The latest round in the ongoing LibDem conference accreditation saga has been opened by party president Tim Farron in a LibDemVoice post.
It isn’t good. (Although kudos to Tim Farron for engaging with and discussing the issue – it’s a situation he probably had no role in creating)
Firstly, the cardinal rule of minority issues has been broken: “Nothing about us, without us”. LGBT+ LibDems did not know this was going to be announced and we certainly didn’t approve anything like this. From what Tim has said subsequently on Twitter, it appears that no Trans people at all were involved in coming up with the solution.
Unsurprisingly as a result, the solution is unworkable: If you out yourself to the party as Trans, we’ll let you bypass accreditation. But given that the concern was the risk of people being outed in the first place… well, I suspect you can see the problem. It appears that those in charge didn’t quite understand the concerns.
And if LGBT+LD are involved in vouching for people, I have no idea how we’re supposed to tell. It may surprise people to know that there is no secret handshake and no piece of paper that everyone will have that can serve as proof. So even if we had a system to verify paperwork, at some level we’d just have to take people’s word for it!
A possible solution to all this mess is lots of cis people to come forward and also say they’re Trans. That way, nobody can be quite sure if you’re Trans or not just because you bypassed accreditation.
This also has the advantage that anyone with a sensitive identity who has concerns about accreditation, perhaps because you’re the victim of domestic abuse and changed your name or you have a history of attacking deputy Prime Ministers, you can still get in to conference.
We can call it the “Spartacus” system.