Why is it important to Remember LGBT History?

Remembering LGBT history is essential not just for LGBT people who identify with LGBT role models but also for straight people who can learn to be sensitive and understand what LGBT people have been through to be accepted not only by society and by their families but to also reach a level of self acceptance for themselves.

The history of homosexuality has shaped not only European history but world history as homosexuality is also present in many art forms and cultures.

Homosexulity has often been seen as negative and immoral. But attitudes towards Homosexuality and LGBT people have changed over time due to Gay rights campaigning (Stonewall 1967 riots) and to indviduals and society gradually understanding Homosexuaity as something which is not a disorder or immoral but a sexual orientation which is part of someone’s identity of who they are as an individual.

During the 1970s gay rights campaingers such as Peter Tachel and Harvey Milk have challenged homophobia and have fought for the equality of LGBT people. If it wasn’t for these LGBT campaingers then progress and the fight for LGBT people wouldn’t have been heard. This is why it is important to remember LGBT campaigns throughout history.

It has been fifty years since the decimalisation of homosexuality in the UK however, there is still a lot of campainging which needs to be done to end LGBT discrimination in Europe and around the world.

For example, the Home Office has released a report on the surge in hate crime committed against LGBT people by 33%. (Pink News) Gay conversion therapy used to be available on the NHS but recently Stonewall has campaigned to have that banned.

Although homosexuality was decriminalized in Britian 50 years ago homophobic attacks still happen in the UK nd around the world.

It is also illegal to be gay in seventy-three countries for example, places like Iran, Russia, Uganda, and Saudi Arabia make homosexulaity a serious offence and offer the death penalty as well as imprisment for those engaing in homosexual acts.

For example, Roger Ross Williams documentary God Loves Uganda emphasise how evangelicals coming to Uganda are exporting homophobia. In one part of the documentary you see hidden footage of Scott Lively an evangelical pastor using hateful rhetoric against homosexuals.

His leadership and views were widely admired and he helped draft the Anti-gay bill in parliament.

In Iran Amnesty International reported that two adolescent boys were due to be executed for engaging in homosexaual acts in 2016 the Iran regime frequently executes anyone found quilty engaging in homosexual acts.

Russia on the other hand does not offer the death penalty for LGBT citizens but relies solely on religious values held by the Orthodox Church which believe pedophilia and homosexuality go hand in hand.

These religious views held by the Church are also used as a political campaign in parliament as a propaganda tool to ban LGBT people from being protected under law and it also bands LGBT people from adopting children.

This has led to political figures like Putin to condemn homosexuality and to encourage intolerance and prejudice towards LGBT people in Russia.

Although Theresa May is planning on banning conversion therapy in the UK wer are not sure how effective this ban will be. Some extreme religious groups in the UK such as (Christian Concern) founded by Andrea Williams and The Core Issues Trust want to promote conversion thearpy to change a person’s sexual orientation.

Conversion thearpy is still prominent in some parts of America but is banned in some parts by the bill placed into law by president Obama.

It is also a practice which has been gowing on in Australia by Evangelical religious groups such as Living Waters which is an ex gay ministry which believes homosexuality is a sin and that it can change an individuals sexuality through prayer and fasting.

For example the documentary (The Cure 2012) highlights how ex gay therapy had a wide impact on the mental health of LGBT Christians being sent to missionaries such as Living Waters.

Although ex gay ministries like Exodus International shut down in America its ex gay ministires continued in North America and across the globe. For escample, the documentary The Cure for Love is about evangelical gays getting married to cure them of their homosexuality.

Although this remains the case within some evangelical groups there are also LGBT Christians who are campaigining within the Church to put an end to LGBT discrimination.

Such as, the Theologian Vicky Beeching who is an LGBT campaginer who went to peform in the Bible belt who came out as gay after being diagnosed with autoimmune disease and Matthuew Vines who is the author of ‘God and the Gay Christian.’

