We’re apathetic, and it’s both costing and shaming us. Remember Michael Causer’s brutal murder? The nigh-dismissive court case in its wake? Remember how Jacqui Smith tried every trick in the book to send Mehdi Kazemi back to Iran and a probable death? Seen the stats on homophobic bullying in schools? Noticed the ultra homophobes the Tories are palling with in Strasbourg? That the BNP have two EU Parliament seats? Well after a history of political campaigning, this year’s London LGBT Pride was about partying. It hasn’t gone down well in some quarters:
Peter Tatchell, of the lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights group, OutRage, and a patron of Pride London, condemned this year’s slogan “Come and Play” as “totally anodyne” and accused the LGBT community of “huge apathy and complacency”.
He said: “I’m shocked that Pride London has hardly mentioned the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots on its website or in its magazine. Most of the content is about entertainment and partying. To ignore and downplay this important anniversary is an insult to the veterans who began our momentous fight for freedom.”
What it is is naive and counter-productive – encouraging non-engagement in the wider community and political ignorance. We have Churchmen who want to brainwash us, politicians who call us an ‘abomination’, yet on the one occasion we have to come together our only object is to party?
Things may be better, equality laws are all over the statute books and gay people are in government. But kids are still being bullied and killed for who they are. It’s disrespectful to them, as to those who got us here to be concentrating on ‘playing’. As Tatchell himself has pointed out recently, because of our unique process of ‘coming out’ we are able to offer an unmatched social/political analysis of the world around us – why dumb that down? The Proposition 8 calamity in California has shown an entire generation in the States that our current rights and acceptance could disappear in a stroke -we in the UK should take it as the warning that it is, and move on from our complacency.