LGBTQ+ History Month 2023

Reflecting on the importance of our shared history this LGBTQ+ History Month.
CW: Posted examples of transphobia.

It’s LGBTQ+ History Month, and to put it mildly, it’s needed now more than ever. The trans community in the UK has been the subject of cruel misrepresentation as well as generally being used as a scapegoat by a failing government for far too long now. This is the time to reflect on our shared history, and why we must stand together against those who seek to roll back LGBTQ rights across the board. Make no mistake, it never stops at just one group.

In particular, I’d like to focus on fairly recent LGBTQ+ history, and the utterly vile piece of legislation that was Section 28. For those who don’t know, this was legislation brought in under Margaret Thatcher that made it illegal for local authorities to “promote homosexuality”. It was forbidden to “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. For those of us who were at school while Section 28 was in effect, it was essentially a gagging order for our teachers. They couldn’t even mention the fact that gay people existed. Even after the repeal of Section 28, it has taken years for schools to begin to do better when it comes to LGBTQ+ inclusive education.

A petition was recently circulated that called for the removal of all LGBTQ+ materials from schools. A return to Section 28. There are also those who call for a Section 28-style law prohibiting transgender issues being discussed at schools. That some of those calling for this are gay is truly heart-breaking. Such people either didn’t live through the misery inflicted by Section 28, or else they are so motivated by their hatred of trans people that they just don’t care. There are those who cry that being gay and being trans aren’t the same thing, so comparisons to Section 28 are unjustified. While it is true that sexual orientation and gender identity are separate, how those who aren’t heterosexual or cisgender have been treated are very much linked. That’s what binds us.

The overall argument for prohibiting discussion of LGBTQ+ issues seems to be that young people can’t possibly know themselves well enough to make up their own mind. LGBTQ+ inclusive RSE is misrepresented by certain individuals as ‘indoctrination’. As though teachers (or indeed anyone) is going around telling young people that they must be gay, or that they are definitely trans. This, of course, is not the case. The advances we’ve made over the last few years allows schools to discuss LGBTQ+ issues, and I truly mean ‘discuss’. Open discussion that allows young people to voice their thoughts, listen to the views of others, and form their own opinions. It also, for the minority of pupils in any given class that are LGBTQ+, just might bestow the confidence to be themselves. Some people, when they see a young person confidently stating that they are anything other than straight and cis, jump straight to accusations of grooming and indoctrination. They cannot possibly entertain the notion that young people are capable of knowing themselves.

I’ve come across a fair few vile individuals on Twitter lately. Most of them have been blocked, some I chose to engage with to make a point. To show any person who comes across the exchange and might be struggling with their sexuality or gender identity that the homophobes and transphobes can be stood up to. I came across one recently that I’m going to share here, as a particularly good example of why we mustn’t forget the history that the LGBTQ+ community shares.

Now, let’s take a look at the above set of tweets. Firstly there’s the condescending tone, which is apt because this individual generally seems to view trans people as incapable of knowing themselves. Call me odd, but I find denying an entire group of people autonomy over their own sense of self somewhat repulsive. There’s the assertion that “in our day”, being gay wasn’t considered a problem. I’m very fortunate in that I had friends and family who were very supportive when I came out at 18. Plenty at the time weren’t so fortunate, and many aren’t as fortunate even today. That, and given that Section 28 was still very much in effect back in our day, shows that this individual wishes to re-write history so that being gay was always accepted. A common technique used by transphobes, and one that never stands up to any scrutiny.

They then go on to list all the people they believe are currently telling young people that if you’re a boy who fancies other boys, you must really be a girl. No evidence cited, surprisingly enough. Such assertions are always intentionally vague and all encompassing to try and make it seem as though young people are being ‘convinced’ they’re trans on a massive scale. The possibility that more young people are simply coming forward as trans because it’s who they are doesn’t cross the mind of this individual. To accept such a notion would scupper their efforts to stop trans people being themselves at all costs.

The feeble attempt at a link to “stupid ideas of hairstyles/fashion” carries no weight with me personally. At 15 or any other age I generally wore what I wanted to regardless of others and have never really done much with my hair. It’s this individual’s attempt to liken being trans to a fad that I find truly appalling. Yet another attempt to dismiss the autonomy of trans people. As someone who was told that I would “grow out” of being gay, it only adds further strength to the notion that the LGBTQ+ community must stand together.

I promise the above is the last tweet I’ll post from this particular individual. Believe me, it was no more enjoyable to engage with them than it was for you to read their bile. The above screencap, however, quite succinctly underlines the mindset of this individual and many others. They literally said that trans people “don’t understand what’s happening”. You couldn’t get a more blatant dismissal of the autonomy of an entire demographic of society. Luckily this individual is particularly clumsy, but there are those who maintain the mask a little better.

