Tis the season

Hi,

With it being June, it’s Pride month and there’ll be various events online and otherwise from LGBTQ+ organisations around the world.

For anyone asking why do we need a month for people to be proud of who they are, I would say you only need to look at the news and at recent history. The documentary on Netflix called Hating Peter Tatchell or Amazon Prime’s Disclosure would be excellent places to start if you’re interested in recent history, IMO. The 1970s might have been an age away, yet the laws and attitudes of that time cast a long shadow. One that still, sadly, touches us.

So am I moaning about the past? No, organisations – from ‘charities’, pressure groups, think tanks, etc – are actively involved in trying to roll back the hard won rights of LGBTQ+ people. They lost on marriage equality and now – perhaps like the typical pattern of bullies – are rounding on a group who can’t fight back. Trans people and indeed kids. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s the same tired playbook that people tried against the LGB community in the 80s. It was BS then and we should know better.

The Ever Lovely Mrs J said there had been a discussion at work on books and research, specifically that of freedom to publish. A colleague had asked – in the spirit of debate, not to promote – what about gender critical views? My beautiful partner asked how might we feel if we swapped the word gender for Jew, Muslim, woman, black, immigrant, etc? What might we think of the other person expressing that line? I would think most people would consider them to be a tw** 😛 Yet, right now, we have people given a voice in the media and in government who peddle lies and discrimination. That’s why we need Pride.

Even for armchair part timers like, Pride matters. I might not have the situation to let me go on a march, but to see people being themselves and being okay about who they are, that’s awesome. Plus, we’re not taking anything away from anyone. We’re just being us. It’s not like there’s less marriage licences now we’ve got some equality in that area.

"Aw, I'm sorry, we've just used the last of our marriage certificates. That's it until a new crop blooms next year!" 😉

So, for those of us who are a bit out, not out at all, or who can’t make an event, what can we do?

Donate: give a few quid to a LGBTQ+ charity of your choice. Mermaids UK perhaps? Stonewall? It’s entirely up to you and your preference.

Kindness: be supportive of LGBTQ+ people. Be interested in what they say, listen to their words, and if someone rolls out some evil guff, politely push back on that. Your experiences are valid and someone else’s view does not trump your lived reality.

Be yourself: wait, what? Being true to yourself to the best of what you can right now, that’s an act of rebellion. By choosing to accept yourself, you are moving forward. If you are open with friends, if you’re going out, if you’re online, if you are supporting others: you are making a difference.

Keep on being amazing. You have every right to be proud. ♥️

L x

14 Comments

  1. Progress has never been a smooth curve. It always more of a zig zag with each step forward followed by an initial kickback and retrenchment, until things gradually move forwards inch by painful inch.
    There was an interesting question during our first Pride Month Q&A event, “Do you look forward to a time where events like Pride marches are no longer needed because people are just accepted as who they are?” Answers were mixed, but the one that I remember was a hope that while there might still be Pride events they would be seen as as being all about celebration rather than advocacy.
    But it may still be a long time a-coming.

  2. “My beautiful partner asked how might we feel if we swapped the word gender for Jew, Muslim, woman, black, immigrant”
    Indeed. And I wonder how many people would pull up abruptly if you replaced the word ‘women’ with ‘people’ in the following TERF position: “transwomen are not real women”, and really think about what that statement was actually saying.

    1. Yes, the curve of progress seems smooth only in hindsight, ignoring the stop/starts and protests to make things happen.

      I keep reading how the next generation are frustrated with their accepting views being disregarded and passed off (often with a sneer) as ‘woke’. I am hopeful the votes and protesters coming through will not accept the mess we’re in currently. Mess being the climate and equality.

      As to the ‘not real’ element, I think that’s unkind and actually works against women regardless of their history. Take for example people who transition early, they ‘pass’ so are less likely to be the recipients of the you-can’t-be-in-here brigade. So unless you’re pretty enough, it’s not okay, is that was this comes down to? The blowback of that is women who don’t meet that certain level of acceptability are now suspect in someway. Cue hostility to women who prefer to look androgynous, butch, or – by the luck of genetics – don’t fall into the narrow band of what a group of think is okay. I don’t think that is acceptable.

  3. I had a wry chuckle during the week as the BBC (a champion of platforming bigots in the service of “fairness”) ran an article on “LGBT things you didn’t learn at school”. Thousands of people took to their keyboards to point out that thanks to Thatcher and Section 28 it was *illegal* for schools to teach that until the 2000s.

