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I’m breaking my annoying silence (so much to do, so little time) because something has annoyed me. Actually it’s a string of people annoying me the same way; that perennial call that we need to be nicer to bigoted straight people who do and say bigoted things and really aren’t we great big meanies for daring to judge people for using slurs or avoiding or telling off these bigots when they show their bigoted arses in all their scabby, bigoted glory.

Above all, I’m tired of the dreaded “teachable moment.” I’m tired of when yet another person decides to yell “f@ggot” in whatever media is open to them, it’s demanded that we nicely teach the bigot why that’s not a nice thing to do. I’m tired of being expected to look on a long screed on why I don’t deserve the same rights as anyone else as some kind of opportunity to educate rather than the vicious attack it is. I’m tired of seeing yet another attack against us and being expected to be SYMPATHETIC to the bigot who just trampled all over us.

Because of fucking TEACHABLE MOMENTS.

So let’s talk teachable moments. Mainly let’s talk about how I have absolutely no inclination to take advantage of “teachable moments” provided every time some straight person marauds around with little or no regard for us YET AGAIN.

That’s not to say I don’t want straight people to LEARN a whole lot of things. But teaching can’t happen without willingness to learn – and if there is a willingness to learn then I and a gazillion other LGBTQ people out there have written blogs, books, articles, videos and just about every damn resource possible for straight people to ACTUALLY want to learn. They don’t need “teachable moments”, they need to respect us enough to put some damn effort in.

The problem is not, as the apologist always cry whenever a bigot does anything, IGNORANCE; the problem is RESPECT

It is not having RESPECT enough for us to care whether their words and actions hurt us

It is not having RESPECT enough for us to consider the consequences of what they do or say

It is not having RESPECT enough to learn about us before presuming to insert themselves in our lives and our issues.

It is not having RESPECT enough to recognise that we are the experts in our own lives and when we say something is so, then is it so.

Because of this, the only “teachable moments” I want to have with straight people are:

1) Don’t say/do bigoted, dehumanising and disrespectful things
2) Don’t involve themselves in or claim opinions on or cast judgement on community issues that have absolutely nothing to do with them.

That’s it. Because those are basic milestones of respect: not doing harmful things and not arrogantly and paternalistically assuming expertise in someone else’s life. And I’ve found the most simple “teachable moments” for his is to either shun transgressors or make your anger known in most clear and adamant terms.

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Hammersmith and Fulham Council are considering closing their only shelter for domestic violence victims who are gay and bisexual men. This will leave gay and bisexual male victims of domestic violence in the borough forced to travel considerable distance

This is terrible, homophobia and shows how low we stand in the Council’s priority list.

HOWEVER, what is more terrible is the fact that Hammersmith and Fulham have (had) even one shelter for gay and bi men means they are actually far far far more concerned about gay and bisexual men needing shelter than every other London council. This shelter is the only shelter for gay and bisexual male victims of domestic violence in London.

The only one in the entire capital. 13,000,000 people live in the greater London metropolitan area and there is (was) one shelter. And at that it is better served than much of the rest of the country (there’s certainly no such shelter near me).

Stonewall Housing also notes there is no commitment for government funds to any kind of LGBT housing or shelter across the UK – domestic violence only makes us more vulnerable to homelessness – and we’re already grossly over-represented in the homeless population. But, hey, the Salvation Army still gets funding so straight folks will be fine.

In addition, the LGBTQ domestic abuse charity Broken Rainbows is also facing closure after failing to gain government funding. There are not enough words in the world to describe how vital Broken rainbows is; when you are LGBTQ and face domestic abuse there are next to no services – and services that are there for domestic abuse victims are ignorant, prejudiced or incapable of helping us – or outright unable to understand that we exist (certainly not as more than an after thought).

Broken Rainbows is one of the very few sources of support out there, one of the very few organisations that knows about the paucity of services – and their reduction – and how utterly isolated and lacking in any options LGBTQ victims of domestic violence can be. They can perform small miracles against a backdrop of absolutely nothing.

It is essential that we do what we can to keep Broken Rainbows open. If you can, please help.

We cannot rely on straight government funding or straight charities, we know this. Nor can we rely on straight domestic violence charities to be remotely capable of helping us – let alone willing to do so. We need Broken Rainbows, we need this organisation to be a whole lot bigger than it is, not reduced still further. It’s one of the few lifelines we have – and it’s being cut.
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 I have people wondering at me why I am so annoyed about reviews of How To Train Your Dragon 2, specifically Gobber.

 

Who is apparently gay. Or so say the writers of the film. The actual film? Apparently we have the line:

 

“That’s why I never married. Well, that and one other reason.”

 

Well that’s a totally unambiguous statement right? It’s not like “one other reason” could possibly mean anything else other than being gay, right? Uh-huh

 

But we have bloody swarms of people crawling out of the woodwork to say how wonderfully inclusive it is! ZOMG A GAY CHARACTER! YAY!

 

And people wonder why I drink.

 

This annoys the hell out of me. There are still huge genres – like SF/F and children’s shows/films/books of any kind – where LGBT people in major roles is damn rare (you can find us in comedies – because gay as comic relief is still a thing – dramas, usually about the big gay issue – and soapy-shows where we have big ensemble casts so you don’t have to deal with an LGBT main character without lots of diluting cishet people to wash it down with) and it’s not going to get any better because we have a swarm of people ready to throw a damn parade for NOTHING like this.

 

Like Frozen – hey did you see the millisecond hint that some random shop keeper may be gay because his family seemed to contain another adult man? Yeah, I watched that film and missed it as well – but the fanpoodles were on the net squeeing about Disney with gay characters – because blink-and-you-miss-it hints are totally awesome guys! (And update on that – they may have been cousins. Ooooh joyous inclusion)

 

Or the media that doesn’t even bother with hints, just has show creators or authors claim there are LGBT characters there we don’t know about – Battlestar Galatica, J K Rowling, Julie Kagawa, to name but a few – and we’re supposed to celebrate this? We’re supposed to be glad of inclusion that you have to freaking GOOGLE after you finish the book/show/film!?

 

And that’s aside from the number of shows indulging in fucktons of slashbaiting which has had Supernatural, Hawaii 5-0, Sherlock, Merlin and Teen Wolf hailed as inclusive or even outright gay shows by far too many. Tyler Posey even said in an interview that they focused on a gay storyline in Teen Wolf. WHEN?! What gay storyline?! I’ve watched 3 seasons and counting of Teen Wolf and there has never been anything that can be called a “gay storyline” and none of the teeny-tiny gay tokens on that show have ever been “focused on”.

