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As an LGBTQIA+ person, I’m not looking forward to Pride Month. This is why.
Pride Queer Gaze Transgender

As an LGBTQIA+ person, I’m not looking forward to Pride Month. This is why.

Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir
QueerAF, Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir

As a queer person, I’m not really looking forward to Pride Month.

Not just because there’s endless pressure to speak at events (and I’m a massive hermit), but because being a queer person in the UK right now is exhausting.

There is something tone-ignorant about corporations making empty promises of allyship at this time of year, while trans people’s rights and safety in society are under constant and relentless attack.

At least 19 states in the US have banned gender affirming healthcare for young people and adults, and I fear it might only get worse.

Meanwhile, the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission flirts with the idea of removing hard won rights for trans people – to make a form of transgender discrimination legal. Their plans could force us to use spaces based on our sex assigned at birth.

I cannot even explain how ridiculous and unenforceable this idea is – unless they plan on having toilet guards performing rapid chromosome testing to make sure you’re in the ‘right’ place.

It will make things worse for everyone, especially women, who these rules purport to protect. All they really do is put even more societal emphasis on gender stereotypes.

In fact, the UK has done so badly in terms of LGBTQIA+ equality this year that they’ve gone from one of the top coveted spots on the ILGA Europe Rainbow Map to 17th place. The UK is an embarrassment and has wholly and utterly failed queer people.

Politicians making our lives a game of political football is having devastating consequences, with homophobic hate crimes on the rise (they’ve literally doubled in the last six years). Transphobic hate crimes have tripled. In total, there were over 30,000 reported by the most recent figures, and that’s just the ones that are recorded – many aren’t.

These words, these headlines, this rhetoric is not only affecting our well-being but our safety in society.

So for this Pride Month – and for the next years and decades if needed – I want people to say enough is enough, before it’s too late.

I want us to think about what our younger generations need. A world where they are accepted as who they are. Not one where they are excluded, vilified, and pushed to the margins of society.  

Instead of their lives revolving around unpicking and demolishing anti-trans bills and legal restrictions passed by bigoted politicians, young people should grow up in a world where they can focus on being able to live their lives as themselves. Fully and absolutely. Without exception.

This Pride Month, I want us to talk about the world that young people deserve.

Let’s speak up and make sure politicians and bigots don’t create a world that makes it harder for the next generation to grow up safely and true to themselves.

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