Tag Archives: LGBT issues

#Orlando – What the blithering fuck did people think was going to happen?

Yeah I’m swearier than usual because I am fucking angry.

Yeah, I am late to the opinion party as it has taken a few days for me to be able to articulate my sadness and rage. Anything posted beforehand would have merely been page upon page of gibberish, typed furiously with a lump hammer.

This atrocious act of sheer, blind, ignorant, fucking stupid hate is all the more tragic for its inevitability. When any psychopath with hate in his heart and a dick for a brain can buy a fucking assault rifle, people are going to die.

“Oh, but he was a Muslim extremist!”

Fuck off with that bullshit. He was a wife beating, queer hating American with an assault rifle. The fact that he was from a Muslim family is redundant.

“But ISIS claimed they did it.”

ISIS, ISIL… whatever the fuckers call themselves… would claim responsibility for everything from a traffic jam to a meteor strike if they thought it would further their cause.

Oh, and fuck off with your second amendment too. The declaration of Independence states that everyone has the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Your second amendment makes a mockery of the entire foundation of your country.

But it wasn’t just a case of one man and his prejudice. The world is fucking toxic towards LGBT folk. We cannot escape the fact that any stride we take just to be treated as human beings comes with very real casualties.

When you have state legislators pushing forward laws allowing people to refuse service or support to LGBT people… when you introduce bathroom bills that put Transgender people at risk and then claim that we are only there to molest your children… when you have allowed ‘Gay Panic’ or ‘Trans Panic’ defences as mitigating circumstances in assault or murder cases… Don’t you see the world that you create? Don’t you see that your clamour for votes among conservatives is actually killing people? Don’t you see that the people you vilify are no longer seen as people? You dehumanise us, you denigrate us and you seek to climb atop a pile of innocent victims to preach your fucking sermons.

A few days before the abomination of Orlando, a bomb detonated in a bathroom in a Target store in protest to their Trans-inclusive policy. The same night as Orlando, a man was arrested taking guns and explosives to be used against the participants in a Pride event. These events are not being regarded as acts of terrorism. Why the fuck not?

The rest of the world is far from blameless. In Britain our government espouses the wonders of our progressive attitude on LGBT issues, and yet they cosy up to Saudi-Fucking-Arabia. They may stone gays to death, but apparently oil and arms trades are more important.

They sit on their hands whilst Northern Ireland’s fucking government refuses to allow marriage equality despite massive public support for it. They do nothing whilst members of the commonwealth outlaw homosexuality and refuse to acknowledge Trans identities. Our national church reserves the right to use homosexuality as a reason for dismissing gay members of the clergy. They demand celibacy for gay vicars, but not straight ones.

For every fucking step forward we make in LGBT rights, there are those nations and administrations that would seek to block, or even reverse the rights of LGBT people under their jurisdiction.

High profile individuals such as Germaine Greer and Julie Burchill spout such horrific anti-trans diatribes and get sand in their fucking arses when people challenge them.

The press is notoriously, mostly, right wing. The Daily Mail didn’t even carry news of the massacre on its front page. Right wing commentators who have shown nothing but fucking disdain for LGBT issues in the past are frantically trying to disassociate the actions of the killer from their own hostility towards our community. They say he was a fundamentalist Islamist, not a homophobe. They say he was acting out of some backward religious ideology, attacking what he saw as decadent western culture.

FUCK

RIGHT

OFF

The cunt was a homophobe, a transphobe and a misogynist. Those traits are found everywhere regardless of race, faith or ethnicity.

If your freedom of speech creates a world where fucking lunatics feel justified to murder innocents, then it is not free. It has a cost, and the other night that cost was over a hundred human beings killed or wounded just for who they love.

Silence will not end the hate, nor will dismissing it. Making excuses for it… “Oh, it’s their generation.” or …”Oh, it’s their religion”… will not end it. Standing by when hate is spewed and not challenging it… WILL NOT FUCKING END IT!

