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 ...but I don't see it? What am I missing?

Article after article start off with "there's so many gay people on TV!" "there's so many LGBT characters on TV!" "ZOMG SO MANY CHARACTERS!" but usually very light on specifics.

And I'm not seeing them - not only am I not seeing them but I'm reviewing a vast amount of media for 
Fangs for the Fantasy and still not seeing them. We're reviewing 14 shows at the moment: Walking Dead, Z Nation, Resurrection, Once Upon a Time, Forever, Originals, Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow, American Horror Story, The 100, Vampire Diaries, Grimm, Haven and Constantine and only 4 of them have LGBT characters: Walking Dead has a background, near-silent lesbian who makes T-Dog look positively involved in the group. Vampire Diaries and Originals have GBFs who do nothing but support the straight characters and disappear for several episodes at a time and American Horror Story has a sexualised intersex woman who tried to "convert" gay men and 2 gay male villains (and several murdered gay men).

4 of 14 and none of them a major character. Most of them really really tiny tokens.

And this isn't just a bad season. Summer had precious little extra - in fact all year the only notably LGBT characters we've had were on In The Flesh (a mini-series) and Orphan Black (which came with the bitter taste of a grossly stereotyped and walking joke, Felix).

In fact, in
 2012 we looked at the LGBT characters on all the shows we'd covered at the time - when we'd watched 39 TV series and it was pretty dismal. Well, it's 2014 and we have now covered or looked at 81 different TV series - and of those 81, a full 41 have not one single LGBT character. A further 9 have a tiny LGBT character for 1 single episode and 11 have an LGBT character as someone minor lurking in the background (like Tara on The Walking Dead or Carolyn on Under the Dome).

That's 61. 61 out of 81 have no LGBT characters or teeny tiny walk on roles. Of the remaining 20 with meaningful LGBT presence, 11 (maybe 12) of those shows have been cancelled and 1 is on its last season. 3 of them had a bisexual female characters briefly mention their bisexuality before the whole show focused ferociously on opposite-sex relationships and lots of we-shall-never-speak-of-this-again so while they had a major LGBT character (which was great) if you missed one episode you'd probably not know it. There's also a lot of dubious tropes in the remainder

So, I'm not getting the hype. Is it the genre? Are there lots of LGBT characters out there but if you're a fan of speculative fiction then tough? LGBT characters have always been more common in soaps (large cast, no focused protagonist - lets you "dilute" the inclusion) and sitcoms 
(LGBT people in general and gay men especially are a common and cringe-worthy thread of dubious comedy). Which always leaves me having to choose between shows that annoy me (because a lot of these shows rely on offensive tropes - like the sexually predatory lawyer apparently solving every case with his cock) or shows that completely erase me - and if I want a show that's actually in a genre I enjoy AND acknowledges I exist? Well... they're rare. If I want that AND without homophobic tropes as well? Yeah, it's slim pickings

But even considering the possibility I just enjoy a very heterosexist genre, I look at 
GLAAD's extremely generous report and I see Under the Dome, Vampire Diaries, The Originals and Dracula noted as highlights... and... damn. It would almost be funny to have these teeny, tiny and often insulting tokens be considered "highlights". So is it even a genre problem so much as even a minority of shows including near non-existent tokens considered something to jump up and down about?

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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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 Jonathon Ross was going to be part of the Hugo awards. He volunteered, there was backlash, particularly from women and minorities, he stepped down.


And there has been kafuffle all around this


This is a new spin on an old problem.


The old problem is that SF/F – its conventions, its fandom, it’s various bodies of varying degrees of authority, its awards and a huge amount of the work produced in the genre has a problem of, at worst, outright prejudice towards minorities or, at best, not particularly valuing minority participation or presence.


In terms of inclusion, the genre, it’s subgenres and its related genres are probably worse than the mainstream. And you only have to have been on twitter to have followed the huge number of dramas about race, gender and (usually completely absent) sexuality that have raged around – but on the plus side show a level of at least confrontation (even if it is dismissal) that gives me some hope we’re at least kinda, sorta, maybe addressing that there is a Problem.


