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Gay Pride ad a new 'equality gap'?

(340 Posts)
Imperfect27 Fri 04-Aug-17 19:35:57

Let me explain.
I am NOT homophobic.
I think it is appalling that historically people who are LBGT have been marginalised, discriminated against, made to be fearful - even treated as mentally ill and 'curable.' All of this more than saddens me.
I have gay friends. that I regard as part of my extended family and if a child of mine were to tell me that 'Actually mum, I am gay' it would not make one iota of difference to my love and support of them. If anything, it might bring out the lioness in me as still, I think they face disadvantages in society. Until we reach a point of being gay being a big 'So what!' we will not have reached true equality.
BUT ... I have struggled with the adverts for Gay Britannia on BBC - which seem to swamp the airwaves. I struggle with the news that 10 national trust staff have been 'moved to non customer-facing services' for refusing to wear gay pride landyards - - and I struggle with the societal subtext that if we do not openly accept and rejoice with proclaiming 'gay pride' we must somehow be anti ...

I struggle because I have been hurt. I was married to a man who left me for a man. I learned along the years of our marriage that gay wasn't 'curable', wasn't a 'choice', wasn't an 'aberration' - it was / is just a .n. other way of being.

BUT, I know I would not find it easy to wear any gay pride regalia and I struggle with the strident voices that seem to need to be 'in your face' about their sexuality. I don't introduce myself along the lines of 'Hello , I am .... and I am heterosexual.'

Maybe you will think I am contradicting myself because I do see that being accepted as LGBT in our world is still a struggle for some, and maybe that means that some people do still need to be strident about it, but I find myself in something of a corner. At present I feel marginalised, I feel my opinion doesn't matter, I feel that even though I have been prepared to revisit and revise every value I was brought up with, recognise my own unfounded / ignorant prejudices and move to a point of not just tolerance, but true acceptance of how we can be 'different' , still am somehow 'out of step.'

I am not sure what I want - except I don't want to be bombarded with gay 'rights' to the detriment of any other 'right'. At present I feel 'unequal'. Does that make sense?

whitewave Fri 04-Aug-17 19:42:21

Then I expect you are glad you are not in Brighton this weekend as it's the biggest Pride Carnaval in the UK.

HildaW Fri 04-Aug-17 19:52:59

Imperfect - think I understand you. I suppose its similar to women trying to undo centuries of male dominance, misogyny and downright cruelty. Perhaps the pendulum has to swing a bit further to the other side to hopefully redress the balance.
That being said I too feel our sexuality/sexual identity etc does not need to be 'out there' for all to see and comment upon - although am just remembering a very embarrassing moment a few years ago when female co-worker took a huge and very embarrassing shine to me and I pretty much needed to shout....I'm 100% heterosexual!
That being said its a pity we cannot all just be what we want to be as long, as my Granny used to say....we don't frighten the horses.
Also just because someone is part of a minority group it does not make them somehow particularly tolerant towards others. I have a very politically active gay acquaintance who has some pretty unpleasant views about Transsexuals....seeing them somehow as odd and unsavoury!!! He fails to see the irony of his frequent posts about Pride marches he has been on!
Hey ho......yes I do not want to be made to feel I have to defend my sexual preferences but perhaps given the history of gay issues we should let it wash over us a bit more...after all its within living memory of many that there were times when lives were lost or radically altered because of their sexual preferences.

Eglantine19 Fri 04-Aug-17 20:57:29

I think the problem lay not so much in refusing to wear the badges but in their expressed reasons for refusing to support the campaign. Unfortunately some people still see homosexuality as something that is wrong and I have heard "disgusting" "perverted" "sinful" applied to gay friends.
Would it be acceptable if they had refused to wear Black History badges or support a campaign that celebrated the Suffragette movement.
If their role involve meeting with all sections of the public there should not be any doubt that they are able and willing to treat everyone with respect.

rosesarered Fri 04-Aug-17 21:02:29

Imperfect.... I understand perfectly what you are saying and I agree completely.
I see no more need in any case for Gay Pride marches, Carnivals etc. Time to stop defining ourselves by our sexual preferences.