Across the world people are united in grief and sympathy for the lives lost, and that is a beautiful thing, but if we do not take steps to challenge, educate and condemn the behaviours that make the world toxic to LGBT people, then the bodies will continue to pile up. Feeling sad for us is not what we need. We need you angry. We need you fucking appalled! We need you to stand with us and add your voices to our own.

An injury to one, is a fucking injury to all.

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#LGBT #sexeducation – Why LGBT inclusive Sex and Relationship education is a no brainer.

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)

The honourable ‘Member’ for Shipley’s comments are available here.

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.

Here is the link to Ms Lucas’ victory

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Filed under bigotry, Caroline Lucas MP, education, homophobia, LGBT, lgbt abuses, LGBT issues, LGBT politics, LGBT rights, Phillip Davies MP, segregation, ses

#LGBT – I have a new hero, her name is Zea and she’s seven years old

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/01/rainbow-flag-girl-zea_n_7702856.html

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.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3145419/Moment-little-girl-stood-anti-gay-preacher-silently-holding-rainbow-flag.html

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.

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Filed under defiance, digtnity, equal marriage, gay marriage, Huey Lewis, LGBT, LGBT issues, Marriage. gay, Power of Love, Preacher, protest, Zea

#LGBT – #UKIP pride ban: Ban the organisation, but let their people march.

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.

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Filed under anti-gay law, Bisexual, conscience clause, discrimination, equality, Equality Act, equality laws, Gay, homophobia, Lesbian, LGBT, LGBT issues, LGBT rights, LGBT UKIP, LONDON, MARCH, section 28, Transgender, UKIP

#Genderdysphoria

Gender Dysphoria

What #GenderDysphoria is like on a daily basis

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What a Tory Government means for the LGBT Community (From the POV of a Highly Biased, Unashamed Leftie)

Much is said of the negative effect a Conservative majority will have upon the poor, the sick and the disabled, and a lot of it far more eloquently than I usually convey my thoughts. But whilst all that is massively important, so too are the effects of Tory policy on other minority groups, so let’s have a look at the party’s record with LGBT rights.

The issue here is that the Conservative Party represents an amalgamation of different branches of Conservatism. The reason the Right Wing are more dominant than the Left Wing is that the Left are always fractured into disparate parties whilst, until the rise of UKIP at least, the Conservatives pushed themselves as a union of every right winger. From the independent business owner to the Lord in his manor; from ‘The Sun’ reading Granny in the Bingo Hall, to the most chinless, fox shreddingest, bible thumpingest lunatics out there, the Tories have stood as a united party against a mostly liberal or disillusioned population represented by several parties of varying size and credibility. This is how the Conservatives are able to form ‘majority governments’ whilst only getting between a quarter to one third of those of voting age to back them.

With regards to social reform in relation to the Conservative party, the clue to their attitude is in the name. Conservative… They are utterly determined to keep everything the way it is for as long as possible (of course this doesn’t apply to the NHS, Libraries, Human rights act etc.). People who vote Conservative… those who aren’t just protest voting because modern Labour are ridiculous… aren’t big social reformers. They are renowned for stripping away publicly owned assets such as the Railways, Telecoms, Gas, Coal, Post Office etc. and selling them off cheaply to private companies, always with the same results: The quality of service drops, whilst the prices rise in order to maximise profits for those at the top. The Tories abide religiously by the notion that if the government steers all the money to the top of society, it will trickle down to benefit everyone, whilst ignoring the reality that the money instead gets whisked away to the Cayman Islands, or the Bahamas, or anywhere else where it won’t end up benefiting anyone but the rich, the banks, and the politicians they donate to (which ones are they again?). But I digress.

The issue with being for the people at the top of the pile, is that the top is much narrower than the base. How do you convince people on modest incomes, living sensibly, struggling to raise family, that you are the party for them? Simple. You paint a picture of a golden age of the past and make out that the other parties want to ruin it. A lot of criticism was aimed at the Scottish National Party by the Tories for their nationalist stance, and yet the Tories play on a very dangerous sense of Nationalistic fervour. To them, the beauty of a Nation is not in its art, or its culture, or its diversity, but in its wealth and military might. Who cares is a few cripples are left without heating if it means Britain can wave its dick with the big boys, eh? Monarchy, Church, Traditional English values (basically romping around the world acting superior); these are what make the nation, not its people.

