COMMENT: Labour’s cross party approach to improve trans rights

In a recent speech at the PinkNews Summer Parliamentary reception on July 18, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn MP, said that he will support the Conservative Party to improve transgender rights in the UK.

As a Labour Parliamentary Candidate and a trans woman I fully support him in his cross-party approach to reforming the Gender Recognition Act.

Since I transitioned in 2015 I have faced prejudice, abuse, even death threats. It’s time for Parliament to recognise the challenges that trans people face and work to eradicate bigotry in all of it’s forms.

The Gender Recognition Act forces people to jump through hoops and undergo deeply personal and intimate examination of their life including medical evidence and, if you’re married, a declaration from your spouse in order to gain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).

Despite, very obviously, being my true self and living my life in my true gender I do not have a GRC.

My passport, driving license and all other documents identify me as female and yet under the law without a GRC my rights could potentially be in danger.

There have been cases of trans women losing their lives because the lack of a GRC placed them in harm’s way, most notably inside our prison system.

In the Labour manifesto we recognised that the act was out of date and pledged to change it and it’s refreshing to see a party leader place the rights of a minority above party political divisions.

Everyone should be afforded the right to self-identification, no doctor, judge or politician can presume to know more about an individual’s identity than they do themselves.

Sophie is an Ex-RAF engineer, motorbike racer, newspaper editor, football and rock photographer, self harm and suicide survivor and transgender.

She was the Labour Party candidate in East Worthing & Shoreham in the 2017 General Election and succeeded in turning the once safe Tory seat into a target seat by increasing the Labour vote by 114% with one of the biggest swings in the country at 19.8%.

The first transgender newscaster on European terrestrial TV for Brighton’s Latest TV, Sophie has hosted news and chat shows and is presently working on a number of exciting TV projects.

She is the first trans woman to work in the Premier League as club photographer for AFC Bournemouth, is an ambassador for Kick It Out a patron of Just A Ball Game? and has spoken at Wembley Stadium and the TUC.

Sophie is also a Hate Crime ambassador for Sussex Police and speaks regularly at conferences about LGBT+ issues and consults with a number of major companies about inclusion and diversity.

You can hear Sophie speak tonight at the Synergy Centre on West Street, Brighton starting 7pm

Event: Sophie Cook: NOT TODAY: How I chose life

Where: Synergy Centre,

When: Thursday, July 20

Time: 7pm

Cost: £8/£5 concessions

To book tickets online, click here:

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