Eglantine19 Fri 04-Aug-17 21:08:49

If everyone would stop defining people by their sexual preferences then there would be no need for a GAY lobby. But until then......

rosesarered Fri 04-Aug-17 21:14:59

Why is there a need for a gay lobby Eglantine perhaps you know a lot about it?

rosesarered Fri 04-Aug-17 21:17:01

I think the National Trust do a lot of virtue signalling to impress, so I agree with you Mawbroon

ginny Fri 04-Aug-17 21:18:19

Every person is a person wether gay, trans. heterosexual, black, white, tall, fat etc. No need for badges or logos. I certainly would not be told that I must wear a badge of any kind. I do not wear a rememberence poppy that does not mean that I have any objections to the thought behind them.

sunseeker Fri 04-Aug-17 21:20:35

Eglantine - why is it necessary for anyone to wear a gay pride badge, or a black history badge or a suffragette badge unless the place they are working has an exhibition relating to one of them. Isn't the LGBT lobby actually causing the problem by insisting people see them as a separate group? Why did Imperfect feel unable to express her opinion without first having to explain that she is not homophobic?

Anniebach Fri 04-Aug-17 21:22:06

I think the National Trust are so wrong, if anyone does not agree with homosexuality then their decision .

M0nica Fri 04-Aug-17 21:29:00

My reaction to the NT had I been one of their volunteers, would have been that I absolutely support the cause, but refuse to be labelled.

I do not wear badges advertising my religious or political beliefs nor do I wear T shirts with slogans or advertising on. I couldn't care less what anyone's sexual preferences are and never have.

I think the NT is on very shaky legal ground in making it mandatory that if staff, paid or volunteer, wish to react with visitors they must wear these lanyards. The NT may be committed to equality but that does not give it any right to make its workers wear anything specifically supporting any particular type of equality; sexual, racial or women's. It is a shame that just volunteers are affected like this because they are least likely to seek a legal opinion on the issue.

I am also very uncomfortable that Imperfect felt that she had to write such a long exculpatory email to justify saying that she did not like what the NT had done. She presumably felt she needed to do this to protect herself from the thought police who act like the religious police in Saudi Arabia if anyone dares to say anything that they choose to consider as anti LBGT/racist/anti-feminist.

Personally, I feel no need to apologise for the past or feel appalled at the way any specific group was treated in the past unless it was unacceptable at the time it happened. 100 years from now people will be apologising for things that we are doing now and consider meritorious - like hounding people who do not agree with everyone else.

The past is another country. They do things differently there

rosesarered Fri 04-Aug-17 21:32:30

Hear hear M0nica

gangy5 Fri 04-Aug-17 21:55:32

It is not right that the National Trust involve themselves in this type of arena. My sadness is the fact that this generous donor, who has donated his property to this organisation, has been so publicly besmirched by them.

Eglantine19 Fri 04-Aug-17 21:58:06

Sunseeker, I think the whole point was that it was a special exhibition/event celebrating the original owner of the National Trust property who had had to conceal his sexuality for fear of imprisonment.
And as I said originally it was not refusing to wear the lanyards designed to go with the exhibition but the reasons for refusing to wear the lanyards that caused the problem. The National Trust is for everybody so would it be right to have volunteers dealing with the public if they know that those volunteers might not treat some people with respect?

Anniebach Fri 04-Aug-17 22:10:13

Well said MOnica. I have been a witness for two civil partnerships and one marriage , I would not wear that badge

grumppa Fri 04-Aug-17 22:26:27

Why should refusing to wear a lanyard imply that the refusers would not treat some people with respect? Why were lanyards designed for this exhibition in the first place? Do all NT exhibitions call for the production of special lanyards? If not, why not? Or is this just virtue-signalling by the NT?

