Friday, August 7

AK Souffle: To make things right there is no room for complacency

- October 30, 2017


It never fails to surprise me, when researching the stories for my series on Latest LGBT+ TV, how many countries that you assume are modern and sophisticated, are in fact primitive. Here in the UK we have made massive progress in achieving a level of equality that we have never seen before. We can get married of course, and adopt, and a wide range of things that no doubt will eventually be taken for granted – that is as long as we continue to fight our corner and make sure that certain hard won legislation is not reversed.

We might assume that those rights are common to other countries, and especially to those countries that we believe to be a part of what is stupidly referred to as the First World. Australia for instance, who would have thought that Ozzie queers are still fighting for the right to marry, and who would have believed the vitriol that it has spawned. Week on week I have read about the vile bigotry that this proposed change in the law has generated.

I used the word ‘reversed’ at the start of this week’s column and you only need to look across the Atlantic to see how quickly a political change can turn around the status queer in a country. Since the election of a certain business man turned politician, and I shudder at using that word in relation to this man, things have definitely gone into reverse in the USA. Is this the world gone mad? Can what we read in the press, see on TV and online be really happening?

There are still bigots and homophobes close to home

‘Madness’ is surely not a strong enough word to describe what is happening, and happening in the name of right, or god, or justice or humanity, yes, all happening in the name of the warped world of people who believe that the word ‘right’ is owned by their twisted and sometimes inhuman beliefs.

But the political wrangling close to home and the comfortable world that we live in is nowhere near as scary as the terrifying regimes across the world where homophobia is a sinister threat that carries mortal implications. I read only too often about executions and torture, but also the inhuman way that these punishments are delivered: stoning, decapitation, being thrown alive from high buildings to your death.

We have it better here at the moment that’s for sure, although there are still bigots and homophobes close to home who would welcome a reversion to former oppressive states. We need to learn from what is happening across the pond, and the biggest lesson to learn is that there is no place for complacency. The fight is not over, not just away from home but on our own doorstep. Be strong and let our voice be heard.

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