Well, maybe, it’s somewhat wishful thinking of me, but I can cling to that


I like to hope that, with glacial slowness, enough happy geeks are starting to see that attacking and driving out marginalised people out of some bemusing need for some abstract “fan purity” is a bad idea. I like to hope, with the same glacial slowness, enough happy geeks are beginning to realise that geek spaces have become incredibly hostile to marginalised people and that this needs to change. I like to


In short, I like to hope that, with glacial slowness, geekdom has realised it’s protective, insular culture (often built on the idea of, even if rather exaggerated, mainstream derision) is hostile and damaging to geeks who do not fit their very narrow straight, white, cis, able bodied, male definition of what makes a geek.


Maybe, again, but it’s a battle that is being fought though not necessarily won.


Now we have something of a context shift; geek is IN. Just look at the major films that have geek stamped all over them – of the mainstream channels grabbing at content in prime slots you’d normally find on Syfy or of celebrities who are quite happy to wear their geek badge with pride. Geeks are IN.

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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!




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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 Orson Scott Card, as you probably know, is a nasty excuse for a human being and one of the worst bigots you could ever hope to meet. He has also written a series of books that are pretty popular and many a straight “ally” has twisted themselves into knots about that.


And now one of his books has been turned into a film, Ender’s Game. I’m kind of disgusted that Lionsgate would go near this man - so I fully support Geeks Out’s petition urging people to skip this film.


And cue straight people defending, dismissing, downplaying and otherwise squirming around Orson Scott Card’s bigotry so they can justify to themselves why they should see the film and so they can attack GBLT people who are daring to call for a boycott. Let’s cut through some of this apologetic crap



Orson Scott Card’s precious opinions


First of all, he is not a man who disagrees with marriage equality (though why gay people shouldn’t boycott someone who fights against any of our rights bemuses me); he became a director of the hate group, NOM. That goes beyond even speaking against our humanity or campaigning against our rights or putting his money into the fight against gay people – he became the director of a hate group.

And he is actually in favour of overthrowing any government that supports gay families.


But this is just part of Orson Scott Card’s bigotry – this is a man who opposed every and all rights for gay people. He actually supports sodomy laws, he wants being gay to be illegal. He wants to lock us up for existing – that’s a genocidal policy aimed at eliminating us. That sounds like a pretty good reason to shun him.


Orson Scott Card is so utterly steeped in homophobia that he actually re-wrote Hamlet’s father as a gay paedophile, turning people gay. He’s on record saying that it’s sexual abuse that makes people gay.


Stop downplaying the extent of this man’s hatred and how much time, effort and money he has put into bigotry. If you need to deflect the truth to salve your conscience then that should tell you something.



Why Boycott – the money


While Lionsgate have tried to do their best to downplay how much Orson Scott Card is involved and Gavin Hood, Harrison Ford and Robert Orci have definitely done their very best to dismiss concerns; which makes me think I should be boycotting more than Card is these three men are so desperate to downplay and ignore homophobia. While homophobic defences abound, Card has most certainly earned a big wadge of cash from them turning his book into a film – not only that, but he is listed as a co-producer of the film. If this film is successful, he will get more money.


When Gavin Hood, Harrison Ford and Robert Orci say Ender’s Game has nothing to do with Orson Scott Card, they are lying to cover the homophobia. They are putting money into the pockets of a rabid bigot who has a track record of using his money to fight against gay people’s rights. The audiences of this film will be putting money in Orson Scott Card’s pocket.


And not only this film. If this film is a success it’s quite likely that more of Orson Scott Card’s books will be turned into films, raising his profile and putting more money into his pocket.#

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 Among the waves of homophobic bullshit that have been bombarding us during the fight for marriage equality, another the group made of concerned Christians and assorted dusty Tories and church people (usual suspects for hatred) have taken out a full page advert in the Times (which will, apparently, take money from anyone) on 10 reasons why treating gay people and gay relationships equally with straight folks is naughtybadwrong and why we should continue to be treated as lesser than the precious straighties and their eternal privilege.