This is why people like the writers on Once Upon a Time think that Mulan's kinda, sorta, almost coming out before FALLING OFF THE PLANET is progressive and inclusive.

 

Even when they manage to scrape up LGBT characters, there’s repeatedly an urge to back off from them – to make sure they don’t identify as LGBT, to downplay being LGBTness. Whether it’s the grossly homophobic Da Vinci’s Demons deciding Leonardo Da Vinci was just “curious” or Reeve Carney talking about Dorian Grey on Penny Dreadful and denying his bisexuality – comparing his sex with men as akin to self-harming.

 

But we still have the fanpoodles flocking to tell us how pro-gay these shows are! We still hold this shows up as wonderful examples of inclusion!


THIS IS NOT INCLUSION. This is bloody insulting and it’s actively harming our press for actual portrayals of LGBT characters because this is the standard we set. This is what is praised. This is considered acceptable. This is the low bar we expect media creators to tip-toe over. This is what the fans are demanding and this is what we’re getting – and then we wonder at the paucity of portrayals?

 

This shit is so prevalent that it’s created a whole double standard of inclusion even on sites which specialise in social justice and social justice analysis of media. They will praise erased or tokenised shows for their non-existent or grossly inadequate portrayal of LGBT people while rightly criticising that same show for its flawed representation of other marginalised people even though that representation is actually more extensive than that of the LGBT inclusion they just praised! But we’ve set such a double standard for LGBT inclusion that an ad-libbed retconned ambiguous statement is somehow a milestone of inclusion!

 

So yes, I’m pissed, yes, I’m ranting about this, yes, I’m annoyed. There’s this whole damn vast movement of fans out there, fans who claim to be supporters of LGBT inclusion – who are actively sabotaging us.

 

 

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 Don't.

 

Really don't, because I'm beyond sick of it

 

I know, I know, you want to make it clear you're totally not a homophobe and it's not about the same-sex couple you just don't like PDAs - of any kind!

 

But the ONLY time this gets trotted out, certainly in any large numbers, is when LGBT folk have shown the same public love for each other that cishet folks get to do repeatedly every single day.

 

I do not believe you decide to express your distaste for PDAs every time straight people kiss. I do not. Considering the saturation of straight affecting in the media you couldn't even read your toddler a fairy tale without having to tut "oh look at this PDA, how inappropriate" under your breath. If you turned on a television you would lose your voice having to repeat your disapproval so many times.

 

There is absolutely no way you express your disapproval of PDAs every time you're confronted by straight people kissing. You would be on permanent repeat, like a record that's skipping. 


You don't comment on straight PDAs but you hone in on the MUCH MUCH rarer same-sex PDAs to speak about? Yeah, that's some not-very-subtle shenanigans right there

 

And if you are genuinely unhappy with any PDA and this totally isn't isolated - then consider whether you need to express this NOW (because you DO let straight PDAs pass, don't even try to claim you don't). Even if you are super duper sure that you are totally not a homophobe in any way, shape or form, be aware that you do sound like one. Be aware that you are speaking in a context where a gazillion of your fellow straight folks constantly use such weasel ways to be homophobic in the hope they can wave the hate flag without backlash. Be aware that there's a whole bunch of straight people with unchallenged privilege and unquestioned prejudice who register, without even realising. same-sex PDA as obscene and needing reaction but don't even notice straight PDAs because they're background noise and you sounds a whole lot like them. Be aware of that "without even realising" and ask yourself how sure you are you AREN'T one of them.


Be aware that, to me and many other LGBT folks, you're part of a vast sea of straight people who've decided to express their disapproval over our relationships. Again. 

If you quack and waddle, how sure are you that you aren't a duck? Even if you aren't, you can't be surprised when we reach for the orange sauce


And does it suck that you're totally-well-meaning-and-not-homophobic-honest criticism is being lumped in with that sea of bigotry? Well, not nearly as much as it suck to drown in it.

 

 

This also applies to the "I think all marriage/adoption/surrogacy/IVF is wrong" but only say so when we're talking about same-sex couples engaging in them crowd as well.

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 First of all, banish the idea that whoever wins Eurovision has anything to do with the quality of the songs. Ok, no, that's harsh - let's say the quality of the music makes up, say, 20% of the decision on who wins.

 

The rest is politics. Which is why it was laughable that Eurovision Host Pilou Asbaek was banned from wearing rainbows as he wanted because it was deemed “political.” Which country votes for which is always based on relations and opinions between those countries (which is why you have a lot of bloc voting and part of the reason Britain both doesn’t take it very seriously and always does poorly – because we’ve annoyed and continue to annoy a lot of people).

 

Homophobia has been an issue in European politics lately – obviously with the looming bigotry of Russia. But not just Russia – it was rather bitter, for example, to see political leaders decide boycotts, sanctions and even not attending the Olympics et al against Russia for persecuting LGBT people was a no-no, but when straight people in Ukraine were the target, suddenly everything was on the table (including our “equality minister” telling us how much she couldn’t possibly boycott the Olympics – then running like hell from the Paralympics – showing homophobia and ableism). It’s also galling that one of the many steps towards integration with the EU required Ukraine to improve it’s anti-homophobia protection and this was dropped after the Russian invasion (and Ukraine dropped anti-gay discrimination from their workplace discrimination law) feeling a lot like the EU just shoved LGBT people under the bus.

 

Then there was Conchita’s boycott – Russia, Ukraine and Belarus all wanted Conchita disqualified and/or broadcasts of Eurovision to edit Conchita out. They were hardly alone, though the usual suspects were most vocal. There was a lot of pressure to remove Conchita entirely

 

And then Conchita won. That’s a message. Ok, the message could be “You want to de-gay Eurovision? Are you SERIOUS? Please, we’ve been claiming this since the 70s.” But it’s also a strong sense of rejection of the very overt bigotry that has dogged Eurovision and Europe this year.

 

Is the song good? Yes/no/maybe/I don’t really care – but I’m loving that the bigots stomped their feet and here, far more of us turned round and told them to back off.

 

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 Looks like we need another refresher on Freedom of Speech and what that means

 

Brendan Eich, the now-former CEO of Mozilla has donated a considerable sum of money to a campaign to deny LGBT people equality. He is a homophobic bigot. Mozilla decided being a homophobic bigot is the perfect person to head their company when they appointed him CEO – it was a bigoted decision that proved Mozilla did not value LGBT people.

 

LGBT people and people who aren’t raging bigots and apologists for bigots responded with fierce criticism, blog posts, social media campaigns and, yes, OKCupid joined the campaign (they did not block firefox – they DID have a page that said, basically, “hey we’d prefer you use a browser that doesn’t support raging bigotry” which did have a clickthrough if you really did want to continue with firefox.

