Dylan Morris believes that there is still much progress to be made in the field of gay rights.
Gay rights have come a long way in the last fifty years, and it is in memory of those people who changed the very foundations upon which our society is built that we must consider the fight as an ongoing one, and not a thing of days gone by. Sure, the struggles we face are fewer and less ingrained into the societal structures as they once were, but that makes them no less homophobic, by modern standards, than locking gays, bisexuals and all other ‘alternative’ sexual persuasions away simply for being who they are.
We must consider the fight as an ongoing one, and not a thing of days gone by.
The plague of homophobia is one that I have seen, and one that I have experienced growing up as a young queer boy in the 21st century, and despite the decrease in severity since the 1960s and 1970s the things I’ve been a victim of, and the things that friends of mine have been a victim of, still carry with them an underlying venom that pervades the minds of most otherwise unassuming people. Homophobia was once classed as being locked away, or sacked, or murdered for your sexual orientation, but now it means being spat on in the street, receiving anonymous death threats over the phone, having things thrown at you by passing cars, being forced off of public transport, or being scared to hold the hand of your partner in public. Am I happy that we’ve come this far? Of course. Does this mean I think we should roll over and take it (no euphemism intended, you awful people)? Absolutely not.
Looking at the recent debacle in Ireland, with someone being berated by the straight community for DARING to say that he felt oppressed by something that seems to me at least, to be obvious homophobia. Is this really how we wanted things to end up? Is this honestly what we call a victory in terms of LGBT rights?
Or looking to Russia – where people are being beaten to death, or sodomised with screwdrivers, or denounced and demonised, simply for being just what they were born to be: is this really how equality looks?
People are being beaten to death, or sodomised with screwdrivers, or denounced and demonised, simply for being just what they were born to be.
I saw a debate unfold on Twitter earlier between one of the people I follow, and a candidate for the upcoming European elections – the latter of which was saying that the LGBT community brings a lot of what they get on themselves, and even going so far as to say that they are “asking for it”. Needless to say, he won’t be getting my vote, but I retweeted this, as I often do with idiots of neanderthalesque levels of intelligence, to show my Twitter followers what you can find when you overturn the stones at the bottom of society’s murky lake, and I was surprised to find that more than one of my gay followers actually agreed with what he was saying.
Now, I don’t see myself as particularly camp or ‘feminine’, except after maybe a few too many gin and tonics, but I also don’t see what is actually wrong with being camp or ‘feminine’. If someone is camp, or if they have stereotypically ‘feminine’ attributes, then according to this guy, they’re a “freak”, and once again they are “asking for it”. This is the kind of homophobia that is still prevalent in modern society, and it’s the kind of homophobia that still must be fought against. Too often I hear that heterosexuals “have no problem” with homosexuals, but they “can’t stand those airy-fairy gays that mince around like a woman”. Well gee, thanks for your accepting and kind nature, guys. It really means a lot that you like gays that conform to your ideas of ‘manliness’, but some of us don’t.
So, if you’re a gay person who is otherwise ‘straight-acting’ then count yourself lucky, because society doesn’t hate you quite as much as it hates the rest of the LGBT community, but don’t forget the others who don’t conform to the heterosexual society structure, because they’re getting left behind, and they deserve rights just as much as any one of you.
This article first appeared on Dylan’s blog.