This week the Green Party leadership reaffirmed our commitment to equality and trans rights in a statement. Predictably much alarm and criticism followed both publicly, and sadly from some of our internally elected members. My question is why?

A commitment to the rights and recognition of trans and non-binary people are well established policies of our party, and have been for a number of years. The vitriol for reaffirming this, and asking for us to respect and love each other does nothing to advance the agendas of those who seek to reverse these positions. Particularly, as often those who support our stance are too afraid to speak out and say thank you.

So I am speaking out now.

The most anger inducing part of this critique for me, is that the criticisms and hatred towards our policy are coming from people who say they are ‘speaking up for women’ or ‘defending women’s rights’. Well let me say this, as a cis-woman you do not speak for me.

They speak of the fear of dangerous men accessing women only spaces, prisons, toilets, changing rooms, refuges, the list goes on. Regardless of the inaccuracy of these positions I cannot conceive of weaker arguments against self ID. There are already provisions in place to manage risks to the safety of all people, and no one is suggesting this changes.

What I can say is this. As a woman I have lived in fear. Fear of the next sexual assault from an intimate partner. Fear of standing for election knowing my address would be published and I could be found. Fear of the threats of violence I received after I finally managed to leave. Fear of being sexually attacked in the street or on a night out, again. Fear of being coerced, controlled, and abused, again.

I’m not alone in those fears. Thousands of women live in fear every, single, day. Do you know what I don’t fear? I don’t fear my trans brothers, sisters, and non-binary siblings. I don’t fear our party leaders doing the right thing. I don’t fear those who will leave us because we took a stand against hate, we will be more united without them.

When we look back on this moment we will see our trans and non-binary colleagues and friends and know that we did what we could, that we can always do more, and that we were on the right side of history.

So no, those people who oppose us do not speak for me, they speak only for hate.

An angry, strong, survivor. A woman.