 

Brendan Eich stepped down.

 

Would people have been happy with less? Honestly, I wouldn’t have been – and I still look leerily at some of the man’s apologists in Mozilla as well. But Eich didn’t even try. Mozilla threw around policy statements – which addressed nothing. They were so poor that they released several to try and patch the gaping holes – but never addressed the fact they’d chosen a bigot to lead them

 

Eich himself made vague statements – but adamantly refused to address his donation to a hate campaign. More, he wouldn’t rule out doing the same again, even when expressly asked. Eich is a homophobic bigot who has campaigned against the equality of LGBT people – and plans to continue to do so. Yet he expected LGBT people to have faith in him for the future.


This wasn’t even LGBT people refusing to accept an apology (which we wouldn’tbeen obliged to do) or trusting him to learn and do better – because he didn’t make an apology, made no indication that he had learned and adamantly ruled out not doing the same thing all over again.

 

And let us be clear here – LGBT people did not sack Brandon Eich. We do not have that power. We did not ban him under law – we do not have that power. We did not destroy his code or his company or have his website banned – none of these we can do. No-one physically attacked him. No-one put a gun to his head.

 

We spoke.

 

We spoke against a man who would spend money to deny our humanity. We spoke against a man who wished to deny us equality and treat us as lesser citizens. We spoke against a man who refused to even rule out doing the same thing again. We spoke against a company – a company that even prides itself on its principles - that decided such a man was ideal to be their leader and figurehead. We chose not to use the products of that company. We chose not to associate with a man or a company

 

Why is his “freedom of speech” which, by the American interpretation, also includes copious amounts of money to fund denial of our rights – so damn precious that OUR freedom of speech must be silence – or be considered “out of line” or “going too far.”

 

Why is his speech perfectly reasonable but ours is a “lynch mob”?

 

What do you expect us to do? Do you think we have some kind of duty to shop at Chick-fil-a, use Firefox or read Orson Scott Card? Lest our refusal to associate with a bigot somehow “oppress” you? At what point are we ALLOWED to speak up against bigotry? When do we get to defend outselves, oh straight people, do tell?

 

Why are LGBT people – all marginalised people – presented as being vicious, angry and oppressive because we won’t lay down silently and let privileged people oppress us?

 

Brendan Eich is not a victim. Brendan Eich was the man trying to victimise LGBT people – and clearly planning to do so again in the future. LGBT people chose not to lay down and take it, LGBT people fought against being victimised, LGBT people refused to smile in the face of yet another straight, cis person hitting us.

 


All you people squealing about how so-very-mean we’ve been to this bigot? You are like the men who hold some poor guys arms so someone else can punch him. Eich is the one who attacked us – we’re defending ourselves. It’s your choice whether you stand aside, help protect us – or try to hold our arms so we’re defenceless. 

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 So apparently Fred Phelps is dying. I know there’s definition a temptation to talk about protesting his funeral or dancing on his grave – after all, the man was a pretty loathesome bigot.

 Personally, I find myself largely not caring. Phelps, in his venom, was a negligible source of homophobia simply because his tactics were so cartoonishly awful that he would have added ammunition to our side of the argument more than anything – he provided one service to homophobes though: he served as the face of homophobia.

So all the so-nice straight people who are completely not homophobic (BUT…) can say they’re not homophobes because, look, they’re not Phelps. So long as they weren’t picketing funerals, they were the good ones. So long as their church wasn’t his, then people could deride Phelps as a “fake” Christian, rather than accept that his bigotry is pretty much standard across the majority of Christian denominations.

 Phelps was a useful scapegoat, a distraction and a perfect excuse not to look at the more mainstream churches.

He was also useful to hate, wasn’t he? So many people hated him for the evil shit he did to straight people…

 …what, you thought he was hated because of his homophobia? Please, his doctrine is hardly different from that of the Catholic church or the Southern Baptists. His homophobia was pretty standard and we can easily drum up rather a lot of pastors who want gay people deported/in concentration camps/just dead and think that Russia, Uganda, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia et al have truly fandabbydosy laws.

Don’t kid yourselves that this man was reviled for his homophobia. He was reviled because he was a TROLL. And pretty damn good at it at that. The hatred for GBLT people was pretty much standard – we hear as bad and worse every day from purveyors of Christian love – but his trollish antics enraged. His picketing funerals, especially soldier’s funerals in particularly was designed to enrage cis, straight people and earned him even the ire of the KKK. The wave of righteous hatred against Phelps has very little to do with his homophobia (he could have been denouncing cucumbers or the act of stepping on legos and he’d be as hated) – it’s all about him being a nasty little man who revels in offending and outraging people.

 In short, trolling.

 Will I be said the troll is dead? Not even slightly. Will I smile if people dance on his grave? You better I will. But is this a big victory of GBLT people? Has one of our great enemies fallen? Nope, I don’t see it.

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 So, in three separate places now I’ve seen straight women talk about how much they love m/m because it lets them have their hot fetishistic sexy time without any kind of sex shaming and isn’t that wonderful?!

 

Because gay men are never shamed for sex…

 

…riiiiight. Have you heard about this thing called AIDS? It’s a global pandemic that vast portions of the straight world believe is ALL OUR FAULT. Our sex lives are held responsible for one of the biggest global plagues in the world today and you cannot even imagine the constant judging we get both in the community and from without because of our sex lives, our dangerous sex lives, our promiscuity, our terribad plague carrying evilness. AIDS awareness literature, speeches, lectures, documentaries (seriously, how many films out there with gay main characters involve tragically dying of AIDS?) are all encompassing because of our terribad evil sexing!

 

And what’s one of the main weapons the homophobes use against us? Our supposed sex lives! Martin Ssempa is one of the chief driving forces of the Uganda genocide Bill and he is roundly mocked for showing explicit gay porn at his seminars and declaring that gay men eat each other’s faeces.

 

Peter LaBarbera, one of the loudest voices of hate in the US has been giving the mocking name “Porno Pete” by some in GBLT community because of his overwhelming obsession with gay men having sex and gay male porn.

 

Direct quote from professional homophobe Matt Barber on what being gay is “…one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” Ever heard of “gay bowel syndrome”? It’s completely fictional but still being trotted out by the haters on the right with depressing regularity.

 

A huge plank of the attacks against our every single right and protection is “Ewwww gay buttsex!” But our sex lives aren’t shamed? Are you serious? There are people campaigning to have us murdered on mass using sexual shaming as a major plank in that campaign.

