The shadows of statues

Hi,

In a small market town not so far away, there are plans to install a statue. Last year we saw a number of slave owner figures pulled down and cast aside. I must confess to a wry smile on seeing one being tipped into a river.

The new statue is one of Margaret Thatcher and she – along with Sir Isaac Newton – certainly made their mark on history of the town. Mrs Thatcher was the first female prime minister, had multiple election victories, etc, and is also very divisive figure in the UK. The impact of privatisation, loss of the coal mines, and other social rulings have left deep scars that lurk within British society. Some proposed, some did not.

The statue isn’t up yet and there are concerns that it would be vandalised. A cynic might say that a report is out soon saying rain is wet, but we’ll move on. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Growing up near that town in the 80s and with the PM’s shadow across it, made for an interesting experience. To a small extent the town did well on the housing boom, council house purchases, and a slight flush of yuppie house sales by being on the main railway line to London. However, heavy industry certainly went and the loss of social housing seems a problem no one wants to address some forty years on.

For me it was the introduction of Clause 28 that cemented my view that that government did not want people like me. Not seen and not heard. The banning of schools to talk about being gay as if that would stop things. Because you know, if your mate or teacher tells you about it, you might sign up like you do to Netflix. Yeah, right. ๐Ÿ˜‰ BTW, if any of Netflix’s legal team are reading this, I’m not saying that watching your services has you on the turn ๐Ÿ˜ Although that fine looking woman of colour presenting Drag Race…. ๐Ÿ˜›

So, crap jokes aside, growing up feeling part of society in which your government doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge you and wants to make sure no one talks about what you’re going through. Well, that kinda sucks. It seems that certain figures maintained their bigotry during the equality around marriage, even if much of the UK had moved on. In fairness, some changed their minds and I am hopeful that did because they learned they were wrong, not because it’s a vote winner.

You may have noticed I’ve not said all of party X because that’s not accurate. However, all it takes is a few rotten ones to have control and the others not to push back. A lesson for today’s leaders perhaps in what not to do…? I can think of folk on the left, the right, and the centre who are not LGBTQ+ friendly. Mind you, with the anti-immigrant talk, that doesn’t that foster a level of social acceptance of bigotry? ๐Ÿ˜”

Why am I bringing this up now? Because it seems the same nonsense about teens being recruited is being rolled out. It’s a slightly different set of players, with a slightly different tune, but with the same newspapers, and it still stinks. Hate wrapped up in a veneer of concern when it’s not about listening or respect, but banning and controlling.

Be yourself, help others, and live your life

It will not be an easy ride, but I believe in the long term, we will prevail and those who oppose will be found out for what they are. I still say, if you’re punching down, it may be time to reflect on who you’re hurting and why. Is it really about protecting or is it more that really, you don’t like the idea people can change? Of all the people in the world, trans people are not the enemy.

Not being told about LGBT matters didn’t stop me being trans. I was born this way and I searched out information so I could try to make sense of it. There were no role models or influencers for me. Indeed perhaps reading about gay people and watching Out on Tuesday (bless you, C4) all those things normalised LGBT culture for me. Despite being a small town boy very far from any scene, even back then I couldn’t understand why certain straight folk where so filled with hate about it.

So, to close. In the decades to come, will another set of statues be pulled from plinths or sprayed in rainbow glitter to make them fabulous? Will we look on and smile seeing the once powerful toppled and there rulings denied?

L x

9 Comments

  1. Bigotry comes from fear. Fear of THEM.
    I am content with the world as it is. Privilege?
    What’s that?
    Who, me?
    I dont hate them.
    Its just that they should stop rocking my boat and be reasonable.
    Then I’d accept them.
    Life would be simple if they would just fit in or disappear. Their decision.
    No one in my group is like that. My group and my family are all reasonable people like me.
    And what was wrong with the Iron Lady or That nice Mr Trump anyway. At least they could distinguish between black and white and us from THEM.
    Geraldine

    1. “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown,” H P Lovecraft

      It seems that one way to motivate people to do as you want is fear. Give them a threat, tell them people are coming for their jobs, or targeting their children.

