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People outraged over an LGBT ‘rainbow’ poppy were expertly schooled and it’s amazing

Josh Milton November 5, 2019
An eBay seller listed a rainbow poppy and has received "vile and rude message" as a result. (Twitter)

An eBay seller listed a rainbow poppy and has received "vile and rude message" as a result. (Twitter)

A rainbow poppy on eBay has ignited outrage on Twitter, but LGBT+ people are defending the design and have history books to hand.

The traditional red poppy – which is sold by the Royal British Legion to commemorate the lives lost in war – was splashed with the colours of the rainbow.

Some have expressed fury at the redesign, which comes along a bouquet of other poppy types, such as purple for fallen animals in the war and a black poppy for people of colour.

The crux of the criticism comes from an eBay listing of a ‘rainbow glittery poppy style badge’.

It is not an ‘official’ poppy, but follows a similar redesign last year which commemorated queer fallen soldiers, such as those unable to come out during the war.

Rainbow poppy seller pleads: ‘Please stop the vile and rude messages.’

On the product description page, the seller pleaded: “Please stop the vile and rude messages that you are sending me.

“I don’t mean to offend anyone,” before clarifying that the proceeds of the poppy go to “charity”.

“[I don’t care] if I get hate for this,” Courtney wrote on Twitter, paired with a screenshot of the badge.

“I’m actually embarrassed to be apart of the LGBTQ+ society when things like this are happening.

“It’s going way too far there doesn’t need to be a gay version of everything. A poppy is not straight or gay, a poppy is for remembrance.”

She emphasised that she herself is queer, and described how: “There are so many movements at the moment where [the community] want to be treated like ‘normal people’ (which they are) so why do we need a separate poppy when the red [symbolises] everyone.”

Pride poppy critics say: ‘Stop making everything about sexuality.’

Abigail agreed, similarly stating: “Hate me, but LGBTQ+ [people] have a whole month dedicated them, for once in your f***ing lives think about other people and stop making everything about sexuality.

“Let the people who fought for their country have that one day to themselves, do not even try to make it about sexuality.”

Cassie and Caith had a similar stance, emphasising how LGBT+ folk have a “whole month”:

Wait, LGBT+ people have a ‘whole month’?

The month referenced by critics could be Pride Month, or may refer to LGBT+ History Month, commonly celebrated in schools around the country in February.

Classes might range from Alan Turing, a gay codebreaker who cracked the German enigma codes who is widely believed to have helped end the Second World War earlier than expected, saving millions of lives.

He was later chemically castrated after being convicted of ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 for having sex with a man.

Other history lessons might include how queer people were banned from openly serving in the UK armed forces up until 2000.

Or people might learn of poets and soldiers Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. The two documented the torment of both the battle itself and sustaining outlawed love in the trenches of the First World War.

‘Abigail, your straight privilege is showing’: Users give LGBT+ history masterclass

Multiple users swiftly schooled Abigail: “You sound homophobic and you’re inducing in poppy police activity,” wrote Marcus.

“I wonder if she thinks everyone who has ever fought in the war was straight?” wondered Erwotin.

Some users, such as Alexander, stressed that the rainbow poppy is simply an eBay listing and not “an official gays trying to take over Remembrance Day”.

Nevertheless, the discussion prompted by people’s attempts to cut the poppy down, in effect, emphasised the need for the poppy itself.

For example, Heidi highlighted: “Wow a whole month – incredible. I’m sorry straight people get the entire year?”

“Abigail, your straight privilege is showing,” said Emilia.

However, some brought attention to how the red poppy reflects and shows reverence for all of those who died during the wars: “A soldier is a soldier regardless of sexuality,” said Megan.

While others questioned exactly what “charity” the rainbow poppy donates to, and whether it does, in any way, aid the British Legion, where sales of the red poppy aids veterans.

 

More: lgbt history month, poppy, Remembrance Day, UK

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