 

In fact, one of the common polemics about why our love is not real, why we don’t deserve marriage equality, why our families are fake is because we’re supposed to be so utterly sex obsessed. Overwhelmed by lust, incapable of commitment, driven by endless dark urges – churches, court rooms and halls of government alike have rung with cries of what dirty sex monsters we are and that that justifies us not having equality

 

And even outside of the blatant hate groups – how many memes and bad jokes have you heard about gay men and sex? The hamster meme? The ridiculous and homophobic lie about sagging trousers being a signal you’re receptive to anal sex in prison to try and shame youth into abandoning the style?

 

And how often when something does happen – like the recent tragic death in the UK of a man in a gay sauna – did the forces of shaming and policing (both in and out the community) rush forward to remind us all how dirty and naughty and wrong we are?  Do you remember Jan Moir deciding that Stephen Gately simply had to have died of unnatural causes and was having kinky threesomes throwing in an extra dig that we don’t need civil partnerships?


Every time there is even a suggestion or possibility of a gay man somewhere in the world involved in even the most mild of “sex scandals” we get another repeat of why we’re dirty and wrong and don’t deserve have rights – or even to exist.

 

Our sex lives are constantly shamed.

 

Which is one of the reoccurring and glaring issues with these conversations about M/M. We have these female authors and readers extolling the joys of reading about the hawt sexing without issues they have to deal with as a marginalised people – while completely ignoring, disrespecting and being outright contemptuous of the marginalised people they’ve decided to use and exploit. They are not only not gay men, but they neither know nor care to know about the issues gay men face that they so merrily pass over when using us as tools for their useage. Even the slightest attempt to be aware of gay men as actual people would have realised that “gay men don’t face shame for having sex” was a truly ridiculous and insulting thing to say – but that attempt isn’t there. Gay men as people are not considered – only as objects: objects to help avoid their own issues or objects to fetishise for titillation or both.

 

 

 

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 The president of Uganda has signed the brutal and truly evil homophobic bill which strengthens the anti-gay genocide in his country. It is deeply wounding to see that there are so many people and so many places that want nothing more than for GBLT people to be completely eradicated from the planet; we have a long way to go until our very right to exist is universally accepted.

 We need to keep fighting and campaigning, of course, though I doubt any of the rhetoric will be backed with any kind of action – if Sochi tells us anything, it’s how little the cishet world really cares about GBLT bodies – but we keep fighting because it’s all we can do.

 Of course, I’ve said “genocide” which usually has someone bustling in to tell me how very wrong I am to use that word. Do not – this is genocide beyond any doubt.

 In fact, let’s look at the convention’s definition of genocide:

  

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

 

(a) Killing members of the group; 
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; 
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; 
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; 
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

  

So yes, countries that executed people for being gay are committing genocide.

 Countries that flog, torture, starve, electrocute, force emetics on us, or otherwise brutalise us (and that definitely includes “conversion” therapy) most certainly fit under B

 So are countries that imprison people for being gay – not even long sentences since you can’t STOP being gay so you are an inherent “repeat offender”. They are definitely filling C on that list and, frankly, are fulfilling A in all but loopholes. In fact, life imprisonment for existing is hitting on B as well

 Countries that break up our families and take our children (including but certainly not limited to that vile new law Russia is proposing) are definitely going for E. And we’ve got to mention the forced sterilisation that more than nods at D.

 These are just the blatant ones – and my gods there’s a lot of blatant examples for these alone. But the reality on the ground has a whole lot more genocide - creating a climate where mere mention of us is a sinful or obscene – or even a crime? That’s B – that’s driving us to suicide by any means necessary. If that were applied to political or religious groups there wouldn’t be the slightest doubt of genocide. Making our existence an obscenity is trying to erase us from society.

 Raising GBLT kids to believe they are sinful, obscene and sick? That’s driving them to suicide, that’s trying to deny their personhood – it’s another part of the GBLT genocide that is pursued in every country around the world.

  The legal definition of genocide isn’t ambiguous. It’s not really controversial either – and it cannot be sensibly argued that the crusade against GBLT people is not “almost genocide” – it is genocide, outright genocide. But we never ever use that word – not about Uganda’s  evil law, not about the evil laws that already exist in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria and so many other nations, not about the genocide practices and rhetoric happening on our doorsteps every day.

 Why, half the time it’s damn hard to get people to admit that gay people were the victims of genocide during the Holocaust.

 Because the cishet world does not see gay genocide.

 Look at that law again, the only reason why this does not fit the legal definition of genocide is simply because the cishet world doesn’t think killing GBLT people is genocide. That’s it. We are not included Locking up a group of people for existing, locking them up for life for not magically vanishing, is genocide.

 And you can’t even put this down to anachronism any more – it is 2014 and there has been no push to recognise GBLT genocide – but then, maybe I’m asking far too much of straight, cis folks given how long it took to recognise the pink triangle in the concentration camps.

 We need to plug this hole. The UN can make pretty speeches but the UN doesn’t follow that up with anything resembling reasonable action – witnessed by this gross void in its most fundamental of laws. This is the very bare minimum of international human rights protection – protection against genocide.

 But genocide continues against GBLT people not only unchecked, not only completely sanctioned, but without the cishet world even recognising it is genocide. Our deaths don’t count. And until the powers that be can do the bare minimum of recognising that trying to eradicate us is genocide, then what the hell is the point of them?

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UKIP councillor  David Silvester has decided that all the flooding around the UK this year has been caused by… marriage equality. Yes, us gay folk be causing natural disasters again. (UKIP again comes forth with the excuse that though they don’t support equality and their elected members are rabid bigots who they happily embrace that totally doesn’t mean the party is homophobic, honest)

 

We’ve heard it before haven’t we? Earthquakes – gay people did that. Floods? Gay folks. Hurricane? Yep, that’s the gay people. Fukushima, Katrina, the Boxing Day Tsunami, the death of bees and birds and endangered species and serial killers and gun massacres – gays gay gays, gays have done all of that! We’re the ultimate scourge of humanity - like the 7 plagues, all the signs of the apocalypse and the Kardashians’ continued career all in one.


And no, even though we make a joke about it, it’s not harmless – this kind of demonization does dehumanise and does encourage persecution. It is the extreme end of a constant meme –we’re sinners, we’re wicked, we’re evil and we have to be stopped. It also shows a lot about our media and culture that hate speech this extreme is not really considered all that outrageous.

 

But I’ve said all that before and likely will again. Today I’ve been thinking about just what this says about the god David Silvester and his ilk worship and praise. Because this is a god who, apparently, has looked at history – looked at slavery, torture, murder, massacres, genocide, abuse, cruelty and all kinds of evil that lurk there – and decided to not do a damn thing.

