7 of 11 Tory PM candidates are doing lazy transphobia

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With former Prime Minister Boris Johnson forced into resigning after countless scandals and horrific behaviours, Tory PM candidates transphobia card is being played by all but one.

PM candidates transphobia - Grant Shapps the only one not playing
PM candidates transphobia – Grant Shapps the only one not playing

Boris Johnson is in the process of being evicted from the Big Brother house and the candidates from the Conservative Party seem to have largely agreed on the way to sell their candidacy. Transphobia, of course.

PM candidates transphobia

Penny Mordaunt MP posted a long thread saying how she knows what a woman is and referring to herself as a “biological woman” – I assume as opposed to the non-bio kind which is generally viewed as better for sensitive skin. She also talked about the changes made to a piece of legislation regarding pregnant ministers.

Originally, the legislation was worded in a gender neutral way, but after backlash of transphobia this was changed to specifically state women. This transphobic backlash meant the legislation being passed was delayed and its new wording means that any transgender ministers we may have in future will have to fight to have this changed to include them.

Suella Braverman has also launched her leadership bid. First with a tweet about how we should leave the European Convention of Human Rights because they did their job of stopping an incredibly horrific human rights violation by not allowing the UK to just dump immigrants in Rwanda. But also with her own tirade of transphobia too.

She also mentioned the minister law above and weirdly worked hard at making it all about her. Like, her statement genuinely reads as though she thinks trans people delayed the law until the week of her due date just to mess with her or something. I’m sure she doesn’t actually mean it that way, but it would have been passed a lot quicker had transphobia not got involved or been appeased by our lawmakers.

Official press portrait photograph of Suella Braverman one of the PM Candidates (PM candidates transphobia)
Official press portrait photograph of Suella Braverman, one of the PM Candidates

Another of the PM candidates, Rishi Sunak, has also chimed in with his vow to “protect women’s rights”. By removing gender-neutral language and calling people mothers, even when they don’t want to be. In fact its genuinely harder to find a tory leadership candidate who hasn’t engaged in this pathetic anti-trans culture war nonsense as a means of selling their candidacy.

So far the only one I know of is Grant Shapps who gave a very “live and let live” comment during an interview on day time television. He even said that if you want the kind of PM who is going to make their candidacy all about harassing transgender people – my words not his – that you shouldn’t vote for him. Instead opting to focus on what he referred to as “the bread and butter issues”, I imagine such as rising petrol, food and energy prices.

Though I did say “if you want the kind of PM” and “that you shouldn’t vote for him” – it must be stressed that you don’t really have the choice. The way the system works is that because the Tories hold the majority of seats in parliament they get to put forward someone to be the leader and chat with the Queen. Different parties have different methods for how they choose their leader and for the Tories its decided by other Tories, you don’t get a vote at all.

It would be nice to see these PM candidates follow in Shapps’ steps and focus on actual meaningful issues. But then I suppose more of them would have to admit that they have been sitting idly by at best and at worst straight up endorsing the policies of the former Prime-Minister as he attempted to enrich himself and his friends at the expense of the citizens of this country. Though again, those citizens don’t matter here – its the wealthy tory members and donors they are trying to appease currently.

I really hope people are bored of this manufactured culture war nonsense so we can just get on with life and do important things again. I do not want to talk about transphobia forever. But I am not particularly hopeful, and I suppose only time will tell which direction we are moving in with these PM candidates transphobia.

Gemma Stone
Gemma Stone is a transgender writer who has been covering the rise of transphobic hate campaigning in the UK. She has written hundreds of articles dissecting aspects of transphobia including debunking blatant disinformation. She is very tired and trying her best, and hopefully having a positive impact on such a beautiful community.

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