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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Pardoning of Alan Turing

Alan Turing has been posthumously pardoned for being convicted of being gay, the barbaric and vicious persecution for which eventually drove him to take his own life.

I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this one.

Firstly, for anyone asking “why Turing?” I have to say you don’t understand the iconic nature of Turing to British GBLT people because he symbolised so much.

He was a prime example of a gay man, in history standing up and performing an incredible service for his county – and in one of the most iconic conflicts of our history. He is an example of a gay man who achieved incredible thing with a lasting legacy that has benefitted not only the country, but the entire world. This is what we are capable of. These are the people you condemn with your homophobic.

Because of this incredible thing, he is also iconic of the toxicity of homophobia. A homophobia that not only persecuted him to death despite of the vast debt owed to this man, but also despite of the great things he never had the chance to achieve. That is the waste of homophobia. That is how overwhelming it is

And this toxicity of homophobia went further, because he was erased. History didn’t remember him. He was removed from it, not just in our schools but in our media (there are television shows and film adaptations and even documentaries out there about the work of Bletchley Park and early computing. Guess who is missing from them/made straight?). The reason why he is so well known now is because British GBLT people fought passionately to make it so – because it was so outrageous that this great man was being removed from history because he was one of us. How dare they? How dare they pretend he never existed?! How dare they make him straight? We fought and we fought hard to make sure he was remembered again. You’ll notice how many monuments to him appear in traditionally gay neighbourhood. You’ll notice how FEW monuments there are to him that predate 2000.

He is symbolic of the untold masses of GBLT heroes and ancestors who we have lost, who have been removed from the pages of history and who we will never be able to reclaim.

Alan Turing wasn’t just a great man who was evilly persecuted – but he is also a great symbol.


So where do my conflicting feelings come in?

My conflict comes in not just because it’s a gesture that doesn’t change the past so much as try to play the “we’re so much better now” card (I would actually rather have more comprehensive history of GBLT people, our achievements and the persecution of us entered into the school curriculum to mark his horrendously unjust death more than anything else) and is therefore a pretty easy bandwagon for even the most homophobic of politician to jump on (notably, however, a rather huge amount of them didn’t) while at the same time we’ve seen political reticence (to say the least) on dealing with banning reparative therapy, doing something substantive about homophobic bullying, extreme homophobic discrimination in the asylum and immigration system, our woefully poor and homophobic sex education laws, the problems of homophobia in religious schools, homophobia in sports and a series of cuts that are, as with most cuts, hitting GBLT people and other marginalised people far harder than most (for some examples among many –organisations like the Association of GBLT police officers have had their funding cut. Legal aid has been gutted, homeless services butchered etc etc).

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Pope as Person of the Year?


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Pope Francis is an amazing agent of PR. He makes pretty speeches, throws in some dramatic (but ultimately unhelpful) gestures and people crawl over themselves to praise him as some kind of living saint. It’s remarkable – he continues to maintain policies that are the very height of vicious bigotry but people are turning out to sing the man’s praises! Pretty speeches guys! Washing feet! He sits on a simple chair! A SIMPLE CHAIR! Truly this is the thing saints are made of! Truly only militant atheists could possibly oppose this homophobe! Never mind that his church continues to fight against marriage equality, anti-discrimination provisions and even to try and keep our existence illegal, he made a pretty speech! How dare you criticise him!

The man will probably be made a living saint before the end – these pretty speeches are just so awesome.


The Advocate is advocating for homophobes now. At least the comment section is as appalled as I am. It’s not only grossly nauseating to give this man the award for making pretty speeches while maintaining homophobic policies, but it’s an

The desperate need to fawn over straight people, no matter how bigoted, over and over again doesn’t seem to be fading, alas. These are the scars that homophobia leaves – we have so little respect for our own self-worth that even the most token, failed attempts at being slightly-less-awful to us are considered wonderful and worthy of cookies.

Hey, maybe, just maybe, at some point this pope will actually do something for GBLT people. And when he does, then we can look at praise and accolades.

But he has done nothing. He has changed nothing. His pretty speeches are hollow, his church continues to promote bigotry throughout the world, he continues to support evil persecution of the worst kind. The church hasn’t changed and he has made no effort to change it

He hasn’t even condemned the homophobia his church espouses – just asked them to focus attention elsewhere to help patch the church’s awful PR. But this man is worth praising for his pathetic waffly speeches? He hasn’t even taken back his OWN HOMOPHOBIC CAMPAIGNING. Or are we all going to forget about that?

The sad thing is it’s all part of an ongoing pattern of praising complete non-efforts from religious groups and acting like they’re somehow our friends when, at best, they get it so wrong and at worst, they’re like this Pope, supporting bigotry and putting a veil of acceptability around it.


We will never achieve justice and equality if we continue to throw parades every time someone throws us crumbs – especially if that crumb comes with a slap in the face.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

I am sick of the "struggle" of homophobes

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!

Enough

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?

Monday, 9 December 2013

In the interest of making excuses...

...or digging the whole deeper, Beloved insists on some clarifications


1) Apparently a pomegranate and a turnip look superficially similar before one cuts into them.

Apparently. Perhaps to someone who is not familiar with either...


2) The pomegranate was put in the vegetable drawer

-true... however I only receive an echoing silence when I ask who put them there


3) He didn't make a mess cutting the pomegranate, but by using the potato peeler on one.

...this is apparently better.

This also shows that he only has the slightest idea how to use the peeler


4) He doesn't like pomegranates. 

...I fail to see the relevance 


5) He thinks you can put turnip in my chilli

...this is why he doesn't make chilli

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Reason #968564 Beloved is not allowed in the kitchen

Wishing to "help", Beloved decided to chop vegetables.

We will, for the moment, leave aside the fact I didn't ask him to, that he didn't know what I intended to cook, what vegetables I intend to use (if any) or even, really, whether the vegetables he was chopping even remotely go with each other, let alone anything else I intend to cook. Also, of course, "chop" and even "peel" can mean many things depending on what veg you're cutting and for what recipe

I mean, I wouldn't mind if he'd chopped an onion. The chances of me not frying and onion in butter and garlic no matter what I'm cooking is pretty remote. All food starts with chopped onion, butter and garlic. Well, almost.

But, no, I will leave that aside. For now.

But I do object to him chopping the turnips

Because we do not have turnips.

We do have pomegranates.

I think you can see where I am going with this.

I... can't quite fathom how one mistakes a pomegranate for a turnip.

I'm also not sure why, even if shocked to find your "turnip" contains a multitude of ruby red seeds, it is quite necessary to spread those little seeds everywhere. Absolutely everywhere.


Oh, and if he'd checked the oven he would find the chilli, nicely slow cooking away, already made and in no need of any vegetables at all

No turnip needed

And most certainly not needing pomegranate.