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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

So, if you're a straight person who feels the need to say "I hate all public displays of affection..."

Don't.

Really don't, because I'm beyond sick of it

I know, I know, you want to make it clear you're totally not a homophobe and it's not about the same-sex couple you just don't like PDAs - of any kind!

But the ONLY time this gets trotted out, certainly in any large numbers, is when LGBT folk have shown the same public love for each other that cishet folks get to do repeatedly every single day.

I do not believe you decide to express your distaste for PDAs every time straight people kiss. I do not. Considering the saturation of straight affecting in the media you couldn't even read your toddler a fairy tale without having to tut "oh look at this PDA, how inappropriate" under your breath. If you turned on a television you would lose your voice having to repeat your disapproval so many times.

There is absolutely no way you express your disapproval of PDAs every time you're confronted by straight people kissing. You would be on permanent repeat, like a record that's skipping.

You don't comment on straight PDAs but you hone in on the MUCH MUCH rarer same-sex PDAs to speak about? Yeah, that's some not-very-subtle shenanigans right there

And if you are genuinely unhappy with any PDA and this totally isn't isolated - then consider whether you need to express this NOW (because you DO let straight PDAs pass, don't even try to claim you don't). Even if you are super duper sure that you are totally not a homophobe in any way, shape or form, be aware that you do sound like one. Be aware that you are speaking in a context where a gazillion of your fellow straight folks constantly use such weasel ways to be homophobic in the hope they can wave the hate flag without backlash. Be aware that there's a whole bunch of straight people with unchallenged privilege and unquestioned prejudice who register, without even realising, same-sex PDA as obscene and needing reaction but don't even notice straight PDAs because they're background noise - and that you sound a whole lot like them. Be aware of that "without even realising" and ask yourself how sure you are you AREN'T one of them.

Be aware that, to me and many other LGBT folks, you're part of a vast sea of straight people who've decided to express their disapproval over our relationships. Again.

If you quack and waddle, how sure are you that you aren't a duck? Even if you aren't, you can't be surprised when we reach for the orange sauce

And does it suck that you're totally-well-meaning-and-not-homophobic-honest criticism is being lumped in with that sea of bigotry? Well, not nearly as much as it suck to drown in it.




This also applies to the "I think all marriage/adoption/surrogacy/IVF is wrong" but only say so when we're talking about same-sex couples engaging in them crowd as well.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

On Conchita Wurst

First of all, banish the idea that whoever wins Eurovision has anything to do with the quality of the songs. Ok, no, that's harsh - let's say the quality of the music makes up, say, 20% of the decision on who wins.

The rest is politics. Which is why it was laughable that Eurovision Host Pilou Asbaek was banned from wearing rainbows as he wanted because it was deemed “political.” Which country votes for which is always based on relations and opinions between those countries (which is why you have a lot of bloc voting and part of the reason Britain both doesn’t take it very seriously and always does poorly – because we’ve annoyed and continue to annoy a lot of people).

Homophobia has been an issue in European politics lately – obviously with the looming bigotry of Russia. But not just Russia – it was rather bitter, for example, to see political leaders decide boycotts, sanctions and even not attending the Olympics et al against Russia for persecuting LGBT people was a no-no, but when straight people in Ukraine were the target, suddenly everything was on the table (including our “equality minister” telling us how much she couldn’t possibly boycott the Olympics – then running like hell from the Paralympics – showing homophobia and ableism). It’s also galling that one of the many steps towards integration with the EU required Ukraine to improve it’s anti-homophobia protection and this was dropped after the Russian invasion (and Ukraine dropped anti-gay discrimination from their workplace discrimination law) feeling a lot like the EU just shoved LGBT people under the bus.

Then there was Conchita’s boycott – Russia, Ukraine and Belarus all wanted Conchita disqualified and/or broadcasts of Eurovision to edit Conchita out. They were hardly alone, though the usual suspects were most vocal. There was a lot of pressure to remove Conchita entirely

And then Conchita won. That’s a message. Ok, the message could be “You want to de-gay Eurovision? Are you SERIOUS? Please, we’ve been claiming this since the 70s.” But it’s also a strong sense of rejection of the very overt bigotry that has dogged Eurovision and Europe this year.

Is the song good? Yes/no/maybe/I don’t really care – but I’m loving that the bigots stomped their feet and here, far more of us turned round and told them to back off.