Saturday, 1 October 2011

Why the Bad News lists?

As you know, I do my Bad News Lists. And one compelling quesiton I even ask myself is “why?”

Obviously I don't do these lists for fun, far from it. They're painful, cringe worthy and generally horrible lists to compile and cause no small number of grey hairs. They're not fun or enjoyable and I'm not exactly resilient or immune here. Bear baiting and rattle snake juggling may be more fun, less painful and generally safer hobbies.

I do not produce them for news sake – my lists are rarely sufficiently recent to be an action alert nor wide enough to be a summary of anti-GBLT bullshit out there. In fact, people looking for news I urge you to go out there and find multiple sources to try and get you some fractured image of the total picture – do not by any stretch rely on my blog. I catch less than a fraction of a percent of what's out there, if that – and I don;t think anyone catches more than a fraction of a percent and I only show a fraction of what is caught. I know from experience that there have been 3 violent anti-gay attacks in my city alone this month that are more severe than much of what I include and haven't appeared in any publication. Reporting of hate crimes is fraught, reporting within a closeted community more so and of those that are reported, them then being picked up by the press to any great level – and then that (often local) press being noticed elsewhere

But it is stark to bring it together. It is stark to collate many incidents together and see the pattern, see the spread, see just a fraction of how much it is. That we're not talking “isolated incidents” or “one offs” or whatever other dismissive crap people throw. There is and always has been a movement that tries to minimise homophobia and transphobia. The religious bigots try to claim the language of oppression by squealing that they are oppressed whenever their bigotry is challenged. Numerous clueless straight people claim we can avoid prejudice and exalt the closet. Still others dismiss the problems of homophobia and transphobia when they demand we disclose or out ourselves and call us “deceptive” for not doing so. Homophobia and transphobia exist – and they exist as separate, real prejudices. Not the little sibling of other “proper” prejudices nor are they lesser than “meaningful” or “impactful” or “dangerous” prejudices

I also compile the lists to bring things together – because they are related. It is tiresome that anti-GBLT bigotry is treated with such legitimacy in society. It's tiresome that a politician or religious leader can spew some truly virulent hatred and not face any consequences for that hate. It's tiresome that they still enjoy support – even from people who consider themselves progressive – when their language and actions are utterly unacceptable.

I put them together because they are linked. Hate speech leads to discrimination and violence. Hate speech leads to dehumanisation, bullying and suicide. Hate speech is the echo chamber in which we are reduced, hate speech is the soil in which prejudice not only grows – but is rendered acceptable. How much harder do we have to fight bigotry because the leading luminaries of the world's biggest religions are cheerleading for it? How much legitimacy is given to our being treated as less when law makers are repeatedly casting us as inferior?

I want to see the hate speech of the Pope and the suicide of another gay teen on the same page. I want to see the hatred from the pulpit and the GBLT person who lose their job put together. I want to see the politician, the priest, the hate group speaker's words put in the same place as the beaten, stabbed and murdered GBLT person. I want to deny their constant washing their hands of the consequences of their hatred. I want to show the blood staining those hands.