Boris Johnson claimed to have ‘LGBT+ people’s backs’ and it would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic
Boris Johnson stepped into a parallel universe yesterday as he highlighted his alleged support for *checks notes* LGBT+ equality.
The prime minister welcomed select members of the LGBT+ community whom he does not consider “tank-topped bum boys” to a champagne reception at Downing Street on Tuesday (29 June) to mark the end of Pride Month.
As a string quartet played in the background, Johnson celebrated “the extraordinary contribution of LGBT people to our country”, proudly extolling the principles of equality that his government has consistently undermined.
“I think that what we want for this country is for it to be a place where you can be what you want to be, and love whomsoever you want to love,” he began, a bold statement from someone who needs yet another public consultation to figure out whether they should ban conversion therapy.
Unfortunately it’s a vision recognised by no one from Johnson’s own LGBT Advisory Panel, who recently resigned en masse accusing the Conservatives of creating a “hostile environment” for LGBT+ people, in particular the trans community.
Continuing his fantasy, the prime minister harked back to his days as London mayor. “I have a very simple reason for thinking that’s the right thing, and it was born of long experience, really, from running one of the greatest cities in the world,” he said.
“If you want to have the most dynamic, thriving tech, scientific, academic, cultural, artistic sector in the world, if you want to attract the best and the brightest from around the world, then you should be progressive on these issues.”
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) June 30, 2021
Boris Johnson’s newfound discovery of the economic advantages that come from backing basic human rights will likely be news to anyone in his Home Office, who refuse LGBT-related asylum claims at a higher rate than the national average while subjecting queer people to derogatory stereotyping and a “culture of disbelief”.
It’ll also come as a shock to his Equalities Office, whose scrapping of long-promised reforms to the Gender Recognition Act have helped fuel a culture of transphobia so severe that one British trans woman was granted asylum in New Zealand.
None of that seemed to matter to Boris Johnson though, who really needs you to believe he loves the gays now. Honest.
“I want you to know that we’ve got your back here in this government, we’re determined to stick up for equalities,” he said. “We’re determined to stick up for LGBT people in any way we can” – except, of course, when your favourite authoritarian homophobe comes to visit.
Needless to say, the LGBT+ community were not impressed.
Why is Conversion abuse “therapy” still legal after saying it would be banned in 2018? Why did your pm call gay men “tank top wearing bum boy?” Why are most of your Mp’s & voters homophobic & transphobic?
No you definitely don’t get to celebrate with the LGBTQIA+ community. https://t.co/RHU6uROS5n
— AngieⓋ💚🌱🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️🏴 (@AngieBMTH_) June 30, 2021
Coming from a government that not just allowed Viktor Orbán to set foot on its soil, but positively welcomed him in, this rings rather hollow.
— Julie 🏳️🌈 Montoya 🕷️ 💙 (@JulieMontoya20) June 29, 2021
“If gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog.”
– Boris Johnson, June 2002.
— Was Once Loved (@WasOnceLoved) June 30, 2021
This you? pic.twitter.com/KdfjKNnMZ8
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) June 29, 2021
If you believe this, why have you never explicitly apologised for your derogatory remarks towards the LGBT community? Or do you still believe that gay marriage is akin to marrying a dog?
— Jack Bailey (@JackBailey2) June 30, 2021
Can you explain why funding was cut for LGBT Anti Bullying programmes? Or explain why the LGBT advisory panel was disbanded? Or explain why conversion therapy still hasn’t been banned? Or explain why consultation showing support for reforms to the GRA has been ignored?
— Michael Hudson (@Hudson117) June 29, 2021
Tories for 11 months of the year vs Tories during Pride Month. pic.twitter.com/pgeWQ831x4
— Andrew McGrae (@TGNProfessor) June 29, 2021