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Category Archives: LGBT issues
Hey everybody. First off… yeah, I haven’t blogged properly in ages. Sorry about that. My usual Winter funk started early, triggered by western society’s increasing resemblance to pretty much every dystopian science fiction future in every dystopian science fiction movie ever. As a result, I have been just drifting around in some kind of semi-fugue state, fueled by very strong painkillers and an immersion in the ‘grim darkness’ of the Warhammer 40,000 universe because, fuck it, it’s a brighter future than ours looks right now.
This is of course all hyperbolic for comedic effect, but what I wouldn’t give for a few power armoured, 9-foot tall warrior monks wandering around, purging would-be dictators with guns as big as a car.
Now, this post is more of a ‘She’s Baaaaaack’ thing (although consistency remains to be seen), rather than a scathing, withering yet amusing analysis of anything in particular. In all honesty, who needs satire when global events efficiently take the piss out of themselves? MRAs, the Alt-Right, ‘Alternative Facts’, ‘Fake News’, Rapey reality TV stars being elected President of the US, Brexit (Or how do we enact this thing without dry-fucking ourselves in the arse), some twat called Milo speaking in support of Paedophilia (he’s fallen a long way since he was in ‘The Tweenies’) and the Political Left in the UK refusing to get behind an actual Left Wing leader. All the while, our government has been systematically shagging the disabled and selling off the silverware… business as usual then.
However, yesterday I saw (without actually intending to, may I hasten to add) a 42 year old Transwoman in Brazil, dragged screaming from her home, begging for her life before being beaten to death in an alleyway. I shan’t link to it, it isn’t hard to find. This is the fifth reported Trans Murder from Brazil alone this year.
Now it’s easy to say “Oh well, Brazil is a backwards, Third-World Country.” Well it isn’t. It adopted equal marriage before we did, and supports Trans people with its public healthcare system. Poverty, Prejudice and Police corruption are prevalent in a large amount of countries we see through our Western perspective as ‘Developed’. Indeed, most of South America is coming on by leaps and bounds in terms of equality and social enlightenment from where they were a few dark decades ago.
No, this isn’t about Brazil. It is about all of us. It’s about everyone just laughing at the bigotted whilst they terrorise, intimidate, harass, assault and abuse the people who aren’t them.
People sit and laugh at Trump, but hate crimes have massively increased in the US, whilst he has personally signed away the rights of millions of US citizens. “Oh it’ll be interesting to see what he does…” are words one only hears from a straight, white, cisgender man (of course, not ALL straight, white, cisgender men 😉 ).
The Brexit Vote… guess what? A significant rise in hate crimes in the UK. I don’t really care what side of the fence you are on there, but the result gave a massive boost of self-righteousness to those whose idea of a good time is punching queers or battering brown people. So yeah, I’m now more likely to be attacked in the street. GO TEAM!
This oppressive fog of negativity has left me in a situation where I have a hard time motivating myself to chew through the restraints every morning. It is hard to see the goodness in the world right now, even though it is right there in so many of you. One of the things about strong pain medication is that everything looks so bleak, and yet so distant that you feel powerless to change anything (except pants… always change your pants. I cannot stress the importance of this enough).
But hey, every now and then someone puts a motivational poster up on Facebook so that makes it all okay, doesn’t it?
Ah well, at least the sun is shining. The bells of St Stephens are tolling and the primary school down the road is full of children screaming like someone’s chasing them with a chainsaw. Best of all, that hooty bastard Tawny Owl appears to have fucked off for the spring again so he can go and lure some other miserable bitch to the Underworld. Oh, and people are actively punching Nazis now, which is apparently something nobody thought of in the 1930s.
I fancy some toast.
I think I’ll go make some toast.
Peace out, love ya lots, and don’t forget to punch a Nazi.
Now, the wonderful Caroline Lucas MP has put forward a bill that will, among other things bring about the inclusion of LGBT specific Sex and Relationship education into schools.
