Some people think that there are no more battles to fight. Rob Harkavy begs to differ.
The starting gun has been fired for the UK Pride season, with Birmingham Pride – the first major event of the season – having taken place over the May Bank Holiday weekend, setting the tone for a host of unabashed, unashamed celebrations of LGBTQ fabness the length and breadth of these islands.
But, as we dust off our rubber shorts and feather boas (or is that just me?) my social media feed is girding its cyberloins for the annual deluge of
“What about a straight Pride?”
“I don’t care what they do, but do they have to make such a song and dance about it?” (Answer, yes we bloody do)
“You’ve got equality, you’ve got gay marriage, what more do you want?”
Let’s be charitable and attribute these perennial questions not to homophobia, but to a genuine misunderstanding of what Pride is all about.
Check out ‘Why We Need A Pride: An LGBT+ Short Film’, written and performed by Helen Oakleigh
For me, I want my LGBT newsfeed to run for a whole week without a queerbashing story from the UK.
I want equal marriage to be extended to all of the United Kingdom…come on Northern Ireland, pull your finger out!
I want the 37 out of 54 countries of the Commonwealth, of which the Queen is Head, to remove anti-LGBT legislation from their statute books.
I want the last remaining British Overseas Territories, the final remnants of Empire, to be given an ultimatum: repeal your anti-gay laws or Westminster will do it for you.
I want my friends and colleagues at DIVA Magazine not to be abused in the street because they may not look like a straight man’s idea of femininity.
I want the Home Office not to even consider deporting LGBT asylum seekers to territories where they could be imprisoned – or worse – because of who they love.
I want everyone to be able to be out in their workplace without fearing for their prospects of advancement or promotion.
Finally, I want not to have to want any of these things. Until then, the feather boa and rubber shorts will remain primed for their annual outing, with my sincere apologies* to straight people of a nervous disposition.
*not really sincere