I expect a lot of people will know already to what I am referring, but in case you don’t, the Isle of Wight are finally having an LGBTQ Pride celebration! Fantastic news!
Unfortunately not everyone is so supportive.
Maybe that is misleading, in her article, Charlotte Hofton does wish the event good luck, but with the note that she wishes “we could reach the stage where not being straight would be so unremarkable and so accepted that there would no longer be a need for all this carry-on.”
Sorry Charlotte but it isn’t as simple as that.
As she rightly pointed out, this celebration coincides with the 50th anniversary of homosexuality being decriminalised. This is a monumental time, a time we should be able to say “look at us!” I think what Ms Hofton forgets is that 50 years is not a long time. There are many people alive who would have lived through persecution, and still face a significant amount of bigotry in their every day lives.
Ms Hofton suggests she doesn’t want to see so many people talking about what they do in the bedroom (because that is the only place being anything other than straight and cisgender is of any relevance at all), but she conveniently forgets how much being straight and cis is thrown in our faces every day. I can’t turn on the television without seeing at least one oversexualised perfume advert, I can’t look at the magazine racks without seeing headlines such as ‘women, how to snare yourself a man in 10 steps!’
Being heterosexual and cisgender is the norm. So screw us if we want to have a few days in the year where we are the norm, eh?
The site did issue an ‘apology‘. If you can call it that. Not Ms Hofton herself, but the paper as a whole. The post simply apologised for offending the LGBTQ community, then asked us to ‘read the article carefully before thinking too badly of Ms Hofton.’
I can tell you that I have read the article carefully. Multiple times. I am still thinking badly of Ms Hofton.
They request that we do not judge her, but in the same breath they state that it is ‘better to air views we disagree with, debate and challenge them rather than censor them’. I’m sorry, what?
Ms Hofton aparently supports people’s rights to live as they wish, but doesn’t agree with the public discussion of sexuality. I’m sorry, but tough. Why should I be ashamed of who I am?
Also, she seems to suggest that it is just a thing people do in the bedroom. Last time I checked, my gender was completely unrelated to who or what I do in the bedroom. Before spouting crap like this, please actually think your article through and stop equating all of this to bedroom activities.
Being LGBTQ is much bigger than just something that revolves around the bedroom, being LGBTQ is fighting for the rights that cisgender, heterosexual people have by default. The rights that we too should have, but don’t, or that we are only afforded lower class rights in, such as so called ‘equal marriage’ -something that still we do not have while the spousal veto is still in place.
We need Pride because around the world people are still being demonised, locked up, even killed for being anything other than cisgender and heterosexual. We need Pride because we still do not have equal marriage. We need Pride because we are still second class citizens. We need Pride because articles like this are still allowed, with an apology that tells us that what was written was good in the spirit of debate.
We need Pride because our lives should not be up for debate.
Sorry for this being more shouty than usual, I was asked to cover this by a friend of mine and I am glad I did. Those of us who can, need to fight back against this sort of bigotry, thinly disguised as support (with caveats).
The Huffington Post did an article on this topic yesterday too, so please give it a read. Share this around. Let people know it is not okay to do this.
Our lives are not up for debate.