 As can be imagined, these 10 points are complete and utter bullshit. Let’s take them one by one.

 Intact biological families provide the gold standard for the wellbeing of children

 Says who? Families with loving parents are the gold standard for the wellbeing of children. Intact biological families made of two abusive arseholes who hate each other are not the gold standard. One person having eggs and the other having sperm and them completing the not-so-difficult task of bringing that sperm and egg together does not a gold standard parent make.


 Children have a human right to be nurtured by both their biological parents.

 Nope – adopted children have no right to anything from their biological parents. Biological parents of divorced families can have limited – or no – access to their kids. Your parent(s) could be dead. In fact, at no time and in no place does a child ever get a RIGHT to their biological parents if those biological parents have said “screw this, I don’t want kids”. Or if those parents have been deemed unfit to raise kids. The closest you get is an adoptive “child” having the right to see their birth certificate at 18 – which is stretching the definition of “nurtured”.


 Gay parenting by definition denies the child from having one or both biological parents.

 You’re assuming that both (or either) biological parent of these kids are alive. Or want to know the kids. In fact, this whole argument is based on the idea of gay parents swooping on happy dappy perfect straight nuclear families and stealing the kids which happens NEVER. Gay parenting happens through sperm donation, surrogacy, adoption, fostering, children from past relationships – or various other ways that are all linked by the fact those children/foetus/sperm/eggs don’t have 2 biological parents setting up a healthy happy dappy family.

 But that’s aside from the fact that 1-3 here are all IRRELEVENT because child rearing is NOT linked to marriage. If a straight couple is infertile? They can get married. If a straight couple is utterly unfit to raise a child? They can get married. If a straight couple is avowedly child free? They can get married. We do not have a requirement of parenthood in our marriage laws. Marriage exists completely without babies.

 Marriage and parenthood Are. Not. Linked. And that’s aside from the fact all of this bullshit applies equally to straight adoptive parents, step parents and anything other than these bigots oh-so-precious biological nuclear families.


 Popular support for the bill is based on the unfounded theory that people are ‘born gay’.

 Every reputable psychiatric organisation in the world recognises that being gay is an inerrant part of a person that cannot be changed – and should not be tried. “Unfounded” is a stretch to say the least. And popular support for the bill is based on a strong sense that treating people like shit for who they love is wrong. We call it basic compassion.

All school children will be taught that as adults they can have marriage relationships with either men or women.

 And this is a problem? They CAN have marriage relationships with either men or women. Why is teaching children the truth a bad thing? Would you prefer we lied to them? Hah, course you would.


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Supernatural is one of the longest running shows we follow; the Winchester brothers have been fighting against demons, vampires, werewolves, angry spirits, angels and anything else you can imagine for an incredible 9 years, 8 seasons (and a 9th season has already been planned) and a massive 168 episodes and counting.

That’s a long time and in that time we’ve had an amazing number of people hang around with the Winchesters. We’ve had monsters galore, victims in spades, people to protect and shelter, the occasional love interest, allies occasionally and, pretty rarely, the odd friend who has joined them in their struggle.

But such a lengthy presence on our screens makes it easy to see patterns of representation - and erasure. Any show that lasts this long and, because of that, has a great many characters is going to be more heavily criticised for it’s erasure than a shorter lived on. After all, a single season show with a small cast of 3 characters and less than a dozen extras is going to have less scope for inclusion or developing numerous minority characters - not that it makes the erasure tolerable by any stretch - but when you have 168 episodes and a gazillion people with which to present some decent diversity and you still fail? That’s almost willful.

Supernatural is not diverse on any real front - throughout its run the majority of the regularly recurring characters have, by far, been cis, straight, white men: Sam, Dean, Bobby, Castiel, Crowley - even Garth. We have a few women, but most of them are dead. Kevin has tried to shift some POC into the line-up by reading feverishly in a boat and Bobby was, briefly, disabled before he was magically cured when it became too awkward, but you can hardly say the show has made more than a token attempt at inclusion.

