Jamie Perkins

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Jamie Perkins...

YCL London


Jamie Perkins is a member of the Young Communist League of Britain’s London branch.

District Campaigns Officer.

LGBT+ Commission

Jamie Perkins reports on the first meeting of the Young Communist League of Britain’s newly founded LGBT+ Commission, June 2020, which discussed the history of the movement in Britain and addressed the question ‘why does the LGBT+ community need socialism?’

The meeting was chaired by Jamie Perkins. For the inaugural meeting, YCL members received a historical lesson from older LGBT+ comrades active within the Communist Party of Britain, speaking about their experiences in the 1970/80’s and how the face of LGBT+ activism and agitation has changed over time.

The first speaker was Steve Johnson, of the Communist Party’s (CP) South London branch, who spoke about his youth as a gay man and joining the YCL in 1972. Speaking about the first motion passed in support of homosexuals as an oppressed minority, he recalled how certain members were surprised at the fact it was passed unanimously. During this time period the discussion around gay rights became heightened in the YCL due to the perceived attitudes surrounding homosexuality in socialist countries, which caused contradictions with the progressive trends of Britain.

The next comrade to speak was Andy Chaffer of Birmingham CP, who recalled the struggles the LGBT+ community faced during the AIDS/HIV pandemic under Thatcher.

The final speaker, Yvonne Washbourne, also of Birmingham CP Branch spoke of her time fighting with the Gay Liberation Front and the Women's Liberation Front, mentioning how it was the changes in trade union policy that have paved the way for lesbian and gay rights. After a robust discussion about the issues raised, in which YCL comrades shared their own opinions and experiences, the meeting was drawn to a positive close. [1]