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Broken Monsters Book Commentary

Lauren Beukes novel Broken Monsters is one of the most grotesque novels I have read this year. In an interview with John Purcell the author discussed how Stephen King had categorised her novel as being part of a horror genre. Lauren Beukes went on to say that as an author she does not like being categroised one way or the other as she believes that her fiction crossess all genres.

One of the main elements of the novel which intrigues me the most is that she chooses it to be set in Detriot. This area of Detriot is famously known by the media as being a desolate area where the American dream has failed. On the other hand, it is also a place where thousands of Americans live who have dreams and aspirations.

While reading her novel I became fasicnated by her use of morbid imagery she uses to describe the corpses. Death is a constant themse throughout her novel and I am made aware of this by the constant theme of crows along with a hybird mixture of animals composed with a human’s body appearing in her novel.

As well as individual chracters trying to deal with the situations they face while growing up in a city which is broken by violence, poverty, and despair. The novel is also about a story of survivial and if you are strong the you can defeat the evil which lurks beneath the surface. The novel not only address the different stories the characters live but points out that Detroit is not only a place where violence is an issue but is also a place which may transform due to change and willingness of individuals.

Unlike certian horror or psychological thriller authors she does not glorify the violence the victims face but enables us to sympathise with why indviduals can become monsters and why victims suffer the way they do. She indicates how monsters suffer from their demons who chose to live their metaphorical dreams and to emphasise with the victims they are harming.

Each indvidual character has a story. This includes a detective, Gabi Versado, who is suprised and horrified by seeing half animals and half humans corpses turning up, her daughter Lylia, who gets in trouble with socia media while trying to catch paedophiles, a homeless man, with children trying to survive and Clinton Bloom an artist who transforms into a psychopathic murderer.

African Lives Matter

Refugees Trapped In Libya What Can We Do?

 

I have recently been reading up on different human rights issues documented by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch UK.

One of the issues that really horrified me was the way African refugees and migrants were being tortured and ill treated from trying to cross over to Europe to escape persecution in their own countries. It has been announced by CNN and Amnesty International that the EU has provided the Libyan authorities with speed boats and funded their detention centers to prevent them from coming to Europe.

Amnesty initially reported that the EU has been complicit in these crimes while it continues to fund and collaborate with Libyan dictators.

After reading reports by human rights organisation and looking at youtube videos to discover shocking footage of Africans being sold by Libyan millitas I decided to join a political movement called African Lives Matter who were holding a protest on December 18 th in 2017.

I decided to go to the protest held by African Lives matter and met with other protestors at West Downing street to demonstrate against the EU being complicit in crimes against hummanity.

I felt that some progress had been made by going to this protest as the activists and me were supported by an MP called Paul Scully who  met with us and discussed with us that he was going  to debate the petition calling on the government to put pressure on the Libyan authorties to stop the enslavement of  black Africans in Libya.

After protesting against the enslavement of black africans in Libya I decided that I wanted to do more to help these African refugees and migrants who are being detained in Libya.

So I decided to go to a panel discussion held by SOAS university on how the public and individuals can become more involved in helping African refugees and migrants trapped in Libya’s detention centres.

The panel discussion was led by five speakers giving presentations on the terrible suffering these African refugees faced by trying to come to Europe and how Europe has become a moral failure for allowing these crimes of humanity to continue.

At the end of the lecture we led a panel discussion on how social activism and the media play a crucial role in not letting those who are accountable off by making sure they stand trial in an international criminal court.

Home

Home is a place of rest,

A place of grief, where memories are laid to

rest.

The piano is a coffin, sucking me in,

House parties are gone, I am alone after

midnight.

The conservatory has an eerie sense to it.

A place full of cobwebs, an area of uncertainty

to me.

Episodes of sadness

Thoughts run through my mind, I sometimes

feel guilty as if everything is my fault,

It drives me insane, I feel like my life is a game,

It feels like my life is like the two movies,

Uturn and Groundhog Day,

Flashbacks from the past,

Still haunt me till this day,

I’m living in the present not the past, though

So I must do my best to escape these thoughts

And experiences I’ve had as you only live once

And die once.