When it comes to GBLT characters, the pickings have been slim; we have a very very few gay characters and no trans characters. The very first was a lesbian who appeared in Season 2, Episode 21
All Hell Breaks Loose, she was one of the demon children, along with Sam and she accidentally used her power to kill her girlfriend (behold, the dangers of gay sexuality!) After that, she is brutally murdered; the first to die to get her out of the way (no, that doesn’t count as a spoiler. It’s Supernatural and, frankly, a gay person dying is hardly a spoiler in fiction anyway). 
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Now to the news – specifically the grossly overhyped, badly reported and just damn deceptive variety.

 The Commonwealth is producing a new Charter on human rights, in particular rejecting discrimination. The Daily Fail reported on it and (shockingly, I know) got it completely wrong. Then a whole load of blogs grabbed it and ran with it – which is ridiculous because their own headlines don’t match the content.

 So, let’s parse this down.

 Yes, the Queen will sign this charter, she is the head of the Commonwealth after all.

 No, she isn’t speaking out on behalf of GBLT rights. The Queen and her handlers are going to continue her 61 year tradition of pretending we don’t exist. This is not changing. She may speak out in favour of the charter, but that doesn’t include us.

 Because the charter doesn’t include us. In fact all these reports that this is an amazing step forwards for GBLT rights and the queen is finally, after 61 years of silence, going to address GBLT people are laughably wrong. Well, it would be laughable if it weren’t so annoying and if so many people weren’t so desperate for any kind of affirmation they’d cling to anything.

 The charter does address discrimination. Notably:

 “We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds.”

 Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity are not included. More, the fact they have drawn up a laundry list of gender, race, colour, creed and political belief tells me they’ve consciously and knowingly excluded GBLT people from these protections.

 No, “Other grounds” is not sufficient. There’s certainly no indication that we’re supposed to be included. If it were sufficient, they wouldn’t have included a list of other oppressed groups. More, GBLT people, perhaps more than any other on that list, are continually presented as not existing. We’ve all heard the “ex-gays” and “behaviour” and “lifestyle” and “sin”,  It is even more vital that sexual orientation and gender identity be expressly included because our very existence is denied.

 Further, by drawing up a list of several marginalisations and then blatantly NOT including sexuality or gender identity then there is a strong impression that we are not meant to be included.

 People have pointed out that we haven’t been included because 41 members of the 54 that make up the Commonwealth still make being GBLT illegal – they’re still part of the genocide – and, therefore, won’t tolerate pro-GBLT language. Note these are the ones that actively make our existence a crime – not those who have no anti-discrimination protections, but actively seek our destruction. I boggle as to how this is supposed to suggest we’re supposed to be INCLUDED by this thing?!

Seriously, work through the logic. A charter on discrimination does not mention GBLT people because 41 out of 54 members of the organisation expressly want us to drop dead or otherwise disappear – a charter on discrimination does not mention GBLT people because THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS COVERED BY THIS CHARTER DO NOT THINK DISCRIMINATION AGAINST US IS WRONG

 We are not covered by this charter. We are blatantly not covered by this charter. We have obviously been excluded from this charter. More, our exclusion from this charter can and will be used as an argument that anti-discrimination laws and principles are not meant to include us.

This is not a step forwards. It’s a step backwards. Shame on everyone involved in excluding us and shame on people who bought the hype.

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Well, there are certain genres of media that automatically assume that GBLT people couldn’t possibly have existed, especially if it’s set in the future (especially in dystopians. I tell you guys, us GBLT folks are super freaking tasty – the zombies and aliens go right for us!) and especially if it’s set in the past. Because we all arrived in 1960, don’tchaknow.

It annoys me, but then, erasure is extremely common in most genres, so the even-more-likely erasure that happens here only gets a little bit more of an annoyance. But some shows, films and books really stick in the craw.

