16 February 2017
The passing year has seen numerous groups' freedoms and rights under threat. And while we despair one awful bill passing after another, there's a dangerous potential to see these issues as seperate; and for some to see LGBTQIA+ persecution as seperate to that of other minorities. A recent comment on a Green Party facebook post about our "Citizens of the World" campaign stated, in short, that even though migrants are facing injustices, we should focus on social justice in the UK before helping those abroad.
This kind of thinking will only push us further apart from one another, and make the fight for equality a whole deal harder.
I'm reminded of a scene from the film "Pride", where the leader of "Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners" says,
"It’s a show of solidarity. Who hates the miners? Thatcher. Who else? The police, the public and the tabloid press. Sound familiar?"
It perfectly sums up how descrimination and hate are felt by so many of us from the establishment, and that we'll only fight it with true solidarity.
When we see homelessness and LGBTQIA+ issues as seperate, we're overlooking that a hugely disproportionate 24% amount of homeless youth are LGBTQIA+. When we seperate the fight for migrants rights from our own, we fail to acknowledge that the violence reusulting from the increased pressure and desperation in migrant camps will affect transgender and gender non-conforming refugees the hardest. When we refuse to bring unnacompanied children into this country and give them an education, we deprive them of sex and relationship education, and increase the already horrifically high chances of LGBTQIA+ child suicide.
Millions of people are uniting, however, to fight for our equalities side by side and create a fairer society for all. The LGSM campaign - Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants - is enabling thousands of queer people to use queer solidarity as a tool to tackle the anti-migrant right wing narratives; seeing the struggles we face as part of the same problem.
This history month, its our duty as members of this party and community to learn the most important lesson we can from history - that we are only strong as we are united, and that we will never truly be free when others are persecuted.
by Alice Kiff