Gay Love Matters.
Posted on 13 June 2016
I am a girl that has a boyfriend. I wake up next to him every morning and fall asleep next to him every night. When we go out I hold his hand, I kiss him, I dance with him, I touch his hair and put my head on his shoulder and it isn't a problem that it's obvious to the people around us we're in love. That is a privilege. Because if I was a girl that had a girlfriend I would not have the confidence to assume that displaying affection for the person love wouldn't lead to verbal or physical attacks from those that would see me dead because of who and how I love.
Fifty people in that position were killed yesterday in "Pulse" a gay nightclub in Orlando, fifty people gunned down so they can't dance with anyone or hold anyone or kiss anyone ever again because their love was an affront. It is a disgusting cop out to lay this attack on the door of Islam when the root of it is the collective failure of a wider society to reject homophobia and I don't want to hear "I don't mind people being gay as long as it isn't shoved down my throat" the LGBT community isn't safe behind closed doors in their own clubs or even in their own homes and yesterday proved that.
This attack is on the shoulders of people that cringe at two boys kissing and can't stomach the thought of two girls holding hands, as long as a whole faction of love and sex is seen as a perversion to be hidden and disguised LGBT people aren't safe. There is no equality until every girl with a girlfriend and boy with a boyfriend has the same privileges and the same freedom to openly love without fear that I enjoy every single day.
I speak as a girl that has a boyfriend, I am distanced and ignorant in part to the deep hurt felt by the LGBT community and in this time of pain and fear it is important that those outside of LGBT recognise that privilege, I felt nothing but shame to see Owen Jones forced to storm out of his Sky News interview after there was a clear attempt to deflect the issue of rampant homophobia and paint the attack as one against "all people wanting to have a good time" this was an attack against the LGBT community only, they were slain in one of the rare places they felt they could live and love freely and safely. Yes we're all horrified, but the pain outside of the LGBT community is a passive and distanced pain. I was not victimised by this attack, it is not me feeling scared to step out today holding my partners hand. I have grown watching LGBT friends struggle in ways I could not comprehend to find somewhere they felt free from judgement and condemnation. While I would be happy to dance with people I fancied to hold the hand of the people I dated I'd wonder why LGBT friends held back, were more cautious when they had the same depth of feeling and same passion and desire that I had. It was fear that kept them back from loving as freely as they would have liked.
I would like to apologise now to the LGBT community for this atrocity, you have been failed by every straight person who would stand in favour of equal marriage but stand by when colleagues say "I don't mind gay people but why do they have to be so in your face?" you have been failed by straight women that love the idea of having a "gay best friend" but can't bother themselves to speak up for your human rights, you have been failed by friends that stood by while arrogant men told you you were only a lesbian because you "haven't had the right d*** yet" and I am so so sorry. You deserve so much better from your allies and there is no room to be tolerant or passive towards any instance of homophobia, this hate crime is the culmination of persisting violence and abuse against the LGBT community which is the product of micro-aggressions LGBT people encounter every single day, a culture of "I'm not homophobic but-".
Demanding and enforcing an environment where our LGBT friends can hold hands, dance, kiss and love and it be a non-issue for them and those around them is paramount, elevate the voices of LGBT people speaking out against their oppression, challenge those around you that turn their nose up at love in any of its forms, call out those that would seek to strip transgender people of their identity, it is our job as friends, family and coworkers to demand an equal and accepting platform for all. To conclude I would like to direct you to some valuable insights from members of the LGBT community who are far more qualified and able than me to wade into this tragic attack on their community; here and here. #LoveisLove
What are your thoughts about love being love and the series of recent events? Let us know below and let's spread the love within our Neon Moon community. We are sending love to all our LGBTQ supporters, family and friends.
Natasha is a feminist artist whose work explores the body, love, womanhood and the concept of identity. She is an avid campaigner for body positivity after recently recovering from an eating disorder and a proud Neon Moon girl.