Like Enigma which is not-very-subtly based on Alan Turing.

Or Shakespeare in Love with a very straight Shakespeare.

Even Troy, though based on fictional figures, crosses the line with a very straight retelling of the Illiad. Do I even need to talk about 300?

Uh-huh, and it’s not like these examples are one offs, straightening history has been a major habit of the media’s for a very long time. In fact, straightening us in general seems to be a massive requirement and reason #866 why I don’t watch these dancing reality shows is I’m sick of seeing gay celebrities shoved automatically into opposite sex pairs for dancing.

For that matter, straightening history has been a major part of society and academia for a long time. References to GBLT people throughout history have long been buried by academia and that’s on top of the forces of homophobia and transphobia that forced our predecessors to hide and closet themselves when they were alive.

Our past is often hidden from us. Those who come before have been removed from history or been forced into a closet that has lasted decades or centuries after death – perhaps even forever. Our heroes, our past, our foreparents have been lost, taken from us, and that is a terrible loss. It becomes hard to almost impossible to find those who came before us as not only has the closet forced individuals to hide their sexuality, but for much of history denied the existence of the identity itself and denied us a coherent language with which to define that identity and personhood (which is why I really really have no patience with anyone saying “but they wouldn’t have called themselves gay” excuse people love to trot out. For so much of history the only mainstream words for people like us were insults or euphemisms).

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The AP is updating its stylebook to do away with theterms “Ethnic cleansing” and “homophobia” and “Islamophobia”

 I agree on the ethnic cleansing removal.

 But the prejudiced phobias? No-one calling someone a homophobia is accusing them of having a mental illness. Merely having the word “phobia” in there does not mean mentally ill or even fear – as I’ve explained before. Have these people never heard of "xenophobia"? because we've been using that one for a whole long time. 

 But aside from that, I hate and reject this because there is no adequate replacement word

 And this is why I suspect the AP’s motives. This is less about cleaning up reporting and far more about excusing and downplaying the impact and severity of homophobia.

 There is no word in the English language that means the same thing as homophobia. What would we use in its stead?

 “Anti-gay”. Please “anti-gay” is so mild that most of the hate groups are quite happy to wear that label themselves.

 “Heterosexism” is too academic and doesn’t mean the same thing – heterosexism is how the systems of society are set up to favour heterosexuals and assume heterosexuality – heterosexism is the damage that heteronormativity brings and the prejudice that comes with it, not the bigotry of homophobia (though there’s some overlap).

 “Bigot” Oh I’d love to. But you know that’s not going to happen. Just look at the extreme squawking over Stonewall’s “Bigot of the year”.

One of the whole points of words like “homophobe” and “racist” and “misogynist” is that they have impact. They are words people don’t want to be associated with. Being these is shameful, is wrong and even the most vehement bigot tries to reject them. We have fought tooth and nail to try and turn homophobia from an accepted norm to something straight people should try to avoid – and ye gods we’ve got a long way to go on that – but part of doing that is the creation and popular usage of the word “homophobia.” Part of this success is the use of a word that means the “hatred and contempt towards gay people” which is a BAD THING.

 So, no AP, we need this word. And I doubt very much this is an attempt to “clean up” or “clarify” reporting. It looks like yet another move by straight folks to downplay the importance and severity of homophobia and trying to rob us of another of our weapons against it.

 Oh and how many GBLTQ groups did the AP consult about this? Zero of course! Why should our opinion matter to these straight folks?

And the AP joins the list of arrogant, homophobic institutions fighting against us. And yes, I will still be using the word "homophobia"

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Ok, it was cute for a while and it has lots of potential, but I’m beginning to get tired of “bromance.”

Now, there are many definitions of “bromance” on TV and many kinds of “bromance” but the one I’m talking about now is the

Now is it possible we’re just looking at very close male friendships being depicted? And, after all, who says that guys in friendships can’t be physically affectionate? There is zero reason for this stigma – and if guys who are very good friends want to hug, casually touch, hold hands, even kiss and grope…

Wait… grope?

