Thursday, 17 May 2018

Very, very much



In our "comfort zones" in the West, it is easy for people to say - as the usual pundits tend to do, in particular when such things as Gay Pride events are debated - that we have it all "sorted"; that the battles for equal treatment and recognition for gay people have largely been won. But even during the recent glitteringly camp Eurovision Song Contest, there was still evidence of homophobia - be it institutional, such as the Chinese censorship of rainbow flags and gay performers, or attitudinal: some of the commenters "below the line" in such august media as The Independent or The Telegraph still found the need to heap scorn and condemnation on the fact that Ireland's entry had the temerity to feature a gay kiss. At Eurovision, for fuck's sake!

Gay people in all societies - "First World" and "Third World" alike still encounter insults, discriminatory behaviours and sometimes violence. Trans people in their own struggles for recognition are regularly disparaged by right-wing and left-wing groups alike.

HIV/AIDS organisation Avert has some optimism:
"...progress is being made in overturning anti-gay laws. Last month saw the total number of countries with anti-LGBT laws drop to 74 with Trinidad being the latest country to join the modern statute books (pending an appeal).

"Activists hope that upcoming court rulings in Kenya and India will see this figure drop to 73 or even 72."
There was actual good news as Australia (finally) made same-sex marriage legal (as did Slovenia, Germany, Malta, Taiwan and Austria during 2017); darling Tom Daley used his position as a Commonwealth Games medal-winner to highlight homophobia in the world's media; cute Justin Trudeau's Canadian government formally apologised to the thousands of Canadians who suffered injustices during a decades-long campaign to root out homosexuality from the military and public service; and gay producer-director James Ivory received an Oscar for Call Me By Your Name (which itself was a smash hit in cinemas across the world).

None of this is anywhere near enough.

The continued active persecution, discrimination, imprisonment and even murder of gay people by ISIS and Islamist states such as Brunei, Iran, the Gulf States, Morocco and Saudi Arabia; and the spite, bile, cruelty and violence towards us that is actively encouraged by Russia and its ex-satellites, Catholic and African churches, US gobshite evangelists, and right-wing politicians across the globe proves that this is not the case for the majority of people in this world.

The list of modern-day horrors in just the last twelve months includes the persecution and torture of gay people in:
Shamefully, our own Commonwealth is a collective that includes a high proportion of the World's homophobic states. Prime Minister Theresa May last month expressed “deep regret” for Britain’s role in criminalising same-sex relations in its former colonies and announced Foreign & Commonwealth Office funding for an ambitious £5.6 million two-year programme to advance equality and equal protection before the law. Baby steps.

And I haven't even mentioned Trump...

As ever, on this International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHo), there is a simpler message for our oppressors, bullies and haters out there:


Indeed.

14 comments:

  1. This is the best time in history to be LGBT--so you can imagine what the rest of history must have been like. I'm afraid if we ever stop throwing such parades, things would quickly slip back to where they were back in the bad old days.

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    1. “If you are neutral in times of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” ― Desmond Tutu

      Jx

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    2. I was born and came out 'back in the bad old days' and agree with you Kirk. March on with Pride !

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    3. And we shall be - just seven weeks to go..! Jx

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  2. If those thoughtless, ill-educated clods used the time and energy they spent berating, persecuting and belittling people unlike them - all people - this world would surely be a better place?
    I have been extremely lucky (privileged?) not to have been a target of homophobia, but I wonder if I hadn't made the effort to "hide" it in certain places and in front of certain people, would I have been so lucky? But then, we shouldn't have to hide ourselves (all or part)! I don't hide anymore.

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    1. "Never feel guilty, never give in! Tell me why?" I'm with Jimmy Somerville - I always fought back, and certainly (once I finally accepted who I was) refused to hide my proclivities from the great unwashed. In fact I more often than not emblazoned them with feathers, fouf and faff! And that was in Newport (South Wales); as rough as they come... Jx

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  3. My inexplicable friend has hit the nail: across the board, people with a serious insecurity problem lash out at anyone or any idea that does not fit with their own, narrow thinking.
    Here, in this "outpost of empire" there is a real possibility the Catholic Tony Abbott may regain Prime Ministership.
    We should not have to hide. None of us.For any reason.

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    1. Maybe Tony Abbott should hide. Somewhere in the Queensland Badlands. He's an idiot. Jx

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    2. Yes, Jon, but please don't send the bugger up here!

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    3. Hopefully he'll be eaten by cassowaries. Jx

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  4. The battle continues against the narrow minded. I'm pleased that China weren't allowed to pick and choose what their viewers could see of Eurovision, and that it was all or nothing.
    Sx

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    1. I was impressed how quickly the EBU responded - you may be the world's most menacing super-power, but don't mess with Eurovision!! Jx

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  5. A great post to mark such an important day.
    We have achieved so much in this country and must fight on for basic human rights for all our Brothers and Sisters.

    Love this video and as always, spot on for the day.

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    1. Thanks, dear! We raise our banners high...

      Jx

      PS It's possibly the only time that Lily Allen produced something worthwhile.

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