 

But the minute gay people’s rights are recognise then your god is shifting his arse off that cloud and getting in some smiting? Really? This is his priorities? Because I kind of think if gay marriage is worth some bad flooding then the slave trade had to be worth wiping out a substantial portion of the map.

 

 

This is something I just cannot understand with these bigoted Christians. Why would anyone worship their god? Even if you believed in this capricious, cruel, sadistic monster, why would you ever worship it? Why would you support something so patently evil?


I cannot understand loving such a being, supporting such a being and praising such a being. In fact, I'm deeply disturbed that someone would believe in a deity so lacking in priorities and so capable of evil - and then praise it. 

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 Football has a terrible reputation when it comes to bigotry – all stripes of bigotry, really. Much the same as rather a lot of professional sport does. It generally happens unchecked, either being ignored by the governing bodies and big names or being tacitly approved of and encouraged.

 This certainly applies to homophobia – there is a reason why out footballers are not common

 In an attempt to supposedly combat this, the Football Association created the Inclusion Advisory Board, chaired by Heather Rabbatts who has a long history of challenging racism and sexism in football. The 10 member board was filled and due to start.

 Except one of the members, Michael Johnson, actually did a television appearance in 2012 in which he described being gay as “detestable” and was very not supportive of trying to combat homophobia in football.

 This man was appointed to an Inclusion Advisory Board intended to fight bigotry – including homophobia. You would think this wouldn’t make him the best choice.

 After a week of bad publicity he resigned from the post he was so woefully unsuitable for – but problems remain.

 Firstly, how are GBLT people – and minorities in general – supposed to take this body seriously? It’s clear the selection process has been at very least amateurish – either it has been handled in a singularly incompetent fashion or the FA simply didn’t care enough to actually put even a half-assed effort in (it wasn’t like his homophobia was obscure – this was a televised incident on the BBC) or they did do decent background checks and just decided homophobia wasn’t a problem.

None of these are good options. None of these suggests that the Inclusion Advisory Board is capable – or willing – to do what it was created for


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 Alan Turing has been posthumously pardoned for being convicted of being gay, the barbaric and vicious persecution for which eventually drove him to take his own life.

 I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this one.

Firstly, for anyone asking “why Turing?” I have to say you don’t understand the iconic nature of Turing to British GBLT people because he symbolised so much.

 He was a prime example of a gay man, in history standing up and performing an incredible service for his county – and in one of the most iconic conflicts of our history. He is an example of a gay man who achieved incredible thing with a lasting legacy that has benefitted not only the country, but the entire world. This is what we are capable of. These are the people you condemn with your homophobic.

Because of this incredible thing, he is also iconic of the toxicity of homophobia. A homophobia that not only persecuted him to death despite of the vast debt owed to this man, but also despite of the great things he never had the chance to achieve. That is the waste of homophobia. That is how overwhelming it is

And this toxicity of homophobia went further, because he was erased. History didn’t remember him. He was removed from it, not just in our schools but in our media (there are television shows and film adaptations and even documentaries out there about the work of Bletchley Park and early computing. Guess who is missing from them/made straight?). The reason why he is so well known now is because British GBLT people fought passionately to make it so – because it was so outrageous that this great man was being removed from history because he was one of us. How dare they? How dare they pretend he never existed?! How dare they make him straight? We fought and we fought hard to make sure he was remembered again. You’ll notice how many monuments to him appear in traditionally gay neighbourhood. You’ll notice how FEW monuments there are to him that predate 2000 (especially outside of Manchester).

He is symbolic of the untold masses of GBLT heroes and ancestors who we have lost, who have been removed from the pages of history and who we will never be able to reclaim.

Alan Turing wasn’t just a great man who was evilly persecuted – but he is also a great symbol.

So where do my conflicting feelings come in?

My conflict comes in not just because it’s a gesture that doesn’t change the past so much as try to play the “we’re so much better now” card (I would actually rather have more comprehensive history of GBLT people, our achievements and the persecution of us entered into the school curriculum to mark his horrendously unjust death more than anything else) and is therefore a pretty easy bandwagon for even the most homophobic of politician to jump on (notably, however, a rather huge amount of them didn’t) while at the same time we’ve seen political reticence (to say the least) on dealing with banning reparative therapy, doing something substantive about homophobic bullying, extreme homophobic discrimination in the asylum and immigration system, our woefully poor and homophobic sex education laws, the problems of homophobia in religious schools, homophobia in sports and a series of cuts that are, as with most cuts, hitting GBLT people and other marginalised people far harder than most (for some examples among many –organisations like the Association of GBLT police officers have had their funding cut. Legal aid has been gutted, homeless services butchered etc etc).

 My discomfort comes from the idea that what happened to Turing was wrong BECAUSE HE WAS A HERO. And yes, his being a national hero is an extra slap in the face – but what was done to him and the gazillion of other men throughout history. I don’t want “incredible service to the country” to be the benchmark we have to meet where this kind of evil treatment. What was done to him was evil and equally evil when done to GBLT people who didn’t achieve the amazing things he did. Of course, on the flip side, Turing’s pardon is supposed to be indicative of a collective regret of all those injustices – but it’s weak.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Pope Francis is an amazing agent of PR. He makes pretty speeches, throws in some dramatic (but ultimately unhelpful) gestures and people crawl over themselves to praise him as some kind of living saint. It’s remarkable – he continues to maintain policies that are the very height of vicious bigotry but people are turning out to sing the man’s praises! Pretty speeches guys! Washing feet! He sits on a simple chair! A SIMPLE CHAIR! Truly this is the thing saints are made of! Truly only militant atheists could possibly oppose this homophobe! Never mind that his church continues to fight against marriage equality, anti-discrimination provisions and even to try and keep our existence illegal, he made a pretty speech! How dare you criticise him!

 

The man will probably be made a living saint before the end – these pretty speeches are just so awesome.

 

And now the Advocate has hailed this man as person of the year.

 

The Advocate is advocating for homophobes now. At least the comment section is as appalled as I am. It’s not only grossly nauseating to give this man the award for making pretty speeches while maintaining homophobic policies, but it’s an


The desperate need to fawn over straight people, no matter how bigoted, over and over again doesn’t seem to be fading, alas. These are the scars that homophobia leaves – we have so little respect for our own self-worth that even the most token, failed attempts at being slightly-less-awful to us are considered wonderful and worthy of cookies.

 

Hey, maybe, just maybe, at some point this pope will actually do something for GBLT people. And when he does, then we can look at praise and accolades.

