphobes to conclude that he has a transgender child, must declare whether this is the case, and if so, will compromise his ability to lead The Labour Party.

They believe he cannot lead The Labour Party if he has a transgender child due to demonstrating judgment unfit for a leader of the opposition if he is affirming such a delusion.

You might think this is some 1984, Stalin’s Russia level stuff that can’t be real. But it is real and it isn’t even the first time it’s happened. In 2022 Joanne Harris, who was at the time Chair of the Society of Authors, faced similar targeting from transphobes for having a transgender child*. It started with rumours circulating before it became a whole campaign to depose her from her position claiming she could not be unbiased.

*her child is a grown ass adult by the way

Joanne Harris was subsequently pressured into outing her son publicly. Kathleen Stock – in support of the campaign against Harris – commented on this by saying that she was glad it had been “declared” and noted the existence of rumours surrounding two other high profile people with “undeclared transgender offspring”.

The rumours surrounding Keir Starmer’s transgender son have only just begun. They are now spreading across social media from anti-trans organisation to anti-trans organisation – there was even a thread on Mumsnet which has been quickly swept under the rug. I expect the refusal to comment on the subject and the wise decision to keep his kids out of the media by Starmer will only fuel the transphobic conspiracy theorists all the more.

But this is the world he helped build. His refusal to stamp out transphobia within his party has enabled it to grow, to continue believing it is in line with left wing values that The Labour Party are supposed to stand for. The fact that those he has pandered to at the expense of trans people have turned on him so extremely due to mere rumours of Keir Starmer’s transgender son is equal parts beautifully ironic and tragic.

I’d be happy about this “you made your bed now lie in it” situation if it he hadn’t also been helping to make the bed for my community too. Because Keir Starmer’s transgender son may cost him the 2024 election, but the idea that we should have to declare transgender people’s existence to online mobs of transphobes is beyond Orwellian. It’s straight up a fascist dystopia and will cost trans people everything if left unchecked.

The boot always falls hardest on the neck of the marginalised. So whereas Keir Starmer will continue being a lousy boring red tory politician no matter what happens next. Trans people on the other hand are having to defend our right to exist publicly without it leading to whole campaigns supported in the media to remove not only us from our roles, but also those around us who even tangentially support us.

And I very much doubt we can count on The Labour Party for public support in that any time soon.