At Christmas, most people will have to deal with family members who are less educated about LGBT issues.
Some of them are ignorant, while some of them are plain intolerant. Here’s a handy guide to arm yourselves with the facts, figures and arguments to hopefully silence any drunken rant over the turkey.
“You’ve got equality! What are you still fighting for?”
Same-sex marriage and ‘equality’ are not the same thing. LGBT people are still far more likely to be bullied, to be the victim of a hate crime, or to become homeless. HIV infections are on the rise again among men who have sex with men, healthcare provisions for transgender people are approaching crisis point, and in a lot of places new ‘religious freedom’ laws are threatening all our progress.
You might be able to marry in the US, but you can still be fired for being gay in 27 states. Four-fifths of Commonwealth countries criminalise gay sex. In many countries things are getting worse. Trust me, there’s still plenty to fight for.
“I don’t care what you do, but keep it out of primary schools. My five-year-old doesn’t need to hear about gay sex.”
45 percent of primary school teachers report their schools have had problems with homophobic bullying, and a third have heard pupils use terms like ‘poof’, ‘faggot’, ‘dyke’ and ‘queer’.
This can be especially traumatic to kids with LGBT parents or young LGBT kids – who are likely to feel isolated, are more likely to drop out later on, and are even more likely to try and take their own lives.
We can fight this by making kids aware from an early age that families come in all different shapes and sizes – which is also about making sure everyone feels included.
It isn’t about ‘sex lessons at five‘ like you might have read – it’s about age-appropriate education, like teaching younger kids about families and role models. Sex comes later.
“I’m still scared that some militant gay people will try and force my church to marry them.”
They literally can’t. There’s multiple redundancies built into same-sex marriage laws to stop this from happening. To be honest, though, why would any gay people want to spend the happiest day of their lives forcing someone to marry them?
“We didn’t have this whole thing in my day.”
To quote Saturday Night Live: “Yes, you did. They were there, but they couldn’t say anything, so they lived sad lives and died.”
“She wants to be called ‘Caitlyn’? I just don’t get why anyone would want to do that.”
You know what? If you’ve thought about it and don’t understand it, that’s okay.
But four in ten young transgender people attempt to take their own lives, and 271 transgender people were murdered this year for being trans.
Trans people across the world are beaten, thrown out of their homes, arrested, put in the wrong prisons, murdered, and neglected by their governments and the police.
You might not be able to ‘understand’ why someone would be transgender, but you can do a very small thing to help those people, by accepting and loving them, and calling them Caitlyn if they want to be called Caitlyn.
“I heard that they want to let MEN into the women’s bathrooms! How can that be okay?”
That’s not what’s happening.
People are trying to make sure transgender people aren’t attacked, shouted at, or even arrested just for trying to go to the toilet in peace, because those things happen pretty much every day. There hasn’t been a single reported case of trans people exploiting the bathroom to attack anyone… ever.
You might have seen scary ads – but rape is still a crime, assaulting someone is still a crime. Peeing in peace shouldn’t be a crime.
Think about it… would you want this transgender woman forced to use the men’s bathroom?
“Kim Davis didn’t even do anything wrong, she was jailed by the thought police for believing in traditional marriage.”
Kim Davis was an elected official who went out of her way to block same-sex couples from marrying, by preventing anyone in her county office from issuing licenses. It wasn’t about her ‘beliefs’.
She was actually jailed for contempt of court, because she defied multiple direct court orders from a judge. That isn’t ‘thought policing’ – it’s just what happens when you f**k with a court. Feel free to try screwing with a court, and we’ll see how it ends up for you.
“There’s never been a problem with homophobia in UKIP, it’s all invented by the media.”
“[Other random ignorance].”
If all else fails… just play Adele.