What has this to do specifically with LGBT rights? Everything!

The Tories have stood against every advance in LGBT rights because they don’t fit in with those values. They are new, uncharted territory, and the people that buy into the golden age of Empire, Royalty and Religion find it goes very much against their beliefs.

“But Tammy, you mental muffin…” I hear you say, “David Cameron led the government that INTRODUCED same sex marriage.”

He may have led the government, but let’s be clear that the Equal Marriage Act was proposed by (now former) Liberal Democrat Minister, Lynne Featherstone and championed by the Liberal Democrats, led by Nick Clegg as the junior coalition partners, and whilst it was supported by the majority of Tory front benchers, the majority of the party opposed it.

This brings me to Section 28… the only piece of legislation to diminish the rights and standing of LGBT people in this country passed since the Victorian era, and it was by a Conservative government, led by the idol of every Tory in the government today, Margaret Thatcher. This legislation effectively blocked any educational or council run institution from offering positive support to young LGBT people, whilst simultaneously curtailing the ability to challenge homophobia or toxic misinformation about LGBT issues, all against the background of the HIV/AIDS panic.

This legislation, as I have explained many times elsewhere, essentially threw back LGBT equality a quarter of a century and left a whole generation of LGBT youth to grow up without the same standard of relevant sex and relationship education, nor with the expectation to be treated equally, or fairly by society, and by the law.

“But Tammy, you bombastic welly-boot…” I hear you say. “That was in the 80’s, that’s ancient history!”

First, less of the ancient, thank you! And second, it remained on the statute books until 2002, where its eventual repeal was opposed by most conservatives, including David Cameron himself. Of course, he has changed his tune and thrown himself behind the cause, and I will not fault Cameron for his shift in position, but it cost him the support of much of his party. They wouldn’t oust him as PM though, and especially not when they needed a majority win at the next election, which they have now achieved. Of course that does not make his position safe.

He has tried to appease those on the backbenches… the little Englanders and safe-seat Tories who prop up the idea of moral fortitude within the party… with two consecutive equality ministers who opposed the Equal Marriage act (yet now who apparently support it… convenient huh?). Perhaps we should petition for an Atheist to be made Archbishop of Canterbury.

Basically, the Tory record on LGBT rights is as follows. As a party, they introduced Section 28 and stood against its repeal. They stood against equalisation of the age of consent laws, and they stood against the introduction of civil partnerships. Twice as many voted against the third reading of the Gender Recognition act 2004, as voted for it, with many abstaining from voting altogether, and over half opposed the introduction of equal marriage in the last parliament. They have the benefit of appearing tolerant with a leadership and front bench openly supporting LGBT rights, without having to actually be tolerant.

Now they wish to revoke the Human Rights act, upon which many advances on LGBT rights were argued and brought into law. There are no Lib-Dems left to reign the Tories in. Labour are in disarray and UKIP are still homophobic twats. Essentially, we’re in trouble.

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Filed under age of consent, Equality Act, Gender Recognition act, Human Rights, Human rights act, LGBT issues, LGBT rights, Politics

Leelah Alcorn (And Why it Has Taken Me So Long To Comment)

…not that the world was waiting with baited breath for old Tam-Tam to step up to the soapbox or anything. The sad truth is that Trans related issues, especially depressing ones, seem to be a massive turn off to the general population, and anything I say will be preaching to a very small choir. I doubt my opinions and feelings will change the hearts of anyone, but I must purge and so purge I shall.

For those who have been living under a rock this past couple of weeks (and since Christmas and New Year can be a stressful time for anyone, who would blame you), Leelah Alcorn was a teenage Transwoman in the US, whose devoutly religious parents thought faith-based re-programming and the power of prayer were more important than the needs of their daughter. Leelah stepped out into traffic in an act of self destruction because she could not bear the torture of Gender Dysphoria. She left a suicide note on her blog, which has since been deleted (but copies will be popping up everywhere) by her parents, who refuse, even in death, to honour Leelah’s gender identity and chosen name. Leelah’s funeral has been postponed for security reasons, as there has been a lot of hostility towards the parents who drove her to this act.

