Proud to be in the Hotseat #002
It’s Pride month! As part of the celebrations at Blue Beyond, we’re finding our from our members what it means to be LGBT+. In the hot seat this week is Aden Hallam…
Like many members who identify as LGBT+, Aden struggled for a while with his sexuality and coming out: “one moment I was straight, then bi-sexual and back to being straight again and so on”. For Aden, this started around 14 until he was 17, until one day he told his mum that he was gay. The response was great, with his mum telling him that she has already known since he was 11 years old. Most of his family was fine with it, indeed many knew already. Aden says that it was all very normal for himself.
The Conservative Party proudly has an official LGBT+ group (lgbtconservatives.org.uk). However, being LGBT+ and a Tory doesn’t come without the suggestion - particularly within social media - that the two are mutually exclusive, with some left-wing activists even going as far to say that LGBT+ Tories should have no rights. For the 23 year-old, it is unforgivable: “They are advocating discrimination against LGBT people because of their political opinions - pure and simple.” Adam goes on to explain his views, making the point that some activists legitimise it by dehumanising LGBT individuals. He reminds us that no matter whether we are left or right on the political spectrum, we are all members of the same community and should be treated equally, rather than letting dangerous tactics divide the LGBT+ community.
Moreover, Aden is determined to fight against the narrative that LGBT+ people can't be Tories. Just as it is the case for others, sexuality doesn’t determine his political opinions: “I’m a Conservative because I believe in the free market, low taxes, freedom, and the Union. I just happen to be gay. Just because I like men doesn't mean I want to nationalise the railways. Just like it should be”.
Of course, there is so much more work to do and achievements to secure for the LGBT+ community as a Tory. Aden, like others, is keen to continue the fantastic work that the LGBT+ Conservatives have done despite the party having gotten it wrong in the past. He is keen to emphasise that the Conservative Party has truly not only become a party in which
LGBT+ people can feel safe, but a party which truly serves the LGBT+ community.