Advances in sexual awareness are welcome, but transgender people still face terrible discrimination - and condemnation by some feminists. Laura Miles argues that unity against all forms of oppression is integral to the fight for sexual liberation.
Despite advances such as same sex marriage in a number of countries, hatred, bigotry and hostility to LGBT+ people continue to motivate some people. The US establishment may have expressed outrage at the Orlando massacre in a gay club in June, but over 30 US states still have no anti-discrimination protection for LGBT+ people.
Just possibly readers of Socialist Review may not be acquainted with the Kardashians and so may also be unaware that one of the show’s participants, 1976 Olympic gold decathlete Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn, has recently come out as transgender.
Millions have watched interviews and read articles about her transition and social media has been buzzing. Much reaction has been supportive, but some has been hostile.
A rich and passionate life dedicated to struggle and the fight for transgender liberation
Next to me on a bookshelf is a book which has had a profound influence on my life and thousands of others. Leslie Feinberg’s Transgender Warriors, published in 1996, is a unique piece of work — an examination of gender variant expression by people from the dawn of history to the present, written by a Marxist and setting out a materialist explanation for transphobia and homophobia.
When the First World War broke out leaders of the suffragette movement, Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, supported the slaughter. But as Laura Miles and Sheila Hemingway show, Sylvia Pankhurst not only opposed the war but supported strikes and became a revolutionary socialist.
The experience of the wave of workers’ militancy before the First World War (known as the Great Unrest) and then the war itself transformed women’s rights campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst from radical suffragette to revolutionary socialist. It was a journey that would transform her politics, and relationships with her mother and sisters.
LGBT history month was launched after the scrapping of the Tories' Section 28 legislation. But, six years on, Tory cuts will hit LGBT people hard.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month was launched in 2005 in Britain to coincide with the abolition of the Tories' infamous Section 28 legislation.
No one was ever prosecuted under this very nasty piece of opportunistic homophobic legislation. However, the fact that Section 28 of the Tories' Local Government Act of 1988 made it illegal for local authorities to "promote" homosexuality (ie to treat it as acceptable) was sufficient to intimidate local authorities and force teachers to shy away from openly discussing LGBT issues with students or each other.
New Labour has had 13 years to tackle inequality but the underfunded and toothless equalities watchdog falls far short of what's needed.
Working people in Britain now largely take it for granted that it is wrong to be bullied or discriminated against for being a woman, black, disabled or gay and that there are legal powers and workplace policies which exist to challenge such discrimination. In the last quarter of the 20th century a smorgasbord of equality legislation was adopted in response to campaigning by the women's movement, anti-racists, and LGBT rights and disability rights activists.
Eds: Mary Compton and Lois Weiner, Palgrave Macmillan, £16.99
If you want to understand what is happening to education across the globe in the face of privatisation and marketisation this book is indispensable.
Mary Compton, an ex-president of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), and Lois Weiner, a teacher and researcher from New Jersey City University, have assembled a fascinating set of articles on the impact of neoliberalism on education globally.