Text Reads: The Esperanza Blog

Pride Month: The Targets Of Hate In An Unstable Climate

In times of hardship, hate easily breeds. Often, preachers of hate, whether that be groups or political leaders, will use hardship as a tool to find a route to blame minority groups. Turned into attention grabbing, doom insinuating headlines, means rumours and lies are easily manipulated and spread.

What’s in it for those hate groups and leaders? Well, that depends. Sometimes, distraction. If a minority group is the target of their latest campaign, we the people are so distracted by our vitriol that the mission of the group or leader is missed or ignored. Sometimes, its power gain. If they can convince you that a certain group is responsible for x, y and z, and the only way to tackle this is to elect them, their popularity will rise. And alongside power gain, political gain.

We currently sit in a very confusing time: In some ways we’ve seen some huge strides for equality and human rights. In other ways the pressures of a global pandemic and climate emergency have made for a challenging and frankly upsetting present, with an even bleaker future ahead: Big business, big politics and big egos refuse to accept that constant financial growth is not possible. It takes just a quick google search to find the rate in which food bank referrals are growing is equal to the rate of billionaire numbers.

But what does all this have to do with allyship and pride month? When the world is in such a fragile state, hate groups and leaders will grip at anything to find those targets of blame – and to protect the image that only they can save the day, thus ensuring their wealth and power stay intact. The problem being, they know how to do this so efficiently that they are even able to convince the targets of their campaigns that they are safer when supporting them.

An image of the Pride Progress Flag hanging from a building

Image: https://unsplash.com/@justjackphoto

An image of the Pride Progress Flag hanging from a building

Image: https://unsplash.com/@justjackphoto

We currently sit in a very confusing time: In some ways we’ve seen some huge strides for equality and human rights. In other ways the pressures of a global pandemic and climate emergency have made for a challenging and frankly upsetting present, with an even bleaker future ahead: Big business, big politics and big egos refuse to accept that constant financial growth is not possible. It takes just a quick google search to find the rate in which food bank referrals are growing is equal to the rate of billionaire numbers.

But what does all this have to do with allyship and pride month? When the world is in such a fragile state, hate groups and leaders will grip at anything to find those targets of blame – and to protect the image that only they can save the day, thus ensuring their wealth and power stay intact. The problem being, they know how to do this so efficiently that they are even able to convince the targets of their campaigns that they are safer when supporting them.

One (and this is only one of many, including black and Asian people) such target of many such campaigns right now? Transgender and Non-Binary people.

Even within the LBGTQ+ community there is still a huge undercurrent of racism and transphobia. When you look at TV series RuPaul’s Drag Race, it has taken until Season 13 for the show to feature a Trans man. it’s easy to write this off as the fault of the producers and TV bosses however, within the Drag Race fandom, online in the Facebook groups and on Instagram comments you can see quite clearly the evidence of self-hate within the community.

The LGBTQ+ community whilst being the target of hate, has also been targeted to attack itself from the inside. LGB people are turning on Trans people and Trans rights in an effort to protect their own rights, believing that Trans people are a danger to their identity. An ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality which is very concerning.

A hand holding a mini whiteboard, the text on it reads "hello my pronouns are 'space' / 'space'. The writing is in rainbow colour.

Image: https://unsplash.com/@sharonmccutcheon

Unfortunately, it’s being too often conveyed that Trans people are a new trend, flag wavers for the snowflake generation (by the way if being a snowflake means I support basic human rights, then sign me up!) and must be stopped before they come for our children (to do what with, we are not sure). Trans and Non-Binary people have always existed. They have always been at the forefront of fighting for LGBTQ+ rights and are a vital part of our community. They are currently facing reversals in their rights as well as inefficient healthcare and treatment, whilst we swallow endless news stories about people pretending to be Trans in an effort to abuse people. Because of this, we are denying a group of people their rights on the basis that people, who are not those people, are abusing people.  We are also spending our time not talking about actual Trans people – the actual people we are denying the rights of.

A hand holding a mini whiteboard, the text on it reads "hello my pronouns are 'space' / 'space'. The writing is in rainbow colour.

Image: https://unsplash.com/@sharonmccutcheon

What is sad, is that LGB people are genuinely falling for this too. The false impression is making people in our community scared for their rights, thus doing the job of hate groups for them, backing up the power of those who’d like to see no rights for all LGBTQ+ people. What is sadder, is this is happening throughout our country and world in a way which is very reminiscent of other periods of history. Whilst we are distracted fighting within, we are not facing the wider threat.