 

But he has done nothing. He has changed nothing. His pretty speeches are hollow, his church continues to promote bigotry throughout the world, he continues to support evil persecution of the worst kind. The church hasn’t changed and he has made no effort to change it

 

He hasn’t even condemned the homophobia his church espouses – just asked them to focus attention elsewhere to help patch the church’s awful PR. But this man is worth praising for his pathetic waffly speeches? He hasn’t even taken back his OWN HOMOPHOBIC CAMPAIGNING. Or are we all going to forget about that?

 

The sad thing is it’s all part of an ongoing pattern of praising complete non-efforts from religious groups and acting like they’re somehow our friends when, at best, they get it so wrong and at worst, they’re like this Pope, supporting bigotry and putting a veil of acceptability around it.

 

 

We will never achieve justice and equality if we continue to throw parades every time someone throws us crumbs – especially if that crumb comes with a slap in the face.

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 Bigot Baroness Warsi, who published pamphlets warning people of the terrible dangers of gay people preying on school children, has let us know she's on a "journey" when it comes to the equality of gay people.

 

Homophobic journalist Mehdi Hasan (he who thinks gay people worried about the World Cup being held in Qatar where gay people are flogged are "qatarphobic") has written a long piece on how much he STRUGGLES with homophobia and he was totally even more homophobic in the past!

 

The Salvation Army - a deeply homophobic organisation (you should really donate to other charities if you think GBLT people are human beings) - has assured us they've removed their ex-gay therapy links - and they totally won't let the guy who thinks the penalty for being gay is death to speak again. Of course, they're not changing policy

 

The Pope makes some pretty speeches while maintaining the bigotry of his church - continuing to fight tooth and nail against equality measures in Italy, Ireland, the US, India (yes, the Catholic church was one of those that pushed to bring back the anti-gay genocide in that country) and many more places. But his apologists cry "baby steps".


And we can scarcely go a week without some wanna-be ally describing the convoluted steps he's taken to discover that LO! GBLT PEOPLE MIGHT ACTUALLY BE PEOPLE!

 

Enough

 

I don't give a fuck what "journey" you're on or how much "better" you've got. I don't care that you have backtracked on SOME of your bigotry. I don't care about the "baby steps" you take when you're still miles from seeing me as an actual person

 

You're still a bigot

 

You're still a homophobe.

 

I don't care if you feel really guilty about going to see Ender's Game. I don't care if every time you eat your Chick-fil-a, you make a mea-culpa blog post and feel really bad. I don't care how much you have "struggled" with the idea that I am a human being as worthy as you.

 

You're still a bigot

 

You're still a homophobe

 

Do you not see how INSULTING it is that you are having an epic struggle to see me as a person? Do you not see how offensive it is for you to declare that looking at me as an equal is some kind of massive hardship to you? Don't you see what a slap in the face it is to say you have to "evolve" or "grow" to finally realise that I'm an actual person worthy of respect?

 

It's about being a decent human being. Do you actually expect me to be impressed by you having so much trouble reaching bare minimums of decency?

 

I don't care about your struggle, your evolution, your guilt and if you're on a "journey" please let it to be somewhere far away from me. All your struggles say is just how little you think of us. All your guilt is worthless when you support bigotry anyway. Having to battle to see us as people just shows how low your regard for us is.

 

 

I am not giving out any praise for people working their way towards basic decency. You treat me as a full human being, due the respect, rights and regard that any human being is due, or you're a bigot and a homophobe and I will treat you with the contempt you deserve. 

 

I don't give people medals for realising I'm human, since it's the bare minimum required for basic decency and I don't rewards the bare minimum. I'm not going to give an iota of praise to people who don't even reach that minimum! Or those who have met that minimum but want me to know just how HARD it is to see me as an actual person! Or who are desperately trying to stretch for that minimum but JUST COULDN'T DO IT! ZOMG SO HAAAAARD!

 

You're a bigot or you're not. It's that simple. This isn't even about "allydom" here, or doing anything (y'know, stuff that may actually be praiseworthy). It's about being a decent human being - and it's really not that hard.

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 The closet and coming out is something I have spoken about a lot and I’d like to take the opportunity in this day to bring many of these thoughts together.

 

Firstly, the closet itself. Too many ignorant straight, cis people consider the closet to be an asset to us – that the fact we can hide makes homophobia and transphobia a “lesser prejudice” compared to others. This is a highly privileged and dismissive view that  misses the damage and pain the closet causes – and the elements of homophobia and transphobia that arise because of the closet.

 

The Closet is not an asset. It is toxic.

 

Being in the closet, constantly hiding who we are, is actually extremely hard work and often very painful. The closet clings to us as an eternal burden.

 

The closet itself leads to the unique experience of coming out which, in turn, leads to one of the fraught dangers that most afflicts GBLT people. We’re very rarely born among our own people. We rarely have families and mentors close to us to guide our way and tell us how the world is. This not only makes us vulnerable to negative influences from society and media since we lack personal counters – but it also means that we are often born among our worst enemies. That those who should love us the most are the ones who will reject us, hurt us and torture us so completely.  The closet is so toxic that it can warp us.


It’s a vulnerability that makes coming out important for both us personally – to counter the shame that society tries to force on us with the Pride of public affirmation – and as a community, because so many of us – most of us – are born alone and need to know we’re out there. For this and many reason, coming out matters. And, no, you’re not being super accepting by asking “who cares” or pretending you’re above it all. You may be – we can’t afford to be. It matters – and not just for us, but for GBLT people in history as well. The closet has consumed our heroes, our role models, are forbearers and left us with a broken history and damaged legacy – a process that is continuing today.

 

 


 

But coming out isn’t easy.

 

have shared my coming out story. And mentioned Beloved’s.

 

It’s a struggle and it’s a risk. I do not know a GBLT person around me who hasn’t faced violence. I do not know a gay man personally who hasn’t faced violence on multiple occasions. The majority of my GBLT friends have spent time in hospitals. Every single GBLT person I know has been hurt by their families, the people who are supposed to love us unconditionally. That’s not “some” or “most” – that is ALL.

 

I lost a job for being gay, I face constant annoyance from my work for being gay. I have nasty fools posting homophobic notes on my door for being gay – this isn’t isolated; this is common.

 

So don’t tell me people have to come out. Don’t shame people for being closeted. Don’t presume to out people (except our enemies which is a separate issues). Don’t, especially if you’re straight and cis, presume to advise us on whether to be closeted or not or how to come out. You Do Not Know.

