It’s Pride Month. I mean, not for my actual city, but it’s the start of the main bulk of Pride events, but also the month of June marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising as well as other key events in Queer history. At the moment, it honestly seems that you can’t escape a story that threatens the rights of Queer people, after the 50 years of fighting we have gone through since Stonewall. It’s sad, it is an increasing reality and it makes me mad. I’m allowed to be mad because it does effect me, my rights, my life.
So welcome to a fun little two part post. It may seem odd that I am doing it in two parts when literally I write for myself and there is no word count, but it’s because I want to divide two very recent issues and discuss them separately. Forgive me if I repeat points I have made before, because I have written fairly extensively on queerness because trying not to repeat myself is hard when this fight seems endlessly ongoing.
Today, we are going to talk about ‘No Outsiders’ and the repercussions of the recent news around it. If you don’t know what ‘No Outsiders’ refers to, this a lesson that would be taught in primary schools around relationships in general that also touches upon same-sex relationships and family units. It isn’t sex education, it is just about relationships and is in order to prepare children for the greater world outside of perhaps their own family.
It has caused protests at school gates, and a whole ruckus around if it’s appropriate, with many people wading in saying that it is recruitment for the queer community and teaches children inappropriate material. I’m not going to go into the whole argument that a lot of the people protesting in one specific area are of a certain religion, because off the back of this, Magical Pride at Disney Paris was petitioned to be cancelled by parents because it would “confuse children”.
The two issues are similar to one another, and use the idea of “my child, my choice” and that parents are ultimately the ones who should decide what their child is subjected to. I completely understand that. I would hate to think any child in my family was exposed to something unnecessarily but there are some facts of life you just have to deal with and those are:
- Your child could turn out to be queer regardless of what tactics you use to guide them down a certain path you deem right
- You and your child have walked down the street and perhaps passed a dozen queer people each day without any consequences
- At some point in life, your child will come across a queer person no matter what
- Disney has been around for a long, long time, and has influenced people throughout it’s history, often helping people accept who they are…also, a lot of the adults that go without children are probably queer!
The essence of the lessons are to teach children about society and that things have changed in recent years. Its age appropriate and all the protests have really done is produce stress, strained tensions between community and just generally caused disruption. These are at the schools who have adopted it early as in September 2020 it will become the standard for primary schools. And the protests are trying to stop that becoming the reality. They are trying to effect policy to basically exclude the teaching of people simply existing.
This also comes in the light of the delightful Ann Widdecombe who didn’t learn a thing from Courtney Act during Celebrity Big Brother, who said that science may still provide an answer to being queer. What she meant by that, was the creation of medication to help queer people become heterosexual. A woman who supports conversion therapy and has blocked legislation to help out our community.
I can be mad because people who voted Leave have created these situations. They voted to Leave, for whatever reason, that has now lead to the creation of The Brexit Party, who won seats in the European Elections, of which Ann Widdecombe was voted an MEP. I can be mad because they lead in some polls, because they are gaining traction because people want to leave something that provides the queer community with so much protection. Our queer legislation doesn’t come from our own government, it came from the European Union. Now it all hangs in the balance and I’m expected to stay calm?
No, I will be mad. It is my life that is being threatened, and whilst I sit here being male, being white, being cis-gendered, I know that I don’t have it bad, but I’m not just mad for me. I am mad for everyone in the queer community. Leave voters did this, they created this environment and they will just sit there and watch it happen.
I am always reminded of the quote:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.Martin Niemöller
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
That is the reality we are heading towards, but people are so blinded by a need to leave something that hasn’t really harmed us, that hasn’t really held us back from anything. Because it will happen. If you think the people in that political party really have your best interests at heart, I wonder how good your own interests are. This is not a game, this is life, these are lives, and it’s just not queer people. All this has done is shift the focus onto a community, and once that’s finished with, it will change to someone else. But if we are all gone, who is going to stand up for the others? What then? We get mad.
It may seem like an odd tangent but at the same time, it isn’t. The reality is, the world is filled with little tiny bubbles of hate. One bubble, meets another bubble and they join up, making a larger bubble. These bubbles are also opportunistic, only needing the other bubble whilst they agree on something. Once they’ve dealt with that, they break away and then start joining another bubble.
This hate breeds hate. It doesn’t effect change or make things better, it creates a world where intolerance is the norm. Where I can be told that in the eyes of certain people I don’t exist, and then we wonder why he keep letting Chechnya slip from memory: because to their own people they don’t exist.
That is why I can be mad. This is why I am mad…