Asides

Dear Readers,

Queens of Pop play at Leeds Pride

Queens of Pop play main-stage at Manchester Pride

Queens of Pop play at Glasgow Pride

We have one Pride left to convince. We’ve written this draft letter to ask the Glasgow Pride organisers to take racism and misogyny seriously and rethink their decision to allow Queens of Pop to play Glasgow Pride. If you would like to do the same, we’ve made a template, just pop your name at the bottom and send to pride@prideglasgow.co.uk.

And if you want to get more involved like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-Pride-In-Glasgow-Pride/494865133931642

 

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Dear Mr Smith,

We are writing to you to express our concern that “Queens of Pop” performing at Glasgow Pride could marginalise some of the most vulnerable members of our community in order to give our most powerful members a cheap laugh.

Their videos, depicting violence against women, shaming women’s sexuality, reinforcing body image issues, ridiculing addiction and mental health, turning HIV status into a joke and donning black face don’t reflect the LGBT community we know or want to be part of.

The Unity Centre in Glasgow supports LGBT migrant and asylum seekers placed in Glasgow, many from ethnic minority backgrounds persecuted in their home country for being themselves. Pride should be an opportunity for them to celebrate and claim a little bit of their liberation back. Not a place for them to “take a joke” and “realise it’s not meant to be offensive”. The issue of blackface being something we even have to debate within a minority group beggars belief.

Brighton Pride has stated that Queens of Pop do not represent what they stand for and that they won’t be booked. Leeds Pride has announced that Queens of Pop will not be playing and Manchester Pride has just announced they will not be making a main stage appearance.

The Glasgow Pride Twitter account has previously stated that the act is “amazing”. We wondered if you still think this is the case?

We love Pride and think everyone deserves to have the same welcoming, friendly and affirming experience. We do not believe that Queens of Pop will help achieve this so we’re asking you to reconsider their booking. Will you?

Yours sincerely

<<insert your name here>>
Supporting No Pride In Glasgow Pride

No Pride in Glasgow Pride

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It’s a Sunday, and on Sundays I like to do an array of exciting things such as reading, the washing and scrap booking. When I opened my laptop this morning to catch up with the world outside I was met with yet another member of the queer community expressing their views against same-sex marriage. Now, I have had this argument a thousand times. I remember the first time was with an older gay man at a fancy dinner who’s argument against same-sex marriage went like this:

Him: It’s fine when we had our civil partnership, we just called it a marriage! So did all our friends and family!

Me: But it wasn’t a marriage was it?

Now this is probably the worst argument against same-sex marriage that I’ve heard. That aside, I think that most of us have had these conversations. The Independent today published one of the most well-rehearsed arguments I have heard in an article called ‘Count Me Out’ it can be viewed here: http://ind.pn/133seZI. This article espouses the kind of argument which agrees in principle that equal marriage is all well and good, acceptable, not something that we want to fight against, etc. but when boiled down questions the relevance of same-sex marriage to the queer community. Now I think that the fight for same-sex marriage is really quite relevant, but I’ve talked about that a lot, so I’m going to focus on the three things that bothered me about this article. Namely it’s tone.

Thing Number One:

It portrays those who want a faith based same-sex marriage ceremony as seeking acceptance from those around them, drawing comparison between all faiths and the Catholic church. This is wholly unfair both the religious organisations and to those queer individuals of faith. There have been a number of religions who have expressed both their acceptance of queer communities within their faith group and their support for equal marriage. It is only counterproductive to homogenise faith groups and to patronise their members in this way, which is what you do when you publish comments like:

It’s like being a vegetarian butcher. You just can’t.

When discussing having a religious same-sex marriage.

Thing Number Two:

This articles talks at length about the ability of the queer community to be different, to define itself by itself outside of the norms of the heteronormative and patriarchal society. But I think we have the ability to do exactly that, I think we are at an exciting cross roads, where marriage is being re-defined, as it has been many times in the past.

Those of you that know me well will know that I love a wedding. But I don’t love a wedding because I have a particular affinity for certain religious buildings, or for ceremonies of a certain faith or belief group. I love a wedding because I love celebrating that people are happy, in love, and so happy in that love that they are prepared to commit to spend the rest of their lives together (that’s a really, really long time). As much as the word marriage is steeped in heteronormativity and patriarchy, we have the ability to change it’s contemporary, and will fundamentally do so through same-sex marriage. It’s our chance to re-define it and we will do so! I want to have a marriage so that I can celebrate my love for my partner and commit to loving them forever in a union that we define for ourselves, not by anyone else’s standards and definitely not by history.

Thing Number Three:

This article has a weird undertone. Possibly because the research was done for it on the Scene. On a Friday night.

There is countless mentions of the “non-offensive gay” (examples such as Alan Carr and Graham Norton), the kind of gay who wants to marry, have jobs and kids and isn’t going to “bum you into next week”. And these non-controversial gays seem to be looked down upon by Corner’s interviewees. The idea that the queer community could and should be  part of the mainstream rejected by the article’s participants with one saying:

I worry that we are becoming normalised.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love queer activism, the Scene and our ability to come together as a community and I would hate to see that disappear or be diminished. I also think that whether you prefer to emulate Boy George or Graham Norton is your choice, and probably doesn’t need a value judgement from me, these interviewees or anyone else. But, I do not see the fight for equal legal rights, or the increased acceptance of queers in wider society as detrimental to either how we choose to live our lives, or to our queer identities. By fighting lesbophobia, biphobia, homophobia, transphobia and queerphobia in society we make our day-to-day lives easier and safer whether we have the “sexualised and alternative version of gay life” or prefer to be at home with our wives and children.

Now enough of this in-fighting. It’s nice to be nice!

Equal Marriage Scotland crop

Do you mean to be mean?

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