Words: Jamie Tabberer, Alastair James; pictures: Attitude
It was the week that the Conservative Party hosted the LGB Alliance at their party conference - and some of the world's biggest LGBTQ stars have something to say about it.
Stepping out at last night's Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards, powered by Jaguar, celebrities including Munroe Bergdorf, Pose's Billy Porter and This Morning's Rylan responded to the news by calling for change.
As Attitude reported when the organisation received charity status in April 2021, the LGB Alliance was founded in 2019 purportedly to "advance the interests of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals."
It has publicly campaigned against reforming the Gender Recognition Act to make it easier for trans people to gain legal recognition and describes the affirmation of transgender children by charities and medical professionals as "a form of conversion therapy."
Ceremony host Tom Allen told Attitude of the news about the Conservative Party hosting the group: “I think it must be so upsetting and terrifying for trans people everywhere to know the government is siding in that way.
“I think it’s all the more important to make voices heard and support the trans community in times like these, and show that isn’t how people feel. There’s boundless compassion in the world, particularly in our community.”
"Give it up"
Munroe Bergdorf, who is trans, told Attitude: “My message to the Conservative Party is: give it up. We’ve had 11, 12 years of Tory rule and the country is a mess. The way the country is being governed does not reflect the way the country is moving forward.
"We need an inclusive government that is for the people, not the 1%. We need a government that puts safety, mental health and education for the betterment of the country.”
Asked for his response to the news, TV star Rylan simply said: “Let’s just make a better change – I’ll leave it at that.”
Drag Race UK SE2 star Bimini, who identifies as non-binary, also said: "I feel like it’s a shame that they would support something like that. Being queer is part of who you are, and you don’t have a choice to do it and you shouldn’t feel ashamed of that and that’s the saddest thing about being a queer person and growing up is you feel shame and you feel guilt because you feel like you have failed at what society expects of you. I think forget that, do what you do as long as you do it with kindness, happiness and integrity that’s the most important thing."
US-based Pose actor Billy Porter – who won the Man of the Year award, supported by Virgin Atlantic – told Attitude he hadn’t heard of the LGB Alliance, but “I’m certain I understand what it means…“
“We need to learn how to communicate with each other, period,” he continued. “The world is going to self-implode if we don’t. We have to have compassion.
“I’m not saying reach across the aisle to speak to people who don’t want to be spoken to. But when they do, it’s time. Enough. We’re not getting anywhere the other way.”
“Half my friends are trans!” DJ Jodie Harsh added. “Trans people are people as much as anyone else. Trans inclusivity is general inclusivity.”
Drag Race UK’s Tayce said: “Honey, trans people are the way of the future, they’re taking over the world. They’ve been here since day dot and they deserve so much more respect than they get.”
Read the Attitude Awards issue, out now.