The gay Vice President of the UK’s National of Union Students has a called the suggestion that it is more difficult to come out as a conservative than gay – ‘an insult to the LGBTI community.’
Moreover, he says the former Conservative MP’s comments in this mornings Radio 4 debate ‘disgusting and outrageous’, to Gay Star News.
Robbie Young who manages the union’s society and citizenship arm slammed the former tory MP Julian Brazier who made the suggestion on air.
Speaking after the debate aired, Young tells GSN:
‘Its stupid to suggest, that you could get systematically beaten up for being a tory, or any other political party.’
‘To conflate the two is an insult to the LGBTI community. It totally undermines the concept of coming out – the comments were disgusting and outrageous.
‘If you want real examples of bullying, look at the Stonewall school report, don’t point to political debates.
‘Especially when you consider NUS research that shows nearly of trans students seriously consider dropping out because of the negative attitudes they face towards their gender identity – that’s just not going to happen because you vote Tory.’
Indeed it is Young’s view that conservative policies are those pushing people out of education.
The conversation that initiated the former MP’s tirade was about why young people, swung the vote to the left in a constituency that for over 100 years voted conservative.
After the debate Young spoke to an LGBTI student on campus. ‘He told me they voted Labour because of Brazier’s gay rights record, despite being a conservative.’
Brazier who lost his seat in the last general election. He voted against every major LGBT rights change during his term in parliament. This includes equalizing the age of consent, gay adoption, repealing section 28 to same-sex marriage.
‘Coming out as a conservative shouldn’t even be a thing’
The discussion was held at Canterbury Christchurch University.
It stemmed from one local conservative student who before the on air debate says: ‘when you come out as a conservative you are almost vilified to an extent.’
When presenter John Humphries picked up on the phrase come out, Luke elaborates:
‘To use the analogy – I think maybe a third of our association are gay. Most of them say it’s harder to come out as a conservative to their parents, than it is as gay’
‘It’s almost as if [being gay] is more acceptable. Is that the buzz or stigma around it, the historical connotations of being the “nasty party”. Or is it, “you’re young, and they don’t do anything for you – so why do you vote for them?”‘
To which the conservative campaigner says, ‘It’s a very fair point, it’s one we’ve discussed frequently. We’re not telling a good story.’
Going back to the comments coming out later he says:
‘There is an anti-conservative feeling at universities. People complain to me that if they take a particular view say on Margaret Thatcher or Brexit in essays they will get penalized.’
Young however says this is ‘nonsense.’ Continuing, on air, he says ‘I don’t think coming out as a conservative should even be a thing.’
Speaking directly about Brazier’s gay rights voting history he says ‘those students in Canterbury used had an MP who consistently voted gay rights – and now they’ve voted in one who goes to pride.’