05 Mar 2021

Hello MyPinkNews readers! How’re you doing? Yeah, I’m doing alright cheers, thanks for asking.

This is the first of what’s going to be a regular email from myself or a member of my team for subscribers to reflect on the week that was in LGBT+ news. But – seeing as we’re getting acquainted with one another – if there’s one thing you need to know about me, as editor of PinkNews, it’s that there’s rarely a week that goes by where I don’t find myself scratching my head and muttering: “What the f**k were they thinking?”

But there’s two particular stories this week that’ve pushed me to shouting obscenities at my computer screen, throwing my keyboard out the window and going for a sit down and a cup of tea. Well, near enough, anyway.

The first stars disgraced comedy writer Graham Linehan, who these days is best known for being permanently banned from Twitter for “hateful conduct” after a years-long ‘gender critical’ campaign and for joining queer women’s dating app Her for the sole purpose of publicly sharing trans people’s profiles. Sounds like completely normal behaviour, right? Well, this week it came to light that unelected Tory peer Lord Gilbert of Panteg had invited Linehan to the House of Lords to give evidence to the Communications and Digital Committee over the protection of “freedom of expression online”. Yes, I’m being completely serious.

The second involves our old friend Ben Bradley. You know, the Tory MP who bemoaned that the Equality Act 2010 didn’t go far enough to protect the rights of straight, white men; the Tory MP who questioned why there was no “minister for men” to ensure that “being straight is equally protected as being gay”; the Tory MP who refused to undergo unconscious bias training to help tackle sexism, racism and homophobia in politics, describing it as a “total waste of all our time”.

Sounds like a peach, right? Well, Benny boy proudly beamed this week after being appointed to the House of Commons’ Woman and Equalities Select Committee. He becomes the only straight man to join the 11-member group, so maybe he’ll have a chance to champion the rights of straight, white men after all – lord knows they’ve been silenced and left out in the cold for long enough.

I personally look forward to watching Ben Bradley call for an end to traumatising, torturous conversion therapy – a barbaric practice that has no place in society. It’s frankly criminal that we’re in 2021 and it’s yet to be enshrined into law that a person’s sexuality or gender identity cannot be cured. After all, 28 March will mark 1,000 days since the Tories first pledged to “eradicate” the abhorrent practice as part of 2018’s LGBT Action Plan. We’re waiting, prime minister.

Still, if there’s one ray of light left as we slowly claw our way out of a third and hopefully final lockdown, it’s RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, a true, unbridled celebration of the camp, the queer and everything in between. This week we said goodbye to the fashion queen A’Whora, but thankfully she had time to swing by PinkNews for an exclusive interview and to spill the tea on what really happened behind the scenes on the show. I recommend reading with an actual cup of tea while calming down from the rest of the nonsense this week has brought.

Until next time!

Ryan Butcher