Today is Trans Day of Remembrance - an important opportunity to remember those who have lost their lives to transphobia, and reflect on how we as a society can end this loss of life.
In decades past, the UK has led the world in advancing human equality for all LGBT+ people - with the Liberal Democrats playing a particularly key role in driving that forward.
But in recent years, progress has stalled and even gone backwards. I’m deeply concerned to see such a vulnerable group of people being dragged into a manufactured culture war.
We cannot forget the chilling impact this has on people’s lives, either. Like the fact that last year, transphobic hate crimes in England and Wales hit a record high. Or the heartbreaking reality that nine in ten young trans adults have had suicidal thoughts - a much higher proportion than the wider population.
Today, my thoughts are with everyone in the trans community who have already lost their lives. Like Brianna Ghey, a 16 year old trans girl who was tragically killed earlier this year. And Alice Litman, who had been waiting more than three years for gender-affirming healthcare when she passed.
Let me be clear - Liberal Democrats will always stand up for the rights of everyone in the LGBT+ community, including trans people.
There is still a long way to go to achieve true equality for the trans community, but Liberal Democrats will keep fighting. We owe it to Brianna, Alice and everyone else we have lost.