What is sad, is that LGB people are genuinely falling for this too. The false impression is making people in our community scared for their rights, thus doing the job of hate groups for them, backing up the power of those who’d like to see no rights for all LGBTQ+ people. What is sadder, is this is happening throughout our country and world in a way which is very reminiscent of other periods of history. Whilst we are distracted fighting within, we are not facing the wider threat.

Gender and sexuality is a beautiful and varied spectrum. (Note, since writing this post I learned from @thejeffreymarsh about spectrums usually still referring to the binary as the ends, which of course is inaccurate. Similarly to a commentator, I’d picture it as more like a colour wheel and think this is more accurate; circular and moving). Some people feel they are definitively male or female and some don’t. Trans people may or may not feel they are definitively male or female in the same way a cisgender person might or might not. Others, who might identify as Non-Binary, feel they fit somewhere in between or outside of. It is important to talk about gender in the same space as sexuality because both can cross over, morph and change over time.

It is more important than ever to use our own voice and privilege to address disparity and hate in our society. We know who will be on the wrong side of history, and without action, we will be too. It is vital to urge those companies using this month to sell items with rainbows on to act, and to complain, report and shame those who keep preaching their agendas of hate. The year is 2021, and we are still having the same conversations. We must keep Pride moving.

Continuing to do nothing isn’t an option, so what can you do?

  • Normalise pronoun choice by sharing yours in places like your social media bio.
  • Talk about Trans rights, be an ally.
  • Correct people who say offensive and incorrect things.
  • Educate yourself: Taking time to understand LGBTQ+ rights and what is happening in terms of progression means you are better armed to understand and decode the news you are hearing.

Continuing to do nothing isn’t an option, so what can you do?

  • Normalise pronoun choice by sharing yours in places like your social media bio.
  • Talk about Trans rights, be an ally.
  • Correct people who say offensive and incorrect things.
  • Educate yourself: Taking time to understand LGBTQ+ rights and what is happening in terms of progression means you are better armed to understand and decode the news you are hearing.

The Peter Tatchell Foundation

Fighting for human rights in the UK and across the world, they do some fantastic work, and share human rights and equality news and updates.

 

The Human Dignity Trust

The Human Dignity Trust use the law to to defend LGBTQ+ rights globally. They provide a helpful map demonstrating laws across the globe which breaks down specific legislations.

 

Stonewall

Stonewall stand for the rights of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. They campaign globally and have been a part of many changes in legislation. A great place to start with LGBQ+ educational resources.

They Work For You

They work for you is a tool in which you can input your postcode and find out how your local MP has voted. This means you can see clearly their views on the issues which matter to you.

  • Donate to and support LGBTQ+ charities and organisations:
Meet The Author: Abi Arnold-Michael She/Her

Meet The Author: Abi Arnold-Michael She/Her

Co Creator Of Esperanza

Abi Arnold-Michael is the joint creator of Esperanza.

Having grown up with a series of health problems, Abi has always created her own way. After renovating her first home, Abi who lives with her wife Emma, best friend Andy, and dog Tia, plans to move into a home large enough to adopt and foster children and animals. Abi currently creates flatlays for small businesses and her goal is to establish a more sustainable and ethical shopping experience by encouraging customers to shop locally and with independent businesses.

  • Sign relevant petitions:
Meet The Author: Abi Arnold-Michael She/Her

Meet The Author: Abi Arnold-Michael She/Her

Co Creator Of Esperanza

Abi Arnold-Michael is the joint creator of Esperanza.

Having grown up with a series of health problems, Abi has always created her own way. After renovating her first home, Abi who lives with her wife Emma, best friend Andy, and dog Tia, plans to move into a home large enough to adopt and foster children and animals. Abi currently creates flatlays for small businesses and her goal is to establish a more sustainable and ethical shopping experience by encouraging customers to shop locally and with independent businesses.

Let Us Reintroduce Ourselves: Welcome To Esperanza!

Let Us Reintroduce Ourselves: Welcome To Esperanza!

Let Us Reintroduce Ourselves: Welcome To Esperanza! If you are not new here, you’ll notice our shiny new website as well as a few other changes. For those who are new, welcome. We are Emma and Abi creators of Esperanza. Let Us Reintroduce Ourselves: Welcome To The New...