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A fair few companies at the moment are producing adverts with *gasp* actual GBLT content, whether it’s JC Penny’s and their gay families or Oreos and their rainbow cookies or some bank suggesting 2 men are buying a mortgage together – we’re starting to creep into this field.

And it is a big deal. That gasp alone says that. It is unusual. After all, including us at all instantly sets of a shit storm from the usual suspects who are outraged, OUTRAGED that you acknowledge we exist. Just ask this spokesperson from One Million Moms


So including us has been and still is risky – and since the very nature of advertising is to get as many people to open their wallets as possible, it’s not been a risk many people have taken. In fact, advertising is one of the most GBLT erased media forms out there unless it is specifically aimed at and appearing in GBLT media (only a little ahead of children’s media and, probably, computer games I think). Reduction of erasure is generally good (though not enough – and in some cases a bad portrayal is worse than no portrayal at all) simply because there is such a push to deny our existence and deny our place in society. So, yeah inclusion is a positive.

And it’s a positive that these companies are willing to risk the wroth of the haters, either because they genuinely want to do a good thing (*urk* oops, sorry, my cynicism just tried to strangle me) or because they think that GBLT people and people who like us have more buying power than the haters.

These are positive things.

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Yes, it's sadly time for another bad news round up where we remember that homophobia and transphobia are happening and are happening constantly. As ever, I don't pretend to have covered even a fraction of all the incidents that have plagued us - even if I did see them all, which no-one can, I'd never be able to compile them. But gathering so many together in oen place reminds

And it brings it home. I think all of us and GBLT people particularly can get very innured to hate speech. Every day there's another celebrity on twitter, every day another preacher saying something so vile it should never have left his mouth. But it happens over and over again and the hate speech is deemed acceptable in our society.

Well, I bring it together - the words and the consequences and the costs so we can see just how exteme these people are, just how common these people are and just what damage these people do.

Because it matters. Because we matter. And because this shit is not ok. Even if we see it every day. Even if we've been trained to endure it, even if society tells us it's accdeptable. This is not ok.

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It's been a little while again. I haven't really had the time or the energy or the strength to compile one for a while. And compiling them takes some time since it's not something I can really do in one sitting

But, I do think they're imporant, so after much wrangling I finally got it together

Full list below with all the usual badness one would expect

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So, I just saw a wonderful whine about the new Mass Effect 3 and apparently, of the new love interests, there are no EXCLUSIVE heterosexuals (i.e. they’re all gay or bi). Note, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have an opposite sex pairing – there are bisexual love interests and your straight love interests from the last 2 games which, in case you have forgotten, included ZERO same-sex relationships (oh you could have female bisexual flings, but no relationships).

But but but shouldn’t heterosexuals be equally represented?! Equality should be equal!!!

Yes, equality should be equal. This is correct.

So, for this to happen, I propose that EVERY PIECE OF MEDIA produced for the next, oh… 3 centuries? Better make it 5. Yes, for the next 5 centuries every piece of media produced will contain NO straight characters at all. Oh, alright, you can have 1% straight characters – but they must be servants or miserable and preferably dead by the end of the piece.

After these 5 centuries of near zero straight inclusion in the entirety of our media, we’ll talk about equality being equal.

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So, Louis C. K. has joined the legions of those downplaying Tracy Morgan’s bigotry and chiding gay people for our reaction to blatant homophobia

So let’s address some things here, Louis.

You found it hilarious. Really? A joke about stabbing a gay child you found hilarious? You know why we can’t laugh at this shit? Because it happens, Louis. Because we have a truly horrendous homelessness rate – how about that a quarter of gay teenagers could be homeless? This is why we can’t laugh at this “joke”. We can’t laugh through the memories of parental hate and family rejection, of the legacy of our kids driven from their homes, driven to drugs and driven to suicide by their families hating them. And you think it’s funny when a man jokes about stabbing his child because that child is gay.

