Homophobic Abuse, Bullying

TRIGGER WARNING Hey all! I hope you’re all pumped for the summer and that you’ve had a wonderful Pride month in June! Not only that, but the exams are over – time to chill, you’ve earned it. If you’ve got any Pride stories, please feel free to shoot myself or Leanne an email! As always,… Read more »

by JoshuaHodgkin 1 year ago

TRIGGER WARNING

Hey all! I hope you’re all pumped for the summer and that you’ve had a wonderful Pride month in June! Not only that, but the exams are over – time to chill, you’ve earned it. If you’ve got any Pride stories, please feel free to shoot myself or Leanne an email! As always, too, if you’ve got any frustratingly ignorant questions you regularly get asked and you wish to help break the stigma, just pop them in an email to joshua@student-life.co

This is kind of a point of reflection, but when was the last time you felt uncomfortable with your sexuality to the point where it prevented you from doing something? A few months ago, my university’s Student’s Union was looking for nominees to become the new LGBT officer. 

Whilst I would have loved to have put myself forward, I decided not to. Not because of the time commitment of the job, nor any feeling of capability to do the job. I decided not to put myself forward because I was worried my sexuality (bisexuality) wouldn’t be considered valid – that I wasn’t ‘gay enough’ to be considered a reputable choice for a representative for the LGBT community. 

This obviously sounds really silly looking back on it in hindsight, but it seemed reasonable then. I would hate to think that anybody else is suffering thoughts like these. However you feel, whoever you love, it’s totally valid. 

I’m a bisexual man who has a girlfriend, however I still know that I am bisexual, just that I have fallen in love with someone wonderful. As I’ve said before, to me, gender just doesn’t matter when it comes to finding a partner! I’ve always felt it, and now I’ve solidified it in finding my girlfriend, love is completely natural and just happens! Therefore, whether she was a man or a woman, I’d still be totally in love with her – it’s simple!

It’s just so sad that not everyone in the world understands this. There’s a couple of key issues which really affect the community at the moment. Here we shout loud and proud the message that people should be able to love whoever they like – it makes me angry that not everyone feels the same way.

In late May, an attack on two women on a bus in London provoked by a group of men demanding they kiss, came to the media’s attention. The men physically beat them, threw coins at them and caused them to bleed heavily. I cried hearing of the story. The photos are horrible. 

Just prior to a month dedicated to the celebration of pride, love and happiness, two LGBT women are harassed, fetishized and attacked just for being on a bus together. The women’s mere existence caused these men to feel they ought to attack them – it really is so upsetting, and my thoughts go to them. There is a horrible fetishization of lesbian women among some straight men, and it’s not just harmless ‘banter’, it’s causing real harm to real people. Whilst it is good that our community is rising up against these attacks and campaigning for justice, these actions shouldn’t need to be taken. 

Last month, June, was a real chance to celebrate our lives, celebrate love and happiness. I can’t stress enough how beautiful I think pride month is! People across the world coming together to wave their rainbow flags together, and celebrate that love is just that, love, and is liberating and free. If you’ve got any pride stories, please let us know, we’d love to hear them!

During June, YouTuber Daniel Howell (previously known as danisnotonfire) released a 45 minute video on his channel coming out as gay (called “Basically, I’m Gay.”). The reason this video holds such a special place in my heart is his candid explanation of his rather complex relationship with his sexuality. He is 28 years old and has been battling demons since his teenage years related to his sexuality, with bullies and others in school making it very clear to him that ‘gay’ was equal to ‘bad’ and ‘evil’, which caused him to feel greatly uncomfortable with his sexuality. It’s really beautiful that he has finally become comfortable with his sexuality after all these years, I really think you should give it a look.

Thank you for joining me this month, I hope you’re doing well, and I will see you next month!