 

But aside from being risky, dangerous and terrifying, coming out is HARD. It’s a process and it’s a fight because society will constantly try to erase us and push us back into the closet our out of existence. There is always a push back against being out, a demand that we be quiet and hide. Being out isn’t a single experience, it’s not even a series of revelations to different people – it’s a constant push against the forces trying to get you back into that closet. It’s not a one time deal, it’s an eternal struggle of identity policingcensorship and suppression.


And this is before I even touch on the difficulty of unlearning the homophobia and transphobic messages that have been pummelled into our minds from the very cradle.

 

All of these words and I’ve barely scrapped the surface. The closet has it’s dirty hands all over just about every aspect of homophobia and transphobia that exists. Consequently, Coming Out remains one of the seminal moments of GBLT experience, one of the most powerful things we can do both personally and as a community, one of the most dangerous, one of the scariest and one of the most important elements of many of our lives. It’s important in a way that defies description


Which means that straight, cis people also need to treat it with the respect it deserves, even if they don’t – can’t – understand it themselves. Which means less appropriation of the coming out experience, less claiming the concept of the closeted GBLT person for your own, unrelated purposes and less trying to draw on an experience you know nothing about. Just stop – look an and respect it, but this vital, important element of our culture is not yours to claim and use as you see fit; you have so very little idea of what you are disrespecting.

 

 

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 So, Dan Savage (he of many problems) is helping start a new video campaign in the mould of “It Gets Better”. This one is called “we’re not all like that.”

 It’s basically a place where religious people can make videos assuring GBLT people that they’re not raging bigots.

 Uh-huh. My eyes are rolling so much they’re getting friction burns.

 Firstly, I do not think we need to broadcast this message because we already hear it over and over and over again. You cannot criticise any element of bigotry from organised religion without veritable flocks of apologists zooming in to wrong their hands about us being so mean to worldwide forces of bigotry singing, first and foremost, that “we’re not all like that.” (The only reason you won’t get it on this post is because I have so little patience for such arguments that I’ve slapped them down and hard). And then the conversation (if any) about how organised religion is supporting bigotry derails into flocking round hurt religious fee-fees because the organisations they are supporting and affiliating with continue to oppose human rights.

 Because that is what “we’re not all like that” inevitably means – not supporting GBLT people who have to deal with worldwide religions that loathe our existence – but playing PR for those religions so they can dismiss their own bigotry. Or providing a sop for the conscience of people who are supporting bigoted religions but still want to think of themselves as one of the “good ones”.

 It’s the same motivation as that behind the dishonest attempt to present GBLT people as unjustly attacking religions – rather than the reality of us fighting for survival against forces that quite literally want us removed from the planet. It’s all part of misrepresenting the religious bigotry GBLT people face and trying to downplay the hatred the religions support and spread.

 I don’t want to hear “we’re not all like that” because we already spend more than enough time focusing on the exceptions to the RULE of religious homophobia rather than actually challenging religious homophobia or seeing it as acceptable.

And, frankly, I’m not sure I believe you. Ok, maybe you’re “not all like that”, but most of you? Yeah, I think most of you ARE like that or, at very least, quite happy to tolerate “that.” How many billions of you support bigoted churches with your presence and your resources? How many of you say “we’re not all like that” then attend a Catholic mass or put money in an Othodox collection plate or tithe to the LDS or tick “Anglican” on the census form? How many of you say “we’re not all like that” and attend a synagogue condemning marriage equality or a mosque participating in an event inviting speakers who think gay people should be thrown off a mountain?

 How many of you declare “we’re not all like that” but are quite willing to support people and organisations that are? How many of you sit in the pews and ignore the policy of your churches? How many of you close your ears to the hatred? How many of you decide it’s not that important?

How many of you actually DO anything to show “you’re not all like that” other than make a crappy youtube video – if that?

And don’t give me the “we’re changing it from within” bullshit – because we’ve seen no examples of that oh-so-special change you’ve been working on for so long. In fact, we’re so inured to religious bigotry, so accepting of it, so willing to make excuses for it that vast numbers of people were PRAISING Pope Frances for his dodgy PR speech. How many of you PRAISE the Anglican church for being liberal despite it fighting every last fight for GBLT equality in the UK and having its fingers behind many genocidal anti-gay laws that it can barely bring itself to criticise?

 This, this pathetic writhing to pretend the bigotry their perpetuating isn’t happening has been going on for DECADES – in fact, it’s actually one of the reasons why I hate the Westboro Baptist church (beyond the obvious). Because their hateful trolling is so ridiculous, it gives all these “we’re not all like that” people a perfect scapegoat to point to and claim how wonderful they are in comparison.

 
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 I have to admire Pope Francis – he is a man of incredible skill and talent.

 

In PR.

 

This man is one of the best spin doctors I’ve ever come across.

 

Take his latest stunt. He releases a speech in which he thinks that Catholics shouldn’t focus so much on all the homophobia and misogyny.

 

And the crowd goes wild! Look at all the people rushing in to give him cookies for making a pretty speech! Just like last time, his minimal sorta-nice words are hailed as revolutionary and reforming!

 

Do we have such a low opinion of our value, so little respect for our personhood, that this level of fawning happens every time this nasty bigot of this nasty bigoted organisation says anything? Are we worth so little that these non-gestures are to be praised? Are we so disgusting that this mealy mouthed “nice” bigotry is something we should be grateful for?


No? Then why are you validating this shit?! I and mine are worth more than Frances’ patronising non-acceptance. I resent the yapping gratitude to a man who STILL won’t acknowledge our full humanity.

 

Look at what he said!


He didn’t change policy or doctrine of the Catholic church. He hasn’t changed the Catholic church’s homophobia or misogyny. He hasn’t said women can be leaders equal to men. He hasn’t said love between GBLT people is as valid or equal to that between straight people. He hasn’t said that He hasn’t changed the Catholic church’s position on non-discrimination laws, marriage equality, abortion or contraception.

 

He hasn’t said the church will stop fighting against our human rights. He hasn’t said the church will stop treating us like shit. He hasn’t apologised for his own vile hate speech. He hasn’t apologised for the evil shit his church has perpetuated. He hasn’t apologised for his homophobic co-speech with Benedict.

 

He’s said there needs to be less of a focus on it. Because the Catholic church is becoming known as the homophobia and anti-choice church.

 

It’s a PR exercise. It’s like a man kicking puppies and then deciding he’s still going to kick puppies, but he’ll not extol the virtues of puppy kicking quite so much. And we’re going to praise him for this crap?

