Dugdale explained she doesn’t ‘feel the need to’ talk about her personal life in politics
The leader of the Scottish Labour party, Kezia Dugdale, has come out in a quiet but impactful way during an interview with journalist Mary Riddel.
Kezia Dugdale (34) said during an interview around her strategy to bring back the Labour party after its near total rout last year that she had a ‘female partner’.
‘I have a female partner.
‘I don’t talk about it very much because I don’t feel I need to.
‘And there’s something too about how meteoric my career has been.
‘I am generally calm, almost serene. I don’t get easily stressed or battered.
‘But I need a bit of stability to do that, and that means my private life is my private life.
‘That’s the thing I just have to have that nobody gets to touch, and that gives me the strength to be calm elsewhere.’
Besides Dugdale, Ruth Davidson of the Scottish Conservatives and Patrick Harvey, co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, are also LGBT. They identify as lesbian and bisexual, respectively.
The reaction to this small excerpt has been very positive. Twitter users have praised Dugdale for her ‘low-key’ coming out, which is telling about just how far politics and British society have come in terms of acceptance.
Dugdale became leader of the Scottish Labour party after the last election, in which the SNP, a rival party, won 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland – which meant Labour lost 40, including that of its then leader, Jim Murphy.
She says she’s aware bringing back the Labour party – which has been described as a ‘necro-party’ – like something out of the film ‘Mission Impossible’ – but notes the film had a happy ending.
‘I’m acutely aware that I have a lot to prove as a young female,’ she says.
‘[But] the minute it looks like I’ve phoned the big boys [like Gordon Brown or Douglas Alexander] to help, I’m in trouble.
‘It’s not arrogance on my part. I’d lose credibility,’ she adds.