He is on a comedy stage – do you think that makes it better? Do you think that the fact we can’t even go to a comedy club without being abused isn’t significant? No, he wasn’t on a pulpit – but it doesn’t mean he isn’t telling a room full of people that murdering gay kids is funny. That abusing kids for being gay isn’t good. Do you know what it does mean? It means we can’t go anywhere – anywhere – without having to face this shit. Oh we already knew, there are no safe places – but this is just another straight assertion of that. If we go out, into your world (and, of course, 99.9% of this world is your world) we will be abused.

He was fucking around? He was engaging in hate speech. He was talking about killing a child for being gay. He was talking about rejecting a child, his own son, for being gay. This happens, Louis. This happens every damn day – that’s not fucking around, that’s legitimising and downplaying ongoing persecution

You know nothing. You understand nothing and you’re choking on your privilege.
Don’t tell us what would be more effective, straight man. Don’t tell us how we should react. Don’t tell us what would be more effective in our own path to equality and justice. Don’t presume to know our struggle better than we do.
In fact, why are you even talking? Seriously – do you think we need your advice? Who the hell are you to tell us what our reaction to homophobia should be? Why should we treat your opinion as even slightly relevant? Why do you think you have even the slightest hint of enough insight to presume to chide us?

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It's been a little while. My new computer meant I lost a lot of my linkies and took a while to retrieve them. Then the list was, of course, rather longer and this was compounded by my having a complete "no, I can't do this. I can't" moment which was unpleasant. They're not happy fun lists, after all.

But, I do think they're imporant, so after much wrangling I finally got it together

Hate Speech
Now that the excellent California law that requires GBLT people to be included in history lessons has passed, hate group Save California wants parents to remove their kids from schools so they are not “mentally molested”

While we have seen the much publicised racist rant of that vile woman on a tram there has also been a case of a homophobe abusing gay passengers on the London overground as well as 2 cases of street preachers engaging in similar abuse.
Kelly Osborune has spewed some vile transphobia and followed it up with a series of non-pologies.

Director Brett Ratner decided that homophobic slurs are such witty one liners I love the “everyone who knows me knows I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body.” Uh-huh your used a slur – I think the prejudice is pretty damn clear.

Professional footballer Hope Akban’s homophobic tweet is, naturally, going to face no consequences

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Or give me a new set of haddocks.

So what do we have to annoy me to day everybody? Oh look, more advice! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! WHAT FUN!

Oh wait, *opens window* *let’s the sarcasm out*

Damiano Tommasi, head of the Italian Football association would advise gay footballers against coming out.

*le sigh* Look, just like we don’t need people advising us to come out, we don’t need people telling us not to come out either. Is there homophobia in professional sports? Gods yes – and no-one knows that better than GBLT people! And most certainly no-one knows that better than GBLT football players – and if they want to be damned brave and come out anyway, kudos to them. If they want safety and security and not to risk everything then they can stay closeted – also their choice and perfectly reasonable. But I cannot imagine any GBLT football player – or any GBLT person period – thinking “oh, I was going to come out but this straight guy says HOMOPHOBIA EXISTS which I like, totally didn’t know, so now I’m changing my mind!”

But wait! It gets worse! See, Mr. Tommasi here isn’t worried about gay footballers being victims of homophobia – no no, he thinks we should be closeted to preserve a “civil space” because footballers are so close together, and change in the same changing rooms that there could be embrassment!

ZOMG the gays be staring at your straight junk guys! HORROR! AAAARGH. Can’t you feel our gayze upon your bodies Didn’t we have this conversation already, Jason Akermanis? Really, I don’t think I need to repeat myself since it still applies and I’m not typing it all out again:

I need to break something to you – the chances are a gay person has seen you nekked

If you ever changed for PE at school, if you’ve ever been to the swimming baths, if you’ve ever been to a sports centre, health spa, joined a sports team, if you‘ve been in a communal barracks or tent etc. In short, if you have ever been in any situation where you are naked around members of your own gender, chances are that you have been seen nekked by a gay person.

