Saturday, 17 May 2014

IDAHOT - International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia - May 17th

Courtesy of IDAHOT -

Well, today is turning out to be extra special indeed as it is not only Body Dysmorphia Day (see previous post) but it is also IDAHOT - International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I guess they swapped the 'And' for 'Or' when making up the hash tag, because Hot sounds much better than hat. Otherwise it would look like we're all tweetings and talking about some new accessory brand instead of something so much more important than the latest head wear fad.

In case anybody was wondering, yes I do lean more towards straight or heterosexual on the sexuality spectrum. Like Katy Perry once sang, "I kissed a girl and I liked it" and I almost once swallowed a lip ring in the process. I am a firm believer in that you should not knock something until you've tried it, but it wasn't for me in the end. Before anyone thinks about having a go, saying that I was using people whilst tipsy to try out a novelty notion or to get boys attention, though many women have done just this. That was not my aim nor have I ever felt the need to stoop to that level of attention seeking through sapphic actions. I have been on the other side of it, where I have had, on more than two occasions had men kiss me or attempt to initiate sex, to then later say that being with me confirmed they were gay, because if they weren't attracted enough to me, that it helped them figure out exactly what they wanted for themselves. This is a rather backwards compliment in itself, but I am ok with it, because for those people, it was better for them to explore with a friend who would still care no matter what the outcome, rather than reject them for good for the crime of being confused on their journey.  Ultimately, I am mostly straight, and currently happy in a relationship with a wonderful man who feels exactly as I do about LGBT rights. I am quite lucky in this part of my life as I do not need to hide any part of who I am to feel accepted by my friends and family and those around me.

Whilst there have been improvements in LGBT rights in the UK, as of this year [2014] gay marriage became legal, instead of having a commitment ceremony or civil union. This in some ways leaves a sour taste, not because of the idea of gay marriage, I am pro-gay marriage, but it shouldn't have to be called a "gay marriage" gay used to mean happy, and it should be returned to just that. A marriage between two people who happen to have the same chromosome pair should not be classified as a "gay" marriage. It should just be a marriage. Just the same as any other union between a loving couple. A happy one.

Earlier this year, I approached Stonewall and The Kaleidoscope Trust, of whom those who are still reading because of #IDAHOT may be aware of them, and what they do. Earlier this week, I published the results of a Q&A session with a member of the support staff at Stonewall, which confirmed what Stonewall do, and how far things have come, but also that we still have far to go in the UK. After looking at the work that The Kaleidoscope Trust does, it inspired me to write a survey on hate crime, especially that aimed at those who belong to the LGBT community or a sub-culture, and the results were quite saddening. The outcome of that will be published later this month, if you would like to return to read more about the survey held by Project52 about the other faces of hate crime.

Worldwide, what is happening is truly heartbreaking. In some ways, we as a whole, reguardless of orientation have it a little easier being in the UK, in that there are laws in place to protect us, and groups in place to help support us when those do let us down from time to time. However, as I write this, there are at least 59 countries that will discriminate against LGBT within employment, and just as many where gay bashing is rampant, or being gay or even suspected of it will result in the threat of prison or death. As cheesy as it sounds, we are all children of the world and should all be equal in every aspect of our existence, and should be treated as such, regardless of if the person we pledge our love to is the same gender, likes both of the main genders as we love what is inside, not out, though it helps if the wrapping is aesthetically pleasing too! Or, even if the outside does not yet match the inside.

Last week, a bearded lady known as Conchita Wurst (born Thomas Wurst) from Austria won the Eurovision Song contest, and absolutely beautiful she looked too in doing so sparked a new chapter in bringing understanding and tolerance in the face of anti gay countries such as Russia, of which were booed many times during the evening as the crowds voiced their solidarity with Conchita against Russia's stance on LGBT rights. I only hope this is a positive step forward in showing Russia that if it wants to be part of Europe, it needs to get in line with LGBT rights. I don't even like saying LGBT rights, as that indicates a difference between those who identify as heterosexual and those who are on the spectrum. I don't see a difference. We are all human kind and so LGBT rights really should just be called human rights.

This is just how I feel about the state of it today. Just because I am hetero it does not mean I do not care what happens to the rest of us. One day I hope that every country in the world will have a separation of state and religion, but I know it is a very, very long wait, and will not happen in my life time. I didn't want to talk about the face of homophobia or transphobia today, as I won't tolerate it coming from anybody around me. We all know that people have been killed for it, that young boys have been beaten within an inch of their life to 'beat the gay out'. That women have been raped because they are a lesbian. As if sexual assault can make somebody change who they are. Like any form of hate crime, it serves no purpose and makes it clear that the perpetrators are ignorant, ugly creatures who lash out at anything they find to be different or not understand.

Like the pop star and gay icon, Lady Gaga, I could say we were all "Born this way" just as those reading this who just happen to be hetero, gay, bi, trans, queer, two-natured or still just trying to find out who they are, you were also born to be exactly what you are. Unique.

♥ 4 all.
Equal as 1. 

#IDAHOT Image courtesy of 


P.S. Join me on twitter today, @vegankitten or look out for #IDAHOT 

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