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General Election 2024: Four LGBTQ+s share the most important topics to them

What's your big issue ahead of the election?

By Alastair James

Foursight - General Election
We ask four LGBTQ+ people to share the issues they think are the most important ahead of the election (Image: Kara Matook, Piers Allardyce/Terrence Higgins Trust, Carol J Moir, and Provided)

The General Election is fast approaching. Polling day is Thursday 4 July.

There are many issues to consider when it comes to voting including healthcare, the economy, and environmental policies. In our upcoming issue, we asked four LGBTQ+ people to share the big topics they’ll be considering when they step into the polling booth.

Mufseen Miah (he/him) LGBTQ+ podcast producer and host

Mufseen Miah (Image: Kara Matook)

It’s difficult to pick one big issue for the next election because there is a lot to address, but we should scrutinise all policies on issues impacting trans lives, migrant lives, and the climate crisis, which unequivocally affects us all. Adopting an insular attitude on these issues has only led to a failing economy and a government that prioritises the wrong things. We need politicians to take the climate crisis seriously and to think beyond a single election cycle — to take action now.

Research has shown that LGBTQ+ people are disproportionately impacted by social factors such as poverty and access to healthcare. If a politician can be bold about standing up for the entire LGBTQ+ community and protecting trans lives, then that’s a big tick for me because frankly, the level of transphobia in this country is scary. I worry for trans people living here who are struggling to get access to hormone therapy or to just get on with their lives without being subjected to hate. I do wonder if there’s any possibility of there being a government after this election which sees value in difference — both with regards to queer people and the migrant community.

Dan Harry (he/him) Presenter and campaigner

Dan Harry (Image: Piers Allardyce/Terrence Higgins Trust)

With the support of our next government, the UK could become the first country in the world to end new cases of HIV. This, among other things that have been neglected in recent years, is something I’ll be looking out for in the next election. Working with an organisation like Terrence Higgins Trust could ensure that PrEP is made easily accessible for those who need it, and opt-out hospital testing programmes could be expanded across the UK.

Ending new HIV transmissions by 2030 is within reach, but only tangible measures can make it happen. My home country, Scotland, is committed to banning so-called ‘conversion therapy’, something the UK government has failed to do despite promising this in 2018. LGBTQ+ people who experience ‘conversion therapy’ are over 90 percent more likely to have suicidal ideation. We need our future government to follow Scotland’s lead and stop so-called ‘conversion therapy’ once and for all. The next election result will have a deeper impact than we may think, and I hope we see these issues (and many more) tackled. I want my community to finally feel empowered by those making life-or-death decisions about how we exist in this country

Andrea Di Giovanni (he/she/they) Musician, songwriter and performer

Andrea Di Giovanni (Image: Carol J Moir)

The big issue is finding a believable candidate within what’s proposed by the political parties. At this moment, the Labour Party, with its constant lack of action or decisiveness in tackling the fundamental issues gripping Tory Britannia isn’t credible or of any appeal to a trans+ person like me. Also, I will never forget Sir Keir Starmer’s purge of the socialist ‘Corbynist’ wing of the party which revived political interest for the younger generations.

Although I understand the ‘tactical vote’ argument, I simply do not believe this is the correct outlook. The Green Party offers a decent, sustainable manifesto that promises to deliver gender equality, a greener planet, and concrete aid to combat the cost-of-living crisis. Getting more Green MPs in Parliament could start shifting political power in Westminster, avoiding the bipartisan dominance of the Labour Party and the Tories. We simply cannot continue to choose between the lesser of two evils. We should not be afraid to stray from tactically voting for parties that do not represent us.

Shivani Dave (they/them) Journalist and political commentator

Shivani Dave (Image: Provided)

Sadly, after 14 years of Tory rule and austerity, there is an ever-increasing list of issues this country is facing, at home and around the world. The one thing that would ensure I vote for a party in the next election would be pledging to call for a ceasefire in Gaza and to suspend arms transfers to the Israel Defense Forces during the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people. Unfortunately, I have been around news and politics long enough to know that the likelihood of that happening is zero — although I would love to be proved wrong!

Also important for me is housing policy, particularly with regard to social housing, rent caps, and reallocating vacant properties. Another key issue is long-term plans for the NHS, with an emphasis on not privatising services, and ensuring well-resourced HIV+ and trans+ healthcare pathways. And it goes without saying, but the next government needs to have a robust and ambitious climate and environment policy, or I will be using their manifesto as toilet paper.