The LGBTI world is talking about Trump’s ban on trans people in the US military, gay guerillas fighting ISIS and the 50th anniversary of gay sex becoming legal
It’s been an extraordinary week for the LGBTI community. As we celebrated 50 years of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales, the US went massively backwards on LGBTI rights. Meanwhile, our community in Syria has taken up arms to fight for their lives.
This week President Trump announced – by Twitter of course – a complete ban on trans people serving in the US military.
It’s bullying and in a sense nonsense. The US military isn’t in a position to sack 15,000 trans personnel overnight and says its policies haven’t changed.
But still, it has to be fought. Celebrities, politicians and regular Americans responded swiftly and clearly.
And it’s only one of multiple attacks Trump’s administration has unleashed on the LGBTI community this week.
His Justice Department has said the 1964 Civil Rights Act doesn’t apply to LGBTIs . And he’s nominated a fiercely anti-gay state governor as his ambassador for religious freedom. I think we can expect to hear more from Trump on ‘religious freedom’ – or, rather, the freedom to hate and discriminate – soon.
Meanwhile, Texas has taken another step towards removing trans people from public life.
There’s also a sense that Trump is using the LGBTI community as a political scapegoat. We are a distraction from the criticism over Russia and corruption. In that sense, he’s like other anti-gay presidents before him – I think of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria. When the country or administration is in chaos, distract people by turning public attention onto LGBTIs.
Trump can and must be fought. None of us can now be in any doubt his administration is a threat to every single LGBTI person in the US and abroad.
Next, the most surprising story of the week.
LGBTIