I’ve taken a break from social media and my phone this evening. I’m finding everything that’s happening in the world right now so overwhelming and I need some disconnection and a little time to collect my thoughts.
I’ve been a victim of homophobic abuse.
I was set upon by a gang of guys whilst walking home one evening. It all happened so quickly but I remember the car they were in screeching to a stop and they ran towards me.
They threw me into the road and then back on to the pavement. They punched me. They kicked me. They spat on me. They called me a fucking faggot. They laughed. They didn’t care.
That was 13 years ago and at the time I felt like it was one of those things that happened to gay people. I even blamed myself for what I might have looked like that evening and resigned myself to almost accepting it.
It wasn’t my fault. How could it be?
Seeing and reading about the utterly heartbreaking homophobic attack in Orlando just broke me, seeing the mother of one of the victims on a news report earlier was one of the most gut-wrenching things I’ve watched. The pain that all of the families and friends of the victims must be unbearable.
I’m upset. I’m angry. I’m NOT SCARED.
When gay people say “We don’t need Gay Pride”, call the gay community “freaks” or try to bracket Gay Pride as “forcing negative stereotypes” – I just want to say that it’s highly likely you’ve never been to a Pride event because you’ve got so much internalised homophobia and are totally blinkered and unaware of what these marches mean to millions of people all around the world.
Some people march in remembrance of those they have lost due to homophobic attacks or A.I.D.S.
Some march because they live in areas or houses that don’t allow them to be who they are, or treat them like second class citizens because of who they love.
Some march because they can, they don’t have to sit inside and wish for acceptance, they go out there and they grab it and walk for every LGBT+ person who suffers and has suffered from the evil homophobia that pollutes the planet.
Some people march as a way to increase their friendship circle, having solidarity especially when homophobia shows its ugliest form is so important.
Pride may not represent you, but if it wasn’t for pride marches then we might all be hiding in theoretical closets until our dying day, and that’s no way to live a life.
Gay people shouldn’t have to live in fear of love, love is a beautiful thing and wrapping love in fear is soul-destroying.
Until all gay people can walk hand in hand without people staring and commenting about how “disgusting” we are, then we have a long way to go.
Time to sleep.
“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”