What I Say When People Ask Me 'How Can I Be Gay And Be A Tory?'

Labour seem to think they have a monopoly on my community and divine right to my vote – but these self-appointed guardians of virtue certainly do not stand for me
Cameron with Conservative MP Chloe Smith at Norwich Pride in 2017
Cameron with Conservative MP Chloe Smith at Norwich Pride in 2017
Cameron Bradbury

For too long now the prevailing narrative that LGBT people are inherently left-wing has gone unchallenged. When you stop to think about it, the notion itself is deeply insulting. The LGBT community is full of politically diverse individuals yet in the wider political discourse, many left-wing thinkers and politicians talk about LGBT people as if we have a hive mind and should all think alike.

Time and time again, I receive the same patronising question: “How can you be gay and be a Tory”?

After recently taking part in BBC Radio 4 discussion show The Bubble, I was again faced with this same conjecture, where my fellow contributor asked me “why would you have political leanings with a party that thinks you are subhuman”?

Obviously, the very premise of this question is based on complete fallacy and deeply egregious. It does, however, demonstrate just how profoundly the left wing believe LGBT people ‘belong to them’. The Labour Party seem to believe that they have a monopoly on the LGBT community. That they have a divine right to our vote. What is even more problematic is that some prominent LGBT individuals in the community buy into and promote this mindset.

Many LGBT ‘influencers’ claim that you are not a legitimate part of the LGBT community if you dare to think for yourself and support the Conservative Party – or any party that isn’t left wing.

These supposed spokespeople for the LGBT community queue up at protests with their “F**k the Tories” placards, proclaiming that they speak on behalf of the whole LGBT community and, sadly, this hysteria becomes internalised by other impressionable LGBT people.

The same people take to Twitter and harass LGBT Conservatives online. They obnoxiously write us off as if we are “voting against our own interests” as if, individually, we are unable to know for ourselves what our true interests are.

These left-wing self-appointed guardians of virtue certainly do not stand for me. I suspect they also do not stand for most moderate, sensible LGBT people either.

We need to challenge the dominant narrative within modern political culture. Sadly, this means the obvious does need to be stated. It is okay to be LGBT and conservative. I would argue, the Conservative party is the natural home for ambitious, freedom-supporting LGBT people.

It is of course, important to recognise that my party does have a mixed track record on LGBT rights. This is true of every party that has been around since before the 1960s.

Equally, it is also important to acknowledge, the massive steps forward the Conservative Party has taken. In many instances, it has led the way in championing LGBT rights in the UK: the Gender Recognition Act, inclusive education in schools and equal marriage to name but a few. Was it not David Cameron who said: “I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative”?

Going back to the swinging ’60s, it’s important to remember that was it was only thanks to the combined efforts of the Conservative peer Lord Arran and Labour MP Leo Abse, that the 1965 Sexual Offences Bill was placed before Parliament and subsequently signed into law, decriminalising homosexual acts in 1967.

The Sexual Offences Act as it came to be known received Royal Assent on 27th July 1967. Lord Arran is now remembered for leading the effort in the House of Lords to decriminalise homosexuality in 1967, following the suicide of his elder gay brother, who was believed to be homosexual.

He also sponsored a bill for the protection of badgers and was once asked why this effort had failed whereas decriminalising homosexuality had succeeded, Lord Arran is reported to have replied: “There are not many badgers in the House of Lords”.

Great strides, and setbacks, have occurred since the days of 1960s, but it has been the Conservative Party that has emerged as the modernising, liberal, forward-thinking vehicle of social mobility. I have been a Conservative party member from the age of 16 and have always found it a welcoming, inclusive party.

The values of the Conservative Party, namely that of freedom, opportunity and capitalism, have always resonated with me on a personal level. The Labour Party simply does not reflect my values and no matter what the socialists preach- high taxes, excessive state control and Momentum-style bullying, they will never be in line with my values.

As Labour ramp up their identity politics, it is now more important than ever to combat the disinformation campaign pushed by hard left activists.

I am capable of objective thought and because it apparently needs saying; I like men, but that doesn’t shape my views on the economy, jobs, taxes, defence, education etc.

I am sure I speak for many when I say that I do not need champagne socialists pontificating their own political agenda on my behalf.

After all, there ain’t no party, like a Tory Party.


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