Labour presents inaugural LGBT rights award in memory of trans activist

A co-founder of Stonewall has been honoured with Welsh Labour’s inaugural LGBT rights award.

Lisa Power, who helped found what is now the UK’s largest LGBT rights charity, was presented with the honour by UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones.

The Lily Summers Award for LGBTQ activism is named after transgender Labour activist of the same name, who died of ill-health in 2016.

Corbyn congratulated Power and shared with Welsh Labour’s conference their time campaigning against Section 28, which banned the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities, with her in the 1980s.

Power previously served as General Secretary of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, being the first lesbian or gay person to speak at the United Nations on behalf of gay rights.

She was awarded an MBE in 2011 for services to sexual health and the LGBT community.

Accepting the Lily Summers Award, Lisa Power said: “The love that people have for Lily is still palpable in Welsh Labour.

“I think it’s incumbent on you to continue working, supporting the aims and beliefs of the person that the award is in the name of, and I want to do that for Lily Summers.

“It’s important that we show that feminist lesbians like me are standing up for trans rights.

“There are people who are trying to divide communities. I won’t have it. All of our rights are important.”

Welsh Labour Executive Member and LGBT Labour spokesperson Luke Young said: “When it comes to LGBT activism, Lisa has been there, worn every t-shirt and brought it back out of the closet for the anniversary pride march.

“She has stood up time and time again for LGBT people, often when it wasn’t popular to do so.

“When we look today at the baseless hate directed at trans people, Lisa’s activism reminds us that it wasn’t so long ago that the same things were being said about gay people.

“Section 28 was introduced 30 years ago because we were powerless to stop discrimination being written into law. Because of people like Lisa, we will never be powerless again.”

Lily Jayne Summers was a prominent Welsh Labour Students activist and transgender campaigner.

She was expected to become Swansea’s first openly transgender councillor before dying unexpectedly.