Below is the full text of the speech delivered by Angela Rayner to LGBT+ Labour’s annual general meeting today.
Thank you for inviting me to speak at your AGM. I’m really honoured to have been invited because ever since I was a teenager I’ve been welcomed by the LGBT+ community.
I want to thank LGBT+ Labour for all the work that you do, especially this year, which has been a tough year for all of us, but especially those who already feel isolated or alone.
LGBT+ Labour do amazing work protecting the hard-won rights that we have today and fighting for justice and a better future for all.
Hate crimes are on the rise, and the LGBTQ+ community is facing increased homophobia, transphobia and discrimination.
I want you to know that I am your ally, and I am proud to stand with you. Your fight is my fight too. And on behalf of the entire Labour Party and the labour movement, your fight is our fight.
Being an ally gets to the heart of what it means to be a socialist. Standing up for the oppressed, fighting the prejudices that exist in our society and having each other’s back.
I am proud of our party’s record fighting for and advancing LGBTQ+ rights, from abolishing Section 28 to winning marriage equality.
And I am proud that I stood with you to make sure that we passed compulsory sex and relationship education for schools so that we can overcome prejudice and make sure that all our young people can be proud of who they are.
But we know that there is so much more work to do. Labour’s support for reforming the Gender Recognition Act is clear. We need to see self-declaration for transgender people, and we need the full roll-out of LGBTQ+ inclusive education for all in our schools.
As I said during Pride month, everyone should be able to love who they want to love and everyone should be able to love themselves for who they are, and celebrate who they are.
That’s why I’m so proud to be your ally, and I can’t wait to hopefully see you all at Pride next year.