#ProudToBeMe – Steven Doughty
Having fought for LGBT+ rights before he himself came out and since continued to champion LGBT+ causes within his party, Welsh Labour and Co-operative MP Steven Doughty tells us why he is #ProudToBeMe and how his sexuality and faith have remained at peace in spite of common misconceptions.
I’m Stephen Doughty, Welsh Labour and Co-operative MP for Cardiff South and Penarth.
I’m also gay!
I’m proud to be one of the largest numbers of openly out Gay, Lesbian and Bi MPs and Lords ever in Parliament – we think the biggest number of parliamentarians in any legislature in the world!
I was elected in 2012 and before entering Parliament I worked for humanitarian organisations like Oxfam and World Vision helping some of the poorest and most excluded people abroad and here in Wales.
I have always had a strong passion for fighting injustice and campaigning and was always a big supporter of LGBT+ rights, even before I had plucked up the courage to be honest about myself.
I was born and brought up in Cardiff and the Vale, and even though things were moving on very much by my teenage years in the 90s, I guess I felt very restricted and told myself that I couldn’t possibly be gay, even throughout university and beyond.
I’m also a Christian. I think God loves us the way we are made and that Jesus’ core message was to love one another. I don’t see any contradiction between my sexuality and faith. It’s (some) humans in the Christian church and other faiths that have a problem with LGBT+ people – not God.
I felt when I went into public life I needed to be true to myself and true for the LGBT+ people I would represent. I was very proud to serve on the marriage equality bill that brought in equal marriage, and I’ve spoken up for the trans community and LGBT+ people fighting persecution abroad.
I’m also proud to Chair the LGBT+ Parliamentary Labour Party and the All Party Group on HIV/AIDS.
I’m very lucky to have wonderful family and friends who accept me as I am along with my loving partner.
I am very conscious that I am only able to be me because of the hard work and often suffering of those who fought battles before me and showed far more courage and bravery than I will ever have to.
I believe Pride still matters and that it is political too!