We're excited about Pride taking place later this weekend in London and cities across the UK. Read some of the thoughts and observations from one our team about his experiences in the LGBTQ+ community.
I have a problem with my community but it’s something I blame no one for. Everything I document now is from true personal experiences and entirely my own opinion.
The constant segregation of the LGBTQ+ has caused many of us to be raised as a community to be strong and shameless. To be proud of who we are and unapologetic of the execution of our expression. However, I feel there is a small section of our community that has taken this shamelessness and turned it into a lack of respect for themselves and the people around them.
I see people wearing jockstraps to Pride in front of children. I see members make advances on straight men for them to lash out in offence when their advances are politely declined. Maybe this is out of frustration with themselves or maybe a sense of entitlement, but there is one scenario that repeatedly occurs that I would like to
bring attention to.
I am unhappy with certain members of our community. Every time I enter a gay club with my straight friends I prepare them by saying you will be touched, you will be grabbed, you will make eye contact with people for them to then linger and attempt conversation with you for 20 minutes. Although this is delivered and taken in jest, it’s the harsh truth that I must prepare them for and low and behold they do experience this. They have been grabbed multiple times, they have had men be predatory and thrust themselves into them and it embarrasses me.
Overtime I had become immune to the constant advances and assault but I’ve come to realise that this isn’t okay and I’d like that to be known. I feel like I have a glimpse of what women constantly experience in clubs and that’s not okay and neither is this.
Like I have said at the beginning I don’t believe anyone’s to blame. I think it’s the culture that has bred this behaviour. This idea that we should be confident and unapologetic has for some people been lost in translation. I also don’t think enough of the community is saying no, a lot of these advances are positively received and it gives the impression that this behaviour is acceptable. Dating apps like Grindr further this with people of all ages thinking it’s okay to send unsolicited nudes.
Let me re-iterate that this isn’t everyone in the community, this is a select few. Our community has made so much progress in the way of rights and representation. 20-30 years ago they couldn’t dream of shows like Drag Race or Queer Eye being so widespread or the legalisation of LGBTQ+ marriage.
I want everyone to be able to enjoy Pride and celebrate the community. Maybe Gay clubs aren’t for me but maybe I want them to be. I want to be proud of my community and to know that its spaces are safe for all and I’m not.