Penstemmon Fri 04-Aug-17 22:29:30

Sadly the LGBT community is still facing daily prejudice. As do other minority groups. Many people who have neve been marginalised or abused because of their sexuality /race/ faith / ability/ difference sometimes find it hard to appreciate the need to be part of a movement to change attitudes and can become a bit defensive. Even blaming the "victims" for causing the abuse and negative attitudes they face! I understand it can feel uncomfortable to be made to face ones own prejudices. I am not immune to that.

sunseeker Fri 04-Aug-17 22:41:16

I have been on the receiving end of homophobic and racial prejudice. I am not gay or non British but I chose to sit and talk with a woman who was gay when I first started work (when it was illegal to be homosexual) and I married an immigrant. I don't think making someone wear a badge necessarily changes their minds or prejudices, it could in fact exacerbate them.

phoenix Fri 04-Aug-17 22:52:47

I am against "isms" and prejudice in most forms, but am a bit confused at the need for people to be "labelled", either by themselves or others.

We don't go around saying "Hello, I'm Phoenix, I'm (age) shoe size 6, my religion is (fill in as appropriate) , I vote (party) and I bank with (whoever) and my front door is painted (colour).

Why can't people just be people, regardless of age, colour, sexuality?

Deedaa Fri 04-Aug-17 22:54:31

My problem is that I tend to see the person first rather than the colour, religion or sexual preference. It would seem as odd to go round promoting my gay friends way of life as it would to go round promoting my own. They are just who they are. Admittedly I have been influenced by having fairly arty farty friends. The first gay couple I knew well were a pair of theatrical agents, long before it was legal of course. When I moved out to the home counties a few years ago I did get some shocked reactions from people if they found I had gay friends so it obviously depends where you live and there must be real problems in some places.

phoenix Fri 04-Aug-17 23:02:06

Deedaa You say that your "problem" is to see the person, that is not a problem, it's a virtue, and exactly how it should be!

paddyann Fri 04-Aug-17 23:11:22

would be very nice if people could just be peoplepheonix sadly its not the case ,I have several gay paople in my family and as friends I have two young friends presently transgendering from female to male .The youngsters have no issues are being well supported and helped by most in their communities .My cousin and neice who are in their fifties not SO fact a very good friend of mine was horrified to learn these close relatives were "allowed" to take my children out to theatres etc "I wouldn't have that, she told me ,but them WE dont have that in OUR family" this was a woman whose father was a paedophile!! Yet she still thought being gay was worse ...Until we all see that its not an affliction or a choice we need to show support...hopefully the day will come soon when people are all seen just as people

phoenix Sat 05-Aug-17 00:13:39

paddyann yes, there are sadly some people who just don't get it.
When I was in my late teens I had gay male friends who were quite a bit older. I remember them having a party to which they kindly said that I could invite some of my friends.

The reaction of some of my male friends made me shock and angry. They seemed to have the vanity and audacity to think that just because the party hosts were gay, then they (the potential guests) might be "approached", to put it politely.

WT heck? Would they have assumed that a female party host was going to make some sort of "move" on them? No, of course not, but just because a man prefers men, why on earth should these people think that their gender alone might make them attractive!

I get similarly incensed when ignorant people think that gay = paedophile angry

Imperfect27 Sat 05-Aug-17 06:44:43

"I am also very uncomfortable that Imperfect felt that she had to write such a long exculpatory email to justify saying that she did not like what the NT had done. She presumably felt she needed to do this to protect herself from the thought police who act like the religious police in Saudi Arabia if anyone dares to say anything that they choose to consider as anti LBGT/racist/anti-feminist."

MOnica I did not feel the need to 'protect' myself from the 'thought police.' Neither was I trying to be 'exculpatory' - I was aiming for transparent! I think I may be typical of many of our 'senior' generation: brought up to think homosexuality was wrong / deviant etc. and I have undergone a complete education and change of mind in the past 30 years.

Also, I did not mean to sidetrack with the NT debacle - to me this is just symptomatic of a neurotic 'political correctness' that goes too far / asks too much and actually can alienate people rather than promote understanding and acceptance.

BUT, I don't like sexuality being presented as a leading issue. People to me are - or should be - just people and I find the overt need to declare sexual orientation wearisome. I also find 'loud and proud' declarations of sexuality unnecessary and, at times offensive. But I feel 'Out of step' because it seems un-p.c. to express anything other than 'empathy' or 'acceptance.' I do feel these things quietly and in a very heartfelt way, but would never want to wear a badge, attend a march, wave a flag. That's all.