 

He is not pushing for any change of policy or doctrine. He is not trying to reduce bigotry one iota. He is not stopping his church pushing the same level of toxic hatred that is killing people

 

But he’s praised. He’s praised because we don’t matter. He’s praised because bigotry from the church is RIGHTEOUS and beyond criticism

 

And if you think that this is a huge step for the church then that isn’t something to praise! That is proof of the utter, repellent evil the church is consumed by. If this is all the good it can manage, then it should be condemned – it should be shunned, it should be reviled! Not praised for petty gestures of humanity being the only shred of goodness it can manage. If it is so lost to evil then it shouldn’t be praised for that.


And why would it change faster? You’re all out there throwing cookies at the man for a pretty speech! This isn't even a case of giving cookies to people for meeting minimum standards of humanity - because he hasn't even done that! This is handing cookies to a bigot who has the common sense to gild his bigotry! That’s twice at least that you’ve done that! You eat up his bigotry and sing his praises! Why should he or the church try to change any faster? You’ll kneel at his feet and fawn at his ankles because he’s willing to say nice things while he beats you!

 

 

I’m sick of being smacked and then expected to say thank you. I’m sick of these bigots trampling on us and far too many of us saying how wonderful the bigots are for stomping on our necks. It’s pathetic, it’s depressing and shows just how much contempt for us is normalised, internalised and all encompassing.


A significant moment? Not really - just another edition of the shit we'll swallow.

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 So this dishonest article in the Advocate is the latest in a long line of Christian bigotry apologists calling for there to “peace” and a “middle ground” between GBLT people and Christians – and how both sides are as bad as each other.


Why is it dishonest? Because it completely misses the context of this “war”. And, I’ll agree, there is a war being fought.

 

There is a war being fought because Christians (and other religious groups) are constantly attacking us. There are multi-million pound Christian groups created with destroying our rights as one of their express purposes. Politicians get up and speak against every right we fight for while waving Bibles in the air. The head of the biggest Christian denomination in the world spouts hate speech every bit as hateful as the Westboro Baptist church. In my country the Anglican church weasels its way around desperately fighting against our rights every time they’ve come up for a vote – and because they are an established church they actually, sickening, have a vote to make their bigotry law. The Christian Orthodox church in Russia is up to its neck in Russian anti-gay laws and other branches of the Orthodox church can be found championing bigotry throughout the Balkans. The Catholic church around the world can be relied upon for the most hateful homophobic rhetoric and the most powerful opposition to every and any right we fight for.

 

Quite literally BILLIONS of Christians support these homophobic denominations.

 

And the gay equivalent…

 

See, we’re not fighting to have Christians executed. We’re not fighting to have Christians arrested. We’re not fighting to have forceful conversion of Christians. We’re not fighting to have Christians fired. We’re not fighting to break up Christian marriages. We’re not fighting to have anti-Christian bigotry championed in schools. We’re not fighting to have Christian kids bullied to the point of suicide. We’re not fighting to get anything FROM Christians or to do anything TO Christians. We have no vested interest in fighting Christianity – only in defending ourselves AGAINST it.

 

This is a war – but it isn’t two sides attacking each other. It’s one side constantly attacking and the other side constantly defending.

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Russia WILL be enforcing their homophobic persecution law during the Sochi Olympics

 

Frankly, the idea that it'd all be find if Russia took a little break in grinding gay people's heads into the dirt so straight people could enjoy their sport without having to worry their little heads at pesky persecution never struck me as something laudable.

 

As to the idea that our teams and fans would going to Russia and showing that the Olympics actually has principles and will use the chance to protest against persecution - well Russia may not have to arrest them, the IOC is ready to punish them.

 

It seems speaking against anti-gay persecution is "political" and the IOC will have none of that going on - drawing attention to the blood spilled by gay people may get in the way of the skiing, we can't have that, can we? In fact, even wearing a rainbow pin would count, it seems. Why, maybe they don't oppose Russia's laws because the IOC agrees with them.

 

Of course, the Olympics charter does not ban discrimination on account of sexual orientation or gender identity. So could we really expect more from this bigoted organisation?

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 No doubt you have come across the great gay Russian vodka boycott (which means you’ve actually only got a tenth of the story because it’s actually the Russian boycott, but the vodka gets the most attention for the booze and for reasons I will go into). And there has been much mocking and deflecting. Oh boy has there been deflecting.

 

“The company’s Latvian!” they cry

 

Well, firstly, that’s not true – not with all its products coming from Russia and its roots still heavily in Russia and – the main point – the brand making a point of emphasising its Russianness. In fact, before the latest brouhaha, Stoli was downplaying its Latvian-ness and trying to double down on being Russian. Why?


The same reason Audi isn’t just made in Germany, it’s “Vorsprung dursch Technik” (likely spelled wrong).

 

The same reason Boursin isn’t just made in France but its adverts show me quaint French villages and has the phrase “du pain, du vin, du bosin.”

 

The same reason Alpen tells me about its creamy rolled oats (and how are rolled oats “creamy” anyway? Oats have the consistency of birds nest and sawdust. Creamy is a grossly inappropriate adjective) with a backdrop of rolling Alpine mountains.

 

Because sometimes country of origin is a selling point – so much so that even products that don’t have it will fake it (look at Dr. Oetker’s Ristorante Italiano rage). And Stoli uses its Russianness the same way. It’s not vodka that happens to be Russian, it is vodka that is superior because it is Russian. This is why a boycott focuses more on Vodka than, say, natural gas. No-one lights up the stove and says “hah, you are using inferior gas from the North Sea! We use only high quality Russian gas!”

 

This is why Russian vodka is more prominent than the rest of the boycotts – same as the Olympics. Because they’re not just products from a country, they’re products that make that country their brand and a selling point. This is why we have a boycott - to make it clear associating with the brutal persecution of gay people is NOT a selling point

 

Also, boycotts are a fascinating insight into how little we matter to straight people: so far, fried chicken, a movie, playing winter sports, playing football and vodka are all more important than gay people's lives. It's a powerful reminder of what we mean to straight people

 

 

“It’s pathetic! Do you really think not drinking vodka will change the laws? Can’t you do something else!”

 

Y’know, no matter what we do activism wise there’s always people crawling out of the woodwork to tell us we’re doing it wrong, which more than hacks me off. Firstly – can we do something else? Yes we can. And we are. Shockingly, this isn’t an either/or choice. We can boycott vodka AND boycott other Russian products AND boycott the Olympics AND target Olympic sponsors, AND raise awareness in the blogosphere AND write petitions AND contact the IOC AND contact the Russian embassy AND contact our local politicians AND have demonstrations in front of embassies AND raise funds for Russia and international GBLT groups AND both organise and prepare for demonstrations at the Olympics while simultaneously boycotting them.

 

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