LGB Alliance activist running for chair of Tory LGBT+ group wants lesbian and gay ‘glexit’

Alex Bramham posing with a statue

An LGB Alliance activist who is running to be chair of the Conservative Party’s LGBT+ group wants to it to rebrand as “LGB Conservatives” – a move he’s billing as “glexit”.

LGBT+ Conservatives was set up to provide a voice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people within the Tory party.

But Alex Bramham, who is running for chair, wants to separate the inclusive group in to separate organisations: one for LGB rights and one for what he terms “gender ideology lobbyists”.

In his manifesto, seen by PinkNews, Bramham says women are “adult human females” and that being gay means you have “same-sex attraction”.

“Changing sex is impossible,” Bramham writes. “Gay and lesbians have been abandoned by Stonewall, LGBT Foundation and others. The Conservative party’s no-nonsense approach is a winner with voters.”

Bramham goes on to suggest that the group should be separated into “LGB and gender ideology lobbyists”, adding: “LGB issues are not trans issues and we deserve to have a voice and representation as much as trans people deserve a platform. The Conservatives should work closely with LGB Alliance as they grow”.

He describes himself as “proudly gender critical” and insists that sex is “binary and immutable” and says that he would “immediately sever all ties with Stonewall” if he is elected chair of the LGBT+ Conservatives. 

Bramham has since submitted a motion to the LGBT+ Conservatives’ AGM to rebrand as “LGB Conservatives”.

“We made Brexit happen, gay/lesbian glexit is possible too,” he tweeted.

LGBT+ Conservatives’ leadership battle could have adverse effect on trans members

Elena Bunbury is the current chair of the LGBT+ Conservatives. She’s running against Bramham for another term as chair – votes close on 29 April with the result expected to be announced the following day.

Bunbury first became aware of Bramham at the Conservative Party conference, where, she says, he heckled her when she spoke out in favour of trans rights and inclusion. PinkNews has independently verified this claim with two others who attended the event.

“I was like: ‘This is not a heckling kind of event, what is going on here?’” Bunbury tells PinkNews. “It just kind of threw me a bit.”

Elena Bunbury holding a sign that reads "Ban Conversion Therapy".

Elena Bunbury holding a sign that reads “Ban Conversion Therapy”. (Provided)

Because of that interaction, she was surprised to learn that Bramham was running against her to become the next chair of LGBT+ Conservatives. Bunbury is hopeful, and quietly confident, that the voting members of LGBT+ Conservatives will reject his trans-exclusionary message.

Being trans-inclusive is the only way forward for a group like LGBT+ Conservatives, she says. 

“The way I see it is that if you’re someone who’s been discriminated against and knows what that’s like, I don’t know how you could ever then want to go and do that to someone else. Knowing you’ve been through homophobia and biphobia, why would you then go out of your way to make things more difficult for trans people?”

We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for trans people.

She continues: “I’m bisexual – I’m not transgender – but I can still understand the struggle of being a minority and needing to fight the status quo. I think it’s important to remember that we wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for trans people. They helped us with our fight all the way – getting equal marriage, the Stonewall riots, so I think to now pull the ladder up behind us would just be wrong.” 

Bunbury is also worried about the impact the election could have on trans and non-binary members of LGBT+ Conservatives. They have helped make the group what it is, she says.

“It really scares me that they’re having to go through this after all the work they’ve done. It just feels to me so disrespectful. Throughout he’s always said, ‘I’ve got nothing against trans people, I just don’t want them here’ – but it’s their group, they’re the volunteers, they’ve built it into what it is. 

“I just find it really arrogant and upsetting that I have trans members who, when they want to log in to vote for themselves or their friends, this is what they’re met with, and I want to make it as clear as physically possible that if I’m chair again trans people will be as welcome as they ever have been and any move to remove them or to work with the LGB Alliance, it is just not going to happen.”

Alex Bramham doesn’t want trans people included in a conversion therapy ban

Alex Bramham has a long history of campaigning for trans people to be excluded from the LGBT+ community. In 2021, he made headlines when he turned up to Manchester Pride decked out in LGB Alliance merch.

More recently, he faced resounding criticism when he turned up to a demonstration in the city to state his opposition to trans people being included in a conversion therapy ban.

In a video posted on Twitter ahead of that protest, Bramham posed with a statue of Alan Turing and put a sign that read “stop transing gays” in the statue’s lap.

In that video, Bramham sent his “huge thanks” to Boris Johnson for agreeing to ban conversion therapy for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

Bramham has also used his platform to hit out at people for sharing their pronouns and he has campaigned vociferously against the use of the term “queer”.

In addition to his bid for the leadership of LGBT+ Conservatives, Bramham is running in the Manchester local elections as a Tory candidate. 

When approached for comment by PinkNews, Bramham said trans people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual would still be welcome at events if he is successful in his bid to rebrand as LGB Conservatives.

“Trans Conservatives deserve authentic representation and champions with lived experience – not lip service from myself, Elena or speakers such as Nancy Kelley or Andrew Boff,” Bramham said.

“Rather than LGB people answering media questions about trans issues, trans people themselves will be platformed, with the country’s first trans MP representing them in parliament.”

Bramham said he will aim to support the establishment of “a new organisation through a six-month transition process” if he is elected chair of LGBT+ Conservatives.

He continued: “Trans people will remain welcome at LGB Conservatives events, especially when lobbying for lesbian and gay issues where that identity is shared.”

Bramham added: “Fortunately a solution is possible that addresses these concerns, raising the dignity of all and supporting the wider party’s excellent record on LGB and trans people and policy.

“Glexit means glexit and I’ll get glexit done.”