We r hiding and looking at your nekked bodies! ZOMG AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! RUN straight people, RUN!!!!

And you know what? There are several things we need to address here.

1) Nudity =/= sex. And y’know what? Chances are GBLT people know this better than most people. Why? Because we’ve been here before! Every time we go to the gym or a join a sports team and most certainly at school – gay men have been around naked straight guys, lesbians have been around naked straight women. We‘ve been there, we know and we know it‘s not sexual. We know the difference between sexual nudity and non-sexual nudity

2) Get over yourselves already. Seriously, to all the straight folks out there – gay people do not spend our lives lusting after your hetness. No, really. Enough with this silly idea that because we’re attracted to our own gender, we’re attracted to ALL of our own gender.

3) Y’know what? Maybe you are hot. Maybe you’re drool-worthy hot. Maybe you are so damn sexy that your mere presence in the changing room will make all of our days. Maybe you are sex on legs. Congratulations, have a cookie. Guess what? Your being a pure avatar of solid sex does not mean that we’re going to leap on you and have our wicked way with you. It doesn’t even mean we’re going to stare at you and make you uncomfortable (and, hey, if someone DOES the skeevy leering thing then say something because that’s rude regardless), our libidos aren’t going to overrule our good sense of the appropriate. Which brings me to…

4) The gay panic defence. Y’know, it has been raised in court over here yet again not that long ago. There are a substantial number of straight people who feel it’s ok to attack gay people because they are seen to be making a come on. A touch, a glance, even how we are dressed can be seen as a reason for a violent attack. You think we’re going to stare at your naked straight arse? You think getting an eyeful is worth that kind of risk?

But, of course, the actual argument presented is NOT that gay people are going to rush at the irresistible straight folks and have our wicked wicked way. No, it’s that our open presence will make the straight folks… uncomfortable.

Ok, seriously? So GBLT people are supposed to closet themselves for their entire lives – because this is what that means – for the sake of straight people’s comfort in the dressing room? So straight people can keep the delusion that there are no gays around? Keep their partners undercover, never mention their families, make sure their families are never noticed? Maybe make up a few lies, a fake girlfriend, a fake history? Edit their entire lives for the sake of straight people’s DISCOMFORT? I would gape at the entitlement in this if it weren’t so damn common.
GBLT people don’t have a duty to censor themselves so straight people can pretend we don’t exist.

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So this ever-so-gay friendly liberal mother would like us to know she’s totally not homophobic but objects to her children – HER CHILDREN! – seeing this billboard

Check the link. There’s the piccy

Now, what I see is 2 men who aren’t even touching leaning in for a kiss. They’re not even kissing – they’re leaning in for a kiss

The writer (gay friendly sex positive liberal mother! HONEST! SEE she even said she’s gay friendly and totally not a homophobe you guys!) describes that piccy as:

two seemingly nude guys in a liplock

*checks picture**checks description**checks picture again* I see 2 shirtless guys who are starting to kiss. Where’s this lip lock? And you can see kissing on any channel at any time of the day – whyfore is this offensive?

Oh, right, yeah the 2 men. (Totally not homophobic guys! She objects to straight people kissing as well! Yeah that’s not bullshit, that’s great steaming elephant turds)

She doesn’t know how she can possibly explain this to her children (hey, that’s what the religious right says about us being, well anywhere at all). What, this gay-friendly woman has trouble explaining why 2 men may kiss to her kids? Now why oh why oh why would that be? Does her 9 year old child not understand kissing? Has he never seen people kiss before?

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Another bad news round up - as ever, very upsetting and triggering.

They're hard to read and ye gods they're hard to right - but they're important. Always to remember that it never stops, it hasn't stopped it isn't changing - and remember to make sure the blood is dripping from the right hands - no matter how much they play the victim or pretend they are not part of this hatred.

This is the cost of hate speech and discrimination.

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