This is kind of a follow-on post from a recent post of mine here. Things have been reported in the press and I felt I just had to write something again. OK, it may not be much and it will no doubt have very little impact, but if just one person reads this and considers what the impacts are, then that's fine with me. *note and disclaimer, here I am only discussing homophobic hate crime. I realise that there are lesbophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes too, but my focus is on homophobic hate crimes.
A week ago today, a gay couple were viciously attacked with bottles in Birmingham. They were outside a bar and got abuse hurled at them from a car and were then attacked with bottles which resulted in injuries and hospital treatment. Today, it's been reported that a 31-year old man has been arrested.
This is 2021.
Then, in a potentially homophobic murder, a 50-year old man was found in a Tower Hamlets cemetery with blunt force trauma to his head. This was in one of London's 'Magnificent Seven' cemeteries. Yes, magnificent for who?
This is 2021.
So again, I thought I'd do some research. There's a 2019 study conducted by Galop.
For me, this is particularly shocking. Without exception, the younger generation of 18-24 year olds have the highest percentage of those who believe that LGBTQ+ people are immoral. 28% percent of 18-24 year olds believe that I am an immoral person. Over a quarter of their population. 55-65 year-olds (not on my screenshot) came in at 6% strongly agree and 9% agree. In my experience, I would have imagined it would've been the other way around. So I have to ask the question, where has the UK gone wrong in the last generation? Eleven years of Tory rule? Repeated broken promises from the government?
OK, let's have a look at something different:
Right, seeing as the UK government has been particularly rubbish at banning conversion therapy, let's see what people feel about being 'cured'. Shockingly, again, it's the younger generation who believe I can suddenly be turned from a raging homosexual to a straight. 17% of those aged between 18-24 believe this. The highest of all the age groups. And this is in 2019. Where has education gone wrong? Is this still the aftertaste of Section 28? (thanks again, Tories). For reference, the oldest age group (not pictured) stood at just 5% who agreed or strongly agreed.
It is clear that homophobic hate crimes are on the increase, and have been for many years now. What is fuelling this increase? And what are the government doing about it? Oh yes, the conference on LGBTQ+ issues, staggeringly entitled 'Safe to Be Me'. Clearly, Ms Truss, it isn't. Ms Truss claims that the UK is a global leader in equality and that the country 'proudly' supports, defends and champions the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the UK.
Now, Ms Truss - in which country have you been living? How dare you say this when LGBTQ+ are increasingly under attack in this 'proud' country. At the moment, and for many LGBTQ+ people, it is Unsafe to Be Me. The conference of which you seem to be immensely proud, is just yet more pandering to the public in a fake show of solidarity, when it is abundantly clear that you and your team couldn't give two shits about the LGBTQ+ community. When are you going to finally listen to LGBTQ+ people? We don't need a conference, we need safety. We need it to be Safe to Be Me.
However, although the state of support for LGBTQ+ people in this country is dire, we also need to support the international community. Recently, with the changes happening in Afghanistan, we need to think of the community there and the imminent and very real danger they face. In Afghanistan, it is illegal to be homosexual and this is punishable by death. Although it hasn't been, apparently, active since 2001 when the Taliban were last in power, there is a very real threat that it may start to be acted upon. Do read this article, where the above photo comes from.
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