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It’s nearly Party Conference season again. And it’s the first time with Conservatives in Government since the mid 1990's.

It may surprise some listeners to know that back in those days I was a Conservative Party activist. I was the secretary of an active branch of the party in Cheshire. And a regular attendee at party conferences.

I wasn’t “out” in those days. As a transsexual woman I had completed my social “transition” between genders many years before, and had settled into a quiet and discreet life among the well-to-do women who formed the backbone of a certain class of society in one of the Tory heartlands.

I didn’t advertise my transsexual history and, if anyone harboured any suspicions, it had never ever been mentioned.

All of that was about to change though. I had been a member of the campaign organisation “Press for Change” since shortly after it was formed in 1992. And now, because the campaign required visible representatives to put themselves forward on the public stage, I had taken the difficult personal decision to “come out”.

I had volunteered to organise and speak at two key events at the Labour and Conservative conferences in the first two weeks of October 1995.

This was momentous, life-changing stuff .. at least for me .. and so I wrote about it at the time. Fifteen years on, it’s therefore a good time to revisit those two weeks covered by The Diary of a Conference Campaigner...

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  • Karen Michael

    What a fascinating journey, and how courageous you have been (and still are). Can’t wait for the second instalment!

    Aug 17, 2010 at 9:04 pm