#TransResistance

There’s been a worrying trend throughout March of transphobia seeping into the weekend papers. It started with broadcaster Jenni Murray’s piece in The Sunday Times saying trans women are not ‘real women’, with authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Fay Weldon and Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman also sharing views that sound less than inclusive. Perpetuating the idea that anyone knows what makes a ‘real woman’ (or a real man, or a real anything) is dangerous rhetoric that keeps trans discrimination going. This year’s TDoV, Trans Day of Visibility (31st March) was spot on with its theme of #TransResistance, especially a day after North Carolina’s ‘bathroom bill’ was repealed in a still-transphobic compromise.

 

Exclusively Gay Missed-Moments?

The press went into hype overload around Beauty and the Beast after its director Bill Condon told Attitude that the live remake features Disney’s first big-screen ‘exclusively gay moment’ as Le Fou happens to dance with a man for three seconds. Soon after, Power Rangers came out with an equally brief moment, suggesting one of the gang might or might not be in a same-sex relationship. It’s hard in the UK to see these ambiguous screen seconds as genuine progress following Moonlight’s pioneering Best Picture win at the Oscars and a first lesbian companion for Doctor Who. The progress instead seems to have come from the hype. Malaysia’s film censors initially banned the film because of the hype surrounding it. They backed down. In one country that bans homosexuality, two men are dancing in the cinema.

 

Research round-up

  • An American survey shows 1 in 5 millennials are LGBTQ, which is three times higher than a similar poll released just in January. Unfortunately, the next National Census in 2020 won’t (or rather, will) set the statistics straight. Considerations to ask about sexual orientation have been dropped.
  • Does your sexuality stop you getting the job, or just your voice? A small research experiment showed that those with ‘gay or lesbian sounding voices’ were wrongly considered to be poorer candidates. Glee and Feud creator Ryan Murphy already spoke earlier in the month about his experience of being mocked for a ‘gay voice’ in Hollywood. Another piece of research suggested female employers prefer gay candidates. Remember, not getting a job in the UK because of your actual or perceived sexual orientation is illegal discrimination (with some very limited, infuriating exceptions). And ‘gay-sounding voices’ aren’t real.

Your new favourite magazine might be a tie. HISKIND launched in print, Diva celebrated 250 issues by launching DIVA Awards and Grindr announced their a travel-focused magazine Into.

Your new favourite football team is also a tie. Manchester United became the first football club to partner with Stonewall, with neighbouring team Bolton Wanderers tweeting their support. Reports of chanting at a recent Chelsea v Man U match are a reminder of the homophobic reality that teams are working to change. Wonderkid, a short film about a gay pro footballer has been aired by Sky Sports and is free to watch online.

Happy Birthday to GMFA. Founded in 1992 as Gay Men’s Fighting Aids, the charity reaches over 1.5 million on its websites discussing safer sex, relationships, mental health, HIV stigma and racism. There’s only one thing on their birthday list and we can all chip in to it: a £25,000 fundraising appeal

Raise a glass and raise your flag for Gilbert Baker. The creator of the ubiquitous rainbow flag died on Thursday 30th March, leaving a legacy of symbolism that is impossible to fully comprehend and fascinating to read about.

Follow me on Twitter @JoeyKnock for more #LGBTQProgress news throughout the week.