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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The World Cup

The World Cup in 2022 is going to be held in Russia and Qatar.

Normally the World Cup is something that hits my radar largely because television, advertising et al becomes consumed by lots of men playing with balls in a way that is not nearly as sexy as it sounds (alas) but I did a double take on this one.

See, when we’re looking at homophobia in sports and how they’re finally pushing to make it slightly less omnipresent (and even acknowledging it’s a problem!) and there’s actually supposed to be some kind of movement here – we have Fifa picking countries to host the world cup that literally risk life and limb for gays to go and support. Qatar in particular still considered being gay a crime punishable by imprisonment or flogging. Flogging, I kid you not.

Really I shouldn’t be surprised, Fifa doesn’t even include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policy and with the UN deciding that killing us is all fine and dandy, you can hardly expect Fifa of all organisations to give a damn whether we’re considered human or not.

It’s just depressing as hell to see yet again the straight world giving us a big fuck you. Again, straightness confirms that our lives are worth bugger all.

Unsurprisingly, Gay groups are hella pissed about this. Because it gets tiresome when the straight powers that be yet AGAIN make it clear that stomping on your head is just fun and games and totally ok

The Gay Football Supporters Network is boycotting the games. They very rightly point out that while Fifa wants to bring the game “to the whole world” it apparently doesn’t include gay people. We’re not part of the world it seems, according to straightness. Or maybe they just wish we weren’t.

And, of course, those silly gays objecting to the devaluing contempt and dehumanising hatred of the straight world are over-reacting. Why, as journalist Mehdi Hasan tells us, we’re over-reacting, I mean Qatar only occasionally flogs people, what’s the problem?! Why it’s QATARPHOBIC to object on such piffling grounds. This straight guy just wants us hysterical types just calm down

Of course, it’s hardly alone. I’m amazed at the number of people jumping up and down every where I’ve seen this reported. And losing their ever loving shit that anyone would DARE criticise Qatar for extreme homophobia, including liberal spaces. Well I guess we know where we stand in their eyes – and how much value our lives have

The president of Fifa, Sepp Blatter, hearing complaints, predictably dismissed them by telling gays – “just don’t have sex” I kid you not. Faced with a gay people who are concerned about a nation that flogs, imprisons and deports gay people, this is the response from the straight authorities. Because it’s totally our fault, right? I mean if we’d just not be icky gays then all would be fine, right, Mr. Blatter? It’s all about sex, right? Icky nasty gay sex?

But hey, he’s concerned about prejudice – well, every prejudice but homophobia. And we’re just dealing with another culture! Screw the gays! They don’t want racism. They don’t want prejudice because of politics. They don’t want prejudice because of religion. Prejudice because of sexual orientation? Oh, he doesn’t mention that – and doesn’t give a damn about it, it seems. He’s sure there’ll be no trouble – not that the laws are changing or there are any guarantees. But hey, the straight guy is sure there’ll be no trouble!

He wants to open the game up to everyone of all culture. Just not to gays. Gays don’t count, don’t matter and our lives mean nothing. Not surprising, but infuriatingly typical. The joys of living in this straight world continue.

And you know what? This isn’t just about football or the damn world cup. This is about the world, AGAIN, saying that persecuting gay people is ok. This is about the world, AGAIN, validating and supporting homophobia. This is about the world, AGAIN, telling us that imprisoning and torturing people for being gay is OK. That’s not about football, it’s not even about one country – it’s about the whole straight world saying how irrelevant and unimportant the persecution of gay is even when taken to the utter extremes – in the straight lead world, our lives do not matter.