An illustrated banner cover. The word 'blog' is written in ribbon below the words 'the esperanza'. Underneath the ribbon sits a gift tag and the globe.

Pride Month 2022 – Conversion Therapy & Our Chosen Charity

An image from a recent march in London protesting the governments decision to not include trans people in the conversion therapy ban. It shows backs of heads and in the centre you can read a placard which says ;if its utterly abhorent for the LGB then it must be for the T'. A reference to a recent quote from boris.

Every three months we donate 20% of the profits from our preloved clothing sales to charity. In June, we will be donating our charity fund to Gendered Intelligence. To mark the beginning of Pride month, we wanted to share some of the reasons for our choice.

Hold tight, this is a long one, but it’s important, and we’ve only travelled as far as the UK!
Based on the laws and policies of each country in Europe, the ILGA has created a ranking system. It demonstrates which countries are the safest and most accepting for LGBTQ+ people. Rainbow Europe’s benchmarking tool has recently demoted the UK from 10th place to 14th.
So why has the UK dropped in ranking? Let’s explore one of the reasons in more detail.

Conversion Therapy

Update: 14/06/2022 – On the 13th June MPs debated the petition ‘Ensure Trans people are fully protected under any conversion therapy ban’. Though there has not been time to fully review all the comments made, it would appear the result is positive, and the majority agreed trans people should be included in the protection.

“Conversion therapy includes medical, psychiatric, psychological, religious, cultural or any other interventions that seek to change, “cure”, or suppress the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of a person.” – Ban Conversion Therapy.

In the UK, a 2020 campaign to end conversion therapy seemed to be making waves. LGBTQ+ groups and charities came together to work on the campaign. It appeared that the government had listened as proposals were announced.

In the consultation paper, within the ministerial forward, Liz Truss says: “It is also vitally important that no person is forced or coerced into conversion therapy, and that young people are supported in exploring their identity without being encouraged towards one particular path. This is especially the case for those who are under 18 and where this might result in an irreversible decision.”

Truss’ tone carries implications which are neither a sign of allyship or based in truth. ‘towards one particular path’ lightly implies that the LGBTQ plus community have some power or desire to convert straight or cisgender people. With the latter comment confirming that the ban is universal, the reader is left feeling that there is too much weight being put on the need to protect cisgender or straight people from LGBTQ+ people. What’s more, there is some concern that an ‘either way’ type bill could lead to a section 28 type attitude.

On a shop front or window in Soho, a sticker reads 'fight for trans rights the way they fought for yours' coloured in the trans flag colours.
Further, the comment regarding irreversible change is not only ill-educated; it implies early treatment options are non-reversible. It also focuses the conversation back onto trans bodies rather than trans people’s lives.

Feedback from the public was gathered up until February 2022. Unfortunately, it became clear that the ban was not going ahead in the way the community had hoped. In fact, it appeared that conversion therapy for trans people was being excluded from the ban.

At one point it appeared that Boris Johnson had plans to completely cancel the conversion therapy ban. He later announced the ban would go ahead but only for lesbian, gay and bisexual people – well technically just gay people it seems – “We will have a ban on gay conversion therapy, which to me is utterly abhorrent. But there are complexities and sensitivities when you move from the area of sexuality to the question of gender. There, I’m afraid, there are things that I think still need to be worked out.”

Whist writing this article, one positive has arisen. The petition – ‘Ensure Trans people are fully protected under any conversion therapy ban’ has reached 100,000 signatures. Meaning it will be debated in parliament on the 20th June. (Update- now 13th June).

Although the government’s response to the petition is still concerning, we can hold some hope.

Safe To Be Me

In the next section of the previously mentioned consultation, Truss announces; ‘The Government is proud to champion equality for LGBT people everywhere and I look forward to hosting ‘Safe to Be Me: A Global Equality Conference’, which will take place in June 2022”.

Initially the ‘Safe to Be Me’ conference was viewed with hope and supported by LGBTQ+ organisations and charities. However, in response to the government’s proposals for ‘banning conversion therapy’, (the exclusion of trans conversion therapy, and loopholes for religion and personal consent), over 100 charities and LGBTQ+ organisations dropped their support. Embarrassingly but rightly, the conference was cancelled.

What Else?

