The world is fractured. I think we all know this, but it was brought home jarringly on Twitter this week as news broke of the bombing in Manchester. More specifically as I saw right wing Americans pounce with delight, too overjoyed at having all their prejudices confirmed to bother hiding their ghoulish glee. Continue reading →
If my timeline is like anyone else’s, right now it’s a hot mess of breaking news, political opinion, denial, and a few people desperately posting cat pictures in a bid to save their sanity. (Seriously, if you’re on Twitter get following Cute Emergency, Everything Goats, Baby Animal Pics, and even Paint Mixtures—you’ll thank me when they appear in your timeline.) Continue reading →
I’ve started posts about the new political regime a dozen times and stopped. Partly because I didn’t have much to say others haven’t said far more eloquently already, partly because once I get going I’ll just rant until I can’t stop. Partly because I’m afraid.
The day after the inauguration, America saw its single largest political demonstration since the civil war. Millions of women across all seven continents went out and they marched. It was an incredibly moving, powerful, and unifying sight. Continue reading →
Back in November, a couple of days after the election, I was asked to take part in a spotlight series on Wrote Podcast about American politics under a Trump regime. I happily agreed (parts one and two are online now) and it’s going to be a monthly thing we do for the foreseeable future. Remember the Weasley’s Potterwatch pirate radio station? It’s like that but with angry queers. Continue reading →
No, I’m not being dramatic. The Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage in June 2015, but as early as April 2015, assuming that result, over 100 different pieces of anti-LGBT legislation had been introduced in 29 state legislatures [x]. Since SSM became law, that slew of bills became a flood, and many of them are being passed into law. Continue reading →
Last week, a much abused and beleaguered equal rights ordinance failed to win public support in Houston. There’s plenty of background to HERO here, explaining how it seeks to protect LGBT individuals in a state which offers them no legal rights of employment, medical treatment, or housing. Without such protection, your landlord can evict you for being gay; your boss can fire you; you can’t use the appropriate restrooms if the wrong box is ticked on your birth certificate. Continue reading →
Yesterday was a bad day for you, wasn’t it? Heh.
I spoke to many people yesterday, more than one dismayed at the Supreme Court ruling. And I did what I always do when confronted with people like you, I tried to engage in a calm debate, and dispelled some of the more outlandish myths you’ve been sold. No, you’re not going to lose your house in a lawsuit if you play piano in church ever again. No, your priest won’t have to resign. No, a thunderbolt from heaven is not going to wipe out the United States.
And every time I end those conversations, here on my blog, on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere else, generally I’m thanked for remaining reasonable, for respecting your religion or opinion, and for allowing you to say to my face that you think I’m a lesser human being than you are.
And every time, I feel a little bit dirtier. A little bit more disgusted with myself for indulging you.
Because it’s about time I fulfilled my destiny.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love books. I was the child reading by torchlight under the covers when I was supposed to be asleep, I was the kid who took a personal library on camping trips and car journeys. I did two degrees in literature and listen to audiobooks in the car. I have been known to sit outside my destination with the engine running for many many minutes, until my friends send out search parties to find me, because “I’m just finishing this chapter.” I’m also a history geek, a data-sponge. I have the sort of mind which remembers that the fastest human ever recorded lived in Australia 17,000 years ago and could sprint through wet mud quicker than Usain Bolt can run the 100m, but can’t remember whether or not I turned the oven off.
If I could only read one type of book ever again, it would either be historical or non-fiction. Whether we’re talking Bronte and Renault, or Ellmann and Wildeblood, I don’t care. I’m as happy reading Wuthering Heights as I am Richard Ellmann’s lyrical biography of Oscar Wilde. One of my all-time favourite books is Peter Wildeblood’s Against the Law. Wildeblood is a name largely lost today, although if I ruled the world, there would be statues of him in every town square. He was the first man in modern history to stand up and state before a court and before the press that he was gay (actually, he used the word “invert”). This was in 1954, and it cost him eighteen months of his life.
My patience is wearing thin. I am done with the “reasonable” debate about the rights I “deserve,” if falling in love somehow makes me “less” than other people, if I’m safe to be around children. I’m done debating if my landlord has the right to evict me, if my boss has the right to fire me, if I have the right to be upset about people debating my rights. Continue reading →