    1. Ha ha! Good point. 👍 I wonder how bigots balance the view in their heads that a person can identify as whatever sexuality they want (and rightly so 🏳️‍🌈), yet seen it comes to gender, somehow that’s completely different. Or, it is that the fight against LGB folk is one they’ve lost, so don’t go near it?

  4. Perhaps people should have ‘pride’ in themselves 12 months a year instead of a single month, people are what they are.

    As for section 28, you might notice the same party that came up with that crackpot idea also legislated for gay marriage, true they had to ask for ‘help’ from other parties to get it passed some of the dinosaurs.

    As for Stonewall, they make it awkward for people, when the seek to ban terms such as ‘mother’

    1. I think the purpose behind Pride is to help build that sense that is okay to be as you are.

      Cameron may have managed to get marriage equality through and May did what she could around the GRA, however, don’t forget the years of austerity, anti-immigration, and now anti-trans BS that’s going on. We have a long way to go and Stonewall have been at the front of trying to push things forward. They – Stonewall – don’t always get it right, but they try and I think that’s a good thing.

      1. Please forgiven my ignorance of the subject, but what do you mean ‘ anti-trans BS’ ?

        Nothing has made the general news, you could argue that the government may be inept, may put things on the back burner, ignore `problems’, but that is a bit different from having an anti trans agenda.

        From what I understand the anti-discrimination laws should cover this area, as gender is a protected characteristic!

        I get the message about ‘Stonewall’ individual, organisations can and do make mistakes, its the ability to learn and recover from such issues thats says far more than anything else

        1. The protected characteristics cover gender and to an extent, people who transition. However, while some organisations extend cover to gender nonconforming people, legally it’s a gray area. This makes it unlike the protection around sexuality. For me to be out at work and seek protection of the law, currently, I would need to say I am transitioning, which I’m not and have no plans to do so. This makes things easier difficult for trans people and HR departments.

          To address the anti-trans question, what I’m seeing is advice from the cabinet to leave certain LGBTQ+ programmes, giving a platform under the guise of balance to trans hostile organisations, the collapse of progress between LGBTQ+ groups with the Equality Minister, and – at best – neglect around doing anything to actually improve things for trans people.

          I could argue that “I’m alright, Jack” as much of the above does not affect me personally, because as a part timer, I have the security of being in the closet. However, I see the distress, frustration, and the human cost to those who need to be out and be protected. Not just within the group i help run, but fun feedback from parents of trans kids.

          Society has moved on in terms of sexuality and while there’s a way to go yet, the law and government policy has stepped up. However, with a view of the transgender spectrum, the law is quite behind and I think you could argue the car that certain groups are busy trying to block progress and white possibly roll rights back. That is deeply troubling.

          1. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to explain, it proved very difficult to find out anything on the subject with some people saying that there was a ‘ anti-trans BS’ but not saying what it was.

            If I understand something or its explained to me in a way that I can understand it, I am far more likely to sympathetic, understanding, tolerant, helpful etc.

          2. Your pesky web site dropped my first answer !

            Thank your for taking the time to respond. At least I understand some of the issues. It was very easy finding people claiming that the government was being hostile, but a lot harder to find out what the government was being accused off.

          3. With so much, well, not going on, getting an answer from folk can be quite tough.. I’m only on the fringes of it, so I cannot imagine what it just feel like to be left waiting for an appointment for the gender clinic, to see the months go by as you wait for treatment, and to see day after day, a government ignore you, and a constant whispering campaign on how you’re the new boogeyman. No wonder some trans folk are pissed off. ☹️

  5. I was not really affected by the Section 28 provisions being almost out of school by the time they came in. Prior to that, I’m not sure we had any kind of sex ed at all apart from weird stuff our biology teacher told us (and the excruciating 30 seconds in which my father told me the facts of life). So my frame of reference was somewhat limited. Frankly, for all the knowledge I had, I might as well have put on a frock! Sue x

    1. I think S28 came in as I was a mid teen, probably sixteen or so. I can’t remember if it was featured on Channel Four’s LGBTQ programme, Out on Tuesday. I do remember the protests about it.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/cacc0b40-c3a4-473b-86cc-11863c0b3f30

      I still think sex education and perhaps details on sexuality as well is important. Given the “don’t die of ignorance” slogan during the AIDS outbreak during the 80s, not educating people seems a poor choice, IMO. But then, we have the stand off between certain religious communities and the No Outsiders education. It seems some folk just don’t want teens to know….. Hint: teens talk to each other, can read, and know how to use the Internet.

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