Trans and non-binary people must fight for the most basic of rights. Many people are still wrongly informed, and we seem to be sloping backwards in terms or laws and legislations. We’re focusing on arguments which are designed to divide, which in turn leaves us ignoring real issues for trans and non-binary people.

In 2021, the court of appeal overturned the High Court’s conclusion that under 16s with gender dysphoria were not able to consent to receiving puberty blockers (drugs which postpone puberty). Drugs which are “Associated with 60% lower odds of moderate or severe depression and 73% lower odds of suicidality”. For what other reason than misinformation and transphobia would we prevent healthcare with this level of wellness benefit?

Make Non-Binary a Legally Recognised Gender

Make non-binary a legally recognised gender identity in the UK – After gaining over 140,000 signatures, the petition was recently debated in parliament. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the debate led to a torrent of transphobic comments and ill-educated arguments. The government has confirmed it has no plans to recognise non-binary as a gender.

Who are Gendered intelligence?

As a country, the UK is on the cusp of changes which will demonstrate its allyship (or lack thereof). Unfortunately, one can only conclude negativity. Moreso, the victories we are being awarded are a form of placating the LGBTQ+ community rather than granting us equity. Concerningly, these divisive tactics pit cisgender LGB people against Trans and non-binary people, which is unacceptable.

Therefore, this pride month, we believe it is important for cisgender LGB people to ensure our campaigns are loudly inclusive of our trans and non-binary siblings. One part of this for us at Esperanza is to donate our charity pot to Gendered Intelligence. Further to this, we are always keen to hear from members of the community who would like to collaborate, guest blog or work together. If you would like to get in touch, you can email hello@esperanzaretail.com. We would also like to take the opportunity to pass the mic and point you towards some further reading (included below).

Pride Month 2022 – Conversion Therapy & Our Chosen Charity

an image shows a building in london of styled architecture, in front you can see a pride march from behind with trans flags. illustrated on top is the title 'pride' and the title of the blog.
Every three months we donate 20% of the profits from our preloved clothing sales to charity. In June, we will be donating our charity fund to Gendered Intelligence. To mark the beginning of Pride month, we wanted to share some of the reasons for our choice.
Hold tight, this is a long one, but it’s important, and we’ve only travelled as far as the UK!
Based on the laws and policies of each country in Europe, the ILGA has created a ranking system. It demonstrates which countries are the safest and most accepting for LGBTQ+ people. Rainbow Europe’s benchmarking tool has recently demoted the UK from 10th place to 14th.
image showing the ILGAs Rainbow Europe country ranking. The UK is showing at no 14. Ireland is 16.

So why has the UK dropped in ranking? Let’s explore one of the reasons in more detail.

Conversion Therapy
pink ban conversion therapy banner logo

Update: 14/06/2022 – On the 13th June MPs debated the petition ‘Ensure Trans people are fully protected under any conversion therapy ban’. Though there has not been time to fully review all the comments made, it would appear the result is positive, and the majority agreed trans people should be included in the protection.

“Conversion therapy includes medical, psychiatric, psychological, religious, cultural or any other interventions that seek to change, “cure”, or suppress the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of a person.” – Ban Conversion Therapy.

In the UK, a 2020 campaign to end conversion therapy seemed to be making waves. LGBTQ+ groups and charities came together to work on the campaign. It appeared that the government had listened as proposals were announced.

On a shop front or window in Soho, a sticker reads 'fight for trans rights the way they fought for yours' coloured in the trans flag colours.

In the consultation paper, within the ministerial forward, Liz Truss says: “It is also vitally important that no person is forced or coerced into conversion therapy, and that young people are supported in exploring their identity without being encouraged towards one particular path. This is especially the case for those who are under 18 and where this might result in an irreversible decision.”

Truss’ tone carries implications which are neither a sign of allyship or based in truth. ‘towards one particular path’ lightly implies that the LGBTQ plus community have some power or desire to convert straight or cisgender people. With the latter comment confirming that the ban is universal, the reader is left feeling that there is too much weight being put on the need to protect cisgender or straight people from LGBTQ+ people. What’s more, there is some concern that an ‘either way’ type bill could lead to a section 28 type attitude.

Image shows a trans pride march in london, a croud from behind are marching with trans flags. In the background you can see some old stone achitecture which gives the whole image a beige tone.