What a surprise, some Tory pillock has weighed in on the debate with a view straight out of the 1950s (otherwise known as where UKIPpers go to wet-dream)
Now, If parents had a strong dislike of another race, is that grounds to not teach their children that the races are equal? Should schools be able to segregate children by race since some parents don’t like different races mixing? I have certainly encountered many people personally who find the idea disgusting. Should we pander to them?
If their parents hated a certain religious group, would it then be acceptable for them to request their children be excused from learning about that faith in R.E classes? “Sorry I can’t come to the class about Ramadan Miss, but my parents think ‘that lot’ should all be put on an island and nuked’.
Should a child be exempt from foreign language classes if their parents choose to hate all foreigners? Should boys be exempt from learning how to cook because their parents think that’s ‘girls’ stuff’?
Just because some parents don’t like the idea that their children will be taught about LGBT people, does that qualify as a justifiable cause for exemption from inclusive sex and relationship education?
Thing is, for certain people, especially, but not exclusively on the back benches of the Tory government, and in UKIP, it IS perfect justification. This justification stems from the utterly absurd belief that one’s religious choices exempt one from accusations of bigotry, so long as it is against LGBT people. The idea that certain groups of people are exempt from criticism for persecuting people from other groups is an absolutely insane concept, especially when the elements of faith that people use to justify said discrimination are cherry picked from parts of their scripture that are otherwise ignored.
Not to go all Nanny state here, but when you leave parents as the sole source of a child’s exposure to morality and relationships, and we will just be reproducing generations of the same narrow world views. I have never known anyone with racist views to have come from a family that did not also precipitate those views. However, exposing children to different ideas, beliefs and lifestyles teaches them to think critically and challenge preconceptions. To teach all children about the validity of LGBT people as human beings will not only help those who will develop to be on the spectrum, but will also help the majority who grow up to be hetero-normative to understand and better accept a large part of our population that isn’t going anywhere.
But sadly Mr Davies thinks differently, and his voting record on LGBT rights shows this. He speaks for a very vocal minority that want the right to discriminate and to encourage others to do the same. He is perfectly fine with the proliferation of intolerance and miseducation, and by association with those facts, the prejudice, hate, bullying and violence those things propagate. When an LGBT person is harassed, abused or murdered, it is just as important to assign responsibility to the men and women like Mr Davies who put themselves up as a barrier to the education we need to stop this happening in the first place.
EDIT: Looks like a victory for Ms Lucas.
I was debating with myself how best to describe the gut feeling this video instilled in me. I instantly went to the iconic image of the protester Tienanmen Square standing in front of a tank. Then I thought ‘pffft, isn’t that a little melodramatic?’, to which I replied ‘No’, followed by ‘Shall we go make a sammitch?’ to which I retorted ‘NO! You eat too much!’
She may not be a young man standing before an oncoming tank, but she is a seven year old, holding a symbol of unity and love out to a man frothing at the mouth with anger as he spits forth his well rehearsed anti-gay rhetoric. But in a way that is the same thing; He has come with all the power and authority of what he believes to be a divine being, and yet she stands silent and dignified as he writhes and squirms like a vampire shown a crucifix.
What we see is a clash of ideology that defines love. To the preacher, love is obedience, whereas to Zea love is acceptance.
Zea has become quite the internet celebrity, with collections started so that she and her family may make a donation to a non-profit LGBT charity of their choosing.
Of course, like most things that matter (and many that don’t), this has polarised the internet. To many, like myself, Zea is an amazing person, standing up to hate with dignity and stoicism. To others, she is obviously the product of sick indoctrination and is being used shamelessly by activists to promote their political agenda. Just read the comments on the Daily Mail coverage to see what I mean.
Not that the Daily Mail is famous for bringing out the best in humanity, of course.
People will look at Zea vs the Preacher and take from it what they want in order to match their world view. For some , there will forever be that bogus link between LGBT people and child abuse, grooming and indocrination of the young that has been spread about through the ages, most recently by right-wing religious and political groups such as the American Tea Party, or our BNP and UKIP’s Christian Soldiers. No amount of inspirational imagery will change those stone etched prejudices. But you know what? Those people are dying out.