The underlying point they try to make is always that they are looking to somehow ‘protect’ trans people from themselves. Giving trans people autonomy over their identities and their bodies is just too risky, so they would have us believe. Recycled bigotry from those who brought us Section 28. They thought young people were being ‘brainwashed’ into thinking they were gay. We were considered a danger to young people. We were accused of being predatory, of being paedophiles. The LGBTQ+ community condemns paedophilia, and I most certainly do too. Educating young people on LGBTQ+ issues is not, and never has been, indoctrination. It is education, and for those who hold on to their irrational hatred of any minority, education is seen as a bad thing.

I intend to spend much of this LGBTQ+ history month reflecting on what unites us. It serves as a great antidote to those who very much want to focus on differences, and to then use any and all differences to try and drive a wedge into our community. Our shared history unites us. Not just in this country but all around the world, in many different cultures, there have been LGBTQ+ people standing together and there have been those seeking to destroy us. Don’t let them. Stand together. Stay strong.

My very best wishes to everyone for this month. I’m hoping to blog more on LGBTQ+ issues, as well as generally blogging more. Never forget that you are wonderful. You are supported, and you are loved.

Love Matters

A brief blog on why homophobia is always so much worse than it appears.

It’s a terribly bad habit, falling into conversation online with homophobes. Over the last few months I’ve found myself embroiled with a few particularly unpleasant examples. While I maintain that is important to stand up to such people, both online and in real life, it can become tiresome. However, someone said something that really brought home the underlying mantra of homophobia.


In a thread all about same sex couples raising children, one particular Twitter user was asserting that same sex couples cannot be considered the parents of a child because they’re not biologically related. When I pointed out that many children are raised by parents not biologically related to them, and that these children love their parents, I was countered with;

“Love isn’t all that matters.”

That, perhaps more than anything else, was the most revealing comment. It’s the one thing that those who oppose the very existence of the LGBTQ community won’t admit to. They don’t think us capable of love, or rather, they want to portray us as being incapable of love. It’s the sinister undertone to practically everything they throw at us.


Love is an essential part of being human. We need it as we develop all the way through our lives. It can be romantic or platonic. We all need it, we want to find it and we are driven to feel it. Why then, do some people want to paint the LGBTQ community as being incapable of feeling love?


It’s quite simple. What cannot feel love is easy to demonise. Apply that to a person, or an entire group, and you can swiftly dehumanise them in the eyes of others. They become somthing ‘other’, ‘lesser’. Not only do they want others to see us this way, they have to see us this way themselves. It is the entire basis, the only justification they can muster for their fear of us. If we cannot feel love, they must be right to oppose us. They don’t want to think of us as human beings.


Their main way of going about this is to attribute only one thing to our existence; the act of sex. When they see two people of the same sex living together, that is all they see, two people who are having sex. Obviously they don’t approve of that, so they justify their discomfort by attempting to strip us of anything that might make us like a heterosexual couple.


They don’t want to think of us doing the dishes or laundry. They will not hear of us discussing our day at work. They don’t want to know about the arguments or the disagreements that all couples have. They can’t imagine us doing something nice for a partner who’s been going through a rough time. No. All they see is two women or two men that are having sex. You won’t see them thinking the same of a heterosexual couple, oh no. They’re obsessed with our sex lives and seem to think it’s all we live to do.


Naturally they don’t think we’re constantly going at it. Nobody has the stamina. The point is that they seek to define us purely by who we have sex with and disregard every other aspect of our lives that make us just like everyone else. The biggest of these being love. If all we live to do is have sex, in their eyes we are incapable of love. That makes us so much easier to hate.


Now, when you try and point this out, many will try to flip it right back. “You all define yourselves by who you have sex with, why else would you have Pride events? You want to be different but be treated equally when you’re not!”


Here’s the thing. We define ourselves as LGBTQ because we have been made to. Pride is necessary because we had to fight for the right to exist as we are. Pride is about love, and how we are just as capable of loving each other as everyone else. It is my sincerest hope that one day no one will bat an eyelid at seeing two people of the same sex living together. I wish we didn’t have to stand up for ourselves in order to prevent being discounted altogether, but we do.


This is the underlying tactic of those who wish to push the LGBTQ community back into the closet. They paint us as loveless and sex crazed. They apply it to every situation. They accuse us of being paedophiles when a LGBTQ person wants to work with children because they define us solely on the act of sex. They think it is our only motive for doing anything. They cannot, and will not, consider the possibility that we can feel anything but lust. Not sorrow, not compassion, not empathy, and most notably, not love.


Love matters, and there are those who are striving to convince others that we cannot feel it, simply because we are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. In other words, ‘different’.


Don’t let them do it. Show them that love matters. Cherish it. Love yourself and love others.