Further, the comment regarding irreversible change is not only ill-educated; it implies early treatment options are non-reversible. It also focuses the conversation back onto trans bodies rather than trans people’s lives.

Feedback from the public was gathered up until February 2022. Unfortunately, it became clear that the ban was not going ahead in the way the community had hoped. In fact, it appeared that conversion therapy for trans people was being excluded from the ban.

An image from a recent march in London protesting the governments decision to not include trans people in the conversion therapy ban. It shows backs of heads and in the centre you can read a placard which says ;if its utterly abhorent for the LGB then it must be for the T'. A reference to a recent quote from boris.

At one point it appeared that Boris Johnson had plans to completely cancel the conversion therapy ban. He later announced the ban would go ahead but only for lesbian, gay and bisexual people – well technically just gay people it seems – “We will have a ban on gay conversion therapy, which to me is utterly abhorrent. But there are complexities and sensitivities when you move from the area of sexuality to the question of gender. There, I’m afraid, there are things that I think still need to be worked out.”

Whist writing this article, one positive has arisen. The petition – ‘Ensure Trans people are fully protected under any conversion therapy ban’ has reached 100,000 signatures. Meaning it will be debated in parliament on the 20th June. (Update- now 13th June).

Although the government’s response to the petition is still concerning, we can hold some hope.

digital illustration of the words 'pride month' in cream. behind the letters are layers of rainbow representing the pride flag. the background is burnt orange.
Safe To Be Me
In the next section of the previously mentioned consultation, Truss announces; ‘The Government is proud to champion equality for LGBT people everywhere and I look forward to hosting ‘Safe to Be Me: A Global Equality Conference’, which will take place in June 2022”.

Initially the ‘Safe to Be Me’ conference was viewed with hope and supported by LGBTQ+ organisations and charities. However, in response to the government’s proposals for ‘banning conversion therapy’, (the exclusion of trans conversion therapy, and loopholes for religion and personal consent), over 100 charities and LGBTQ+ organisations dropped their support. Embarrassingly but rightly, the conference was cancelled.

Make Non-Binary a Legally Recognised Gender
Make non-binary a legally recognised gender identity in the UK – After gaining over 140,000 signatures, the petition was recently debated in parliament. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the debate led to a torrent of transphobic comments and ill-educated arguments. The government has confirmed it has no plans to recognise non-binary as a gender.
esperanza donates to charity, we donate 20% of the profits from our preloved clothing to charity. This is an orange sign explaining this.
What Else?
Trans and non-binary people must fight for the most basic of rights. Many people are still wrongly informed, and we seem to be sloping backwards in terms or laws and legislations. We’re focusing on arguments which are designed to divide, which in turn leaves us ignoring real issues for trans and non-binary people.

In 2021, the court of appeal overturned the High Court’s conclusion that under 16s with gender dysphoria were not able to consent to receiving puberty blockers (drugs which postpone puberty). Drugs which are “Associated with 60% lower odds of moderate or severe depression and 73% lower odds of suicidality”. For what other reason than misinformation and transphobia would we prevent healthcare with this level of wellness benefit?

As a country, the UK is on the cusp of changes which will demonstrate its allyship (or lack thereof). Unfortunately, one can only conclude negativity. Moreso, the victories we are being awarded are a form of placating the LGBTQ+ community rather than granting us equity. Concerningly, these divisive tactics pit cisgender LGB people against Trans and non-binary people, which is unacceptable.

Therefore, this pride month, we believe it is important for cisgender LGB people to ensure our campaigns are loudly inclusive of our trans and non-binary siblings. One part of this for us at Esperanza is to donate our charity pot to Gendered Intelligence. Further to this, we are always keen to hear from members of the community who would like to collaborate, guest blog or work together. If you would like to get in touch, you can email hello@esperanzaretail.com. We would also like to take the opportunity to pass the mic and point you towards some further reading (included below).

Rethink Regifting: Let Us Tell You More!

Rethink Regifting: Let Us Tell You More!

Make sure to plant a tree next time you buy gift wrap. Not a fan of digging? No problem, we plant a tree with every bag sold! Rethink Regifting with us!

Nobody Is A Little Bit OCD

Nobody Is A Little Bit OCD

OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – The reality is not funny, and as much as I like to laugh at myself…