Zea’s generation is the future of humanity, not the Preacher’s. My generation are bringing up their children with a different definition of love than the one’s that came before. The image of Zea armed only with a rainbow flag against a looming hunk of beefy bible-trumpet deserves a place in history. If all the might of bronze age theology and dire warnings of the misery that our definition of love will bring her wasn’t enough to make her back down, then what authority does he carry? He has only the power of physical might… Zea has the power of love.
And in the spirit of the power of love, let’s all have some Huey Lewis in Zea’s honour.
I remember my first pride event – it was 1998 in London and we all gathered at Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park. I was fifteen and bouncing around in black leggings and hi-tops, rocking a pink hoodie and matching lipstick with a little too much schnapps in my system than was advisable, and we marched together, proud of who we were, facing down anyone from the sidelines who would turn their noses up at us.
This was a different Britain. We had just come out of eighteen years of Tory rule – of government led fearmongering over HIV/AIDS and section 28. The media were still utterly hostile towards anything LGBT and the main issues of the day were an end to Section 28 and equalising the age of consent. As it stood, it was 18 for gay men, 16 for heterosexual couples and for lesbians… well, the law didn’t even recognise that they were capable of even having sex, let alone forming a legitimate relationship.
It is hard to admit to myself how long ago this was; over half a lifetime for me now, and yet each new challenge to the regressive status-quo that is victorious gives way to another challenge… another equality we must fight and campaign for, be it Civil Partnerships, Adoption rights, Same-Sex Marriage, Pressuring foreign countries to end their persecution of LGBT people… Pride Marches say ‘Look how far we have come, but look how far we have to go’.
The LGBT wing of UKIP wish to participate in London Pride this year. They want to join the parade, waving their great big UKIP banner and stand beside us as we march to remember those who fought for our rights, and those who continue to do so, and I would welcome them as individuals to stand against discrimination and second-class citizenship for LGBT people in this country and around the world.
But there is a problem, and the problem is UKIP.
This is a party that published more than one manifesto at the last general election, and that says something about the party as a whole; that it will commit to any course of action that would engender it to a specific group. In this case, it released its ‘Christian Manifesto’ which it was freely distributing at the UKIP Party conference this year. This manifesto described LGBT people and the LGBT rights movement as a danger to children… that LGBT rights was a way of pushing an agenda into schools that would see us grooming and recruiting children.
I am old enough to remember the days when being gay and being a sex offender were regarded, in public consciousness, as one and the same. When I got back to school the Monday after my Pride March, that attitude was behind every kicking I got for being ‘so digusting’ just because of my attendance at the event… I don’t know to this day who told them about it.
UKIP have also stated that they wish to introduce a conscience clause into the equality act which would allow people with certain religious beliefs to refuse goods or services to members of the public based upon their sexuality… An action that would ultimately make the equality act a joke, as it would enshrine inequality into British law.
We are living in a time where, although there are still legal battles for the LGBT community to fight in Britain, it is now more based on changing social attitudes. UKIP’s policies actively seek to curtail and even reverse this. Even ignoring the daft homophobic things their candidates say or do on a seemingly daily basis, these actions, in black and white and from the mouths of their policy makers ensure that UKIP is absolutely NOT a party that believes in LGBT equality.
Now, UKIP, for some reason I find hard to fathom given the party’s record, has a small but loyal LGBT contingent, who wish to be part of London Pride. I would not condone any action that leads to any LGBT person or ally being banned from the event, but the UKIP banner is just not welcome.
To all LGBT UKIPPERS… petition your party leadership. Make sure they commit to supporting LGBT rights and full equality for LGBT people in the law. Push them to recognise LGBT people as worthy of the same dignity and respect from everyone as any non-LGBT member of the public, and when you have done that… when you have a party that will renounce its policies to enshrine the religious choices of some over the fair and equal treatment of the LGBT community… when you have a party that sheds its utterly disgusting rhetoric about LGBT people trying to recruit school children in to what I can only imagine they believe to be some kind of pit of perpetual abuse and sexual degradation, then… THEN you will have a party whose banner has a place in the parade.
The organisations who march do so because they stand for equality. UKIP, as it stands right now, does not.
March with us, but march in the name of equality, not in the name of UKIP.