Protests against LGBT teaching at a Birmingham primary school are “homophobic” and must “stop now”, the West Midlands mayor has said.
Andy Street said he was in “disbelief” at material distributed by protesters outside Anderton Park Primary.
The mayor, who is gay, told the BBC he had thought homophobia was a “non-issue in our city”.
A High Court injunction is in place banning protests, which have been going on for months, outside the school.
Parents started to gather at the gates over concerns children were “too young” to learn about LGBT relationships. They also said the lessons contradicted Islam.
I can’t come here as a friend, even though I might very much want to.” These are the words of Andrea Dworkin, addressing an anti-sexist men’s organisation in 1983, in her acclaimed speech I Want a 24-Hour Truce in Which There Is No Rape. “The power exercised by men, day to day, in life is power that is institutionalised. It is protected by law. It is protected by religion and religious practice. It is protected by universities, which are strongholds of male supremacy. It is protected by a police force. It is protected by those whom Shelley called “the unacknowledged legislators of the world”: the poets, the artists. Against that power, we have silence.”
Dworkin, who died of heart failure in 2005 at the age of 58, was one of the world’s most notorious radical feminists. She wrote 14 books, the most famous of which was Pornography: Men Possessing Women (1981). Now her work is being revisited in Last Days at Hot Slit, a new collection of her writing.
In the wake of YouTube’s controversial decision not to pull videos containing homophobic and racist attacks, Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote an internal email acknowledging that “the LGBTQ+ community has felt a lot of pain and frustration over recent events.” While a few Google execs have already apologized for YouTube’s decision, Pichai’s email carries more weight given his position. The email, obtained by The Verge, also suggests that Google plans to conduct more internal discussions aimed at addressing its harassment policies.
In China, writing fanfiction can be dangerous. In the United States, although some authors used to be pretty litigious towards derivative works, fanfiction writers here don’t usually have to worry about anything more serious than a cease and desist. In China, creating fanworks can sometimes come with significant legal consequences, especially if what you’re writing is homoerotic. That’s why Chinese users are flocking to Archive Of Our Own, a fanfic site that allows broad free expression to fans who want to write fanworks, including LGBT fans.
Last year, the Chinese novelist Tianyi was sentenced to ten years in prison for publishing homoerotic fiction. Although making and selling pornography in China is illegal, The New York Times reported that even Chinese users on the site Weibo, which is basically Chinese Twitter, thought that the sentence was too harsh.
“Are you ready?” says the voice behind the smartphone, which pans along a queue.
Six gay men and 11 transgender women stand together in single file, clutching their papers. Just metres ahead are the revolving grilled gates of the US-Mexico border.
Each member of the group looks nervous, and each has dressed for the occasion. One of the trans women, in a lacy white dress and diamanté tiara, exhales deeply and looks up at the ceiling. One of the gay men, wearing a checked shirt and smart black trousers with bleached blond hair gelled firmly into place, takes an anxious glance at a guard standing behind them.
It’s the hottest day of the year so far, and the people fanning themselves with gallery maps have come to join the monthly LGBTQ tour, which Vo, a volunteer, helped set up four years ago. “On the count of three,” he bellows, “we’re just going to shout ‘queer’ – celebrating Stonewall, remembering how hard we fought to be here. One, two, three…” The word echoes off the barrel vaults of the sculpture hall and subsides as we head off in different directions – the tour is so popular that the group has to be split into at least six parties.
A UK design student created a smart wearable that could make chest binding safer, easier and more comfortable for transgender men and non-binary people. Chest binding is the act of flattening one’s breasts using a tight garment in order to make the chest appear more masculine. While it can have immense mental health benefits, it can take a physical toll. Many people have reported broken ribs from too-tight wraps, and binding can be especially difficult in the summer, when the wearer is at risk of overheating. With this garment, called Breathe, Loughborough University industrial design student Miles Kilburn hopes to address many of those of common issues.
That said, about 70 countries still criminalise homosexuality today. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Brunei and several more sentence gay people to death. Even the most gay-friendly societies are rife with discrimination, abuse and hate crimes. Moreover, the remarkable achievements of the past 50 years are no guarantee for the future. History rarely moves in a straight line. There is no reason to think that LGBT liberation will inevitably spread around the world, eventually reaching Saudi Arabia and Brunei. Indeed, violent homophobic backlashes are possible, even in the most liberal countries. Just last week the Guardian revealed shocking statistics that showed homophobic and transphobic hate crimes have doubled in the UK over the past five years.
The MP for a primary school facing protests over LGBT teaching has been reported to the chief whip after telling campaigners “you’re right”.
In a video circulated on social media, Birmingham Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff told the Anderton Park Primary School protesters they had a “just cause”.
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said she had reported the comments to the chief whip.
Mr Godsiff previously said the equality lessons were not “age appropriate”.
Pride month is all about celebrating the queer experience and showing the world that there’s no shame in loving who you love, but being queer isn’t always glitter and rainbows. Sometimes it’s tears and secrets and a seemingly never-ending stream of challenges. Over the years, comic creators have shown an eagerness to explore these different facets of queerness in their work, whether they’re telling grounded autobiographical stories or heightened genre tales. There’s a wide world of queer comics to explore, and these 9 picks offer strong starting points that approach LGBTQ+ content from different angles.