Amid the outpouring of grief from the Trans community and its allies, I stood cold. Hell, I even ignored most of the articles that were popping up on my Facebook and twitter feeds. Why? Because the story was so close to home for me.

Not the devoutly religious parents aspect (mine are mostly secular, and utterly supportive), but being a teenager and battling with gender dysphoria in an environment so hostile to such a concept, and I feel like such a coward. Had I been stronger as a person when I was a teenager I would have either stood up and said to the world ‘I will do this even if you hate me’, or I would have opted out of the world altogether like Leelah sadly did. Instead I hid myself away for another decade, losing ten years of a life I could have had and watching it slip away. It was like being the one who sits quietly in the corner at a party and watches everyone else have fun. Do I admire Leelah for her suicide? No, but I admire her for her words in the hopes that the world could be made that little bit better for all of us by the awareness her death would bring.

Who is to blame? That is what everything comes down to in our society, blame.

IF Leelah’s parents weren’t so devout in their religious beliefs, would Leelah still be alive? Probably.

IF they had let Leelah transition with their consent, would she still be alive today? Probably.

IF the branch of the religion they followed were actively inclusive of Trans people, would Leelah still be alive today? Probably.

IF the laws were such that people could give legal consent for gender transition at an earlier age, would Leelah still be alive today. Probably.

IF Leelah had access through her school to LGBT support services, would she still be alive today? Possibly.

IF the media’s portrayal of Trans people was more positive and less a scandalous, freak show, would Leelah still be alive? In truth I think A LOT of Trans people would still be alive if this were the case.

The ultimate responsibility of Leelah’s death, of course lies within her decision to take her own life, and I feel for the person who was driving the vehicle that she stepped out in front of. I know from having contemplated suicide and been on the verge many times, that the tunnel vision that precedes such an act can blind you to the feelings of others, or the consequences of your actions. It is hard to explain to somebody that has not been there (quite literally) on the edge, exactly how those feelings manifest; how the vision narrows, and time ceases to pass while the rest of the world falls away and there is nothing but the inviting serenity of oblivion in front of you. The vision narrows ever further and time grows ever slower until something snaps you out of it …or doesn’t. There is no self, or no other… not unless you come back from the brink.

But the responsibility for the circumstances that caused Leelah such despair lies with her parents and those around her that pushed a religious agenda upon someone whose nature made them incompatible with such archaic and narrow interpretations on the world. When you try and hammer a square peg into a round hole, you’re going to break the hole. Leelah had no other sources of tangible support, and so one must conclude something that I have been saying for years.

IF your religion insists you put your devotion to it above your devotion to your children, then fuck your religion, and fuck you for following it. Governments and local authorities, not just in the US but all over the world, need to stop putting religious sensibilities before the actual welfare of those who have no place in a bronze age morality. The right to worship freely should NOT extend to the neglect of the vulnerable, or the dictation of someone’s value as a human being in law. Organised religion has had it’s time, and it is done. It is not worthy of a world of natural diversity, or of the beauty of diversity’s infinite combinations, it only seeks to impose it’s values so it may survive at any cost.

It wasn’t religion that put men on the moon, invented vaccines, built steam engines, harnessed electricity. Throughout history, organised religion has been at the forefront of the retardation of progress and advancement. How can something that makes you reject your own children to their deaths be anything but wicked? It must change at its core, or it must die.

Leelah will become a beacon for the Trans community. Her face will be everywhere, her words on posters and T-shirts. Trans hookers show up dead all the time and the public don’t care, but here’s a baby; an innocent, pure in beauty and spirit. In the eyes of Trans activists she is now a martyr for the cause of Trans recognition and equality; a rallying point for us to take our stand and say ‘no more’! Her life will no doubt be told in film, in yet another Oscar-bait piece about how we are all ultimately victims, and her mother and father will live the rest of their lives in the shadow and torment of the daughter they drove to her death.

I hope they both live a very long time.

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Filed under LGBT, Politics, Transgender, Transsexual