LGBTory was founded in 2015 by a group of Toronto Conservatives who wanted to be a presence at the Toronto Pride parade. We felt it was important that, at Canada’s biggest LGBT festival, people realized that there were LGBT people active in the Conservative parties (both federal and provincial) and that the LGBT community was not monolithic in its support of left- and centre-left political parties.
When casting about for a name for their new group, we found a similar organization in the UK called LGBTory. We liked the name; it was catchy, it rolled off the tongue, and it was a double-entendre that conveyed the overlap between the two groups: LGBT and Tory. With permission to use the name from the UK group, LGBTory Canada was born.
Almost immediately, a few people took exception to our name. We were accused of “trans-erasure”, of “appropriating the T in LGBT”, and of negating the existence of transgender people in the LGBT community. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The name LGBTory is meant to represent the intersection of two groups that many people think have nothing in common. It tries to show that there are Tories in the LGBT community, and LGBT people in the Tory parties. It’s a “portmanteau” word that combines parts of two words and their meanings into a new one, like “infomercial”. Like a mathematical Venn Diagram, it represents the overlap of two different sets.
Similar names are used by other LGBT groups, including the technology industry:
and by teachers:
and by the popular TED lecture series:
We work hard to advocate for the entire LGBT community in federal and provincial Conservative parties, and to be ambassadors for Conservative parties within the LGBT community. We helped to successfully change the Conservative Party of Canada’s marriage policy to remove opposition to same-sex marriage. We have lobbied Members of Parliament and Senators to urge them to pass the transgender rights Bill C-16. We monitor provincial and federal elections to alert voters when anti-LGBT candidates and policies appear.
We believe that focusing on the spelling of our name distracts from the good work we are doing in both the LGBT and the Conservative communities. Groups like PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and EGALE (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere) do important and essential work for the whole LGBT community despite having no “T” in their name at all.
Transgender people are an important part of all our efforts, and our name reflects that.