      It’s a play we’ve seen very much this last decade. That and ‘othering’ to encourage division and discrimination.

      As an aside, we’ve only one planet and as we are one people, I doubt disease or climate change cares about our petty squabbles ๐Ÿ˜‰

      “Here’s Tom with the weather….” ๐Ÿ˜

  2. So much could be written in response to your post and I’ve drafted and redrafted these last two days but actually why don’t I just say: I agree, though I focus not just on LGBT matters but on the whole overarching chaos that’s engulfing the Untied Kingdom. Sort that and the details will sort themselves. Sue x

    1. Thanks Sue. It’s a tough one with comments sometimes. Is it too much? Is it easy to understand? How to disagree respectfully? How to share a personal experience? etc.

      I think we have a way to go as a nation – assuming we stay as one ๐Ÿ™‚ – for people to feel listened to and for change to happen. I read they offer day the frequent complaint that the UK is too centred on London. That perspective seems to be growing in The North and over the boarder in Scotland.

      1. Well, one could write an essay on that last para, too. I’ll be brief and blunt, though honest. Both entitlement culture and blame culture are almost synonymous with the British national psyche. Everything that’s not working out is always anyone else’s fault all the time always: the Frogs, the Huns, the Soviets, the immigrants (oh yes, them), the Yanks, the bankers, the Eurocrats, London, on and on… Send a gunboat, that’ll learn ’em. Send ’em back where they came from. Hanging’s too good for ’em.

        The idea that, just maybe, taking responsibility for adapting to a changing – and exciting – world is something no provincial Brit will ever do, unlike many other places across the world one could name. After a century of spiralling down economically, it now looks like curtains for Northern England if not the rest of England and I dare say they will go down screaming it’s unfair, so unfair, that the rest of the world isn’t doing what they demand it shall do for them so that they can stay the way they were. I’ve done what I felt best for me to avoid the imminent Brit disaster. You’re a clever cookie, see what plans you need to make to survive it, because the North and the Midlands are likely to be a wasteland soon. It’s the most honest advice I can give you.

        Sue x

        1. I think…. that things sometimes need to reach crisis point for change to happen. It’s not a pleasant feeling thinking that a collection of people can be ignored for so long, and yet we see it. Sometimes because those in charge do not know, sometimes because they don’t want to, and sometimes because it jars with their world view.

          At some point, like the Brixton riots, the Poll Tax demonstrations, Black Lives Matter, Slut Walk, Extinction Rebellion, and MeeToo, almost seem inevitable because people feel they are being ignored.

          Perhaps for areas of the UK that are feeling that they are ignored or overlooked, that it’ll start with protest. However, so long as those in charge are unable to feel that pain – from activities, a lack of votes, or lived experiences – things will rumble on.

        2. I think you broadly think right. But just to say that when erstwhile friends from your area rejoice that I have lost my business because of Brexit, or persons threaten my aged mother for not being pure-race English, yet regard the callous, corrupt, usurping government as a panacea rather than as a crime syndicate, then I feel that local perception may be unfocussed and anger wrongly targeted. I’ll close my comments here. Stay safe, sweetie. Sue x

  3. I just posted on Sue’s blog: “Damn, you’ve been busy blogging recently.” I see that’s appropriate here too ๐Ÿ™‚ . It seems you’re both spending your lockdowns constructively, while I’m… well, I don’t know what I’m doing. Mostly I just want to go to bed. Why can’t humans hibernate or something?!

    1. If only going to bed and sleeping through things was an option. ๐Ÿ™‚ Mind you, I’m not sure I’d enjoy the fattening up process that some animals seem to go through. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I think the increase in blogging, at least for me, is it’s an outlet for trans related commentary and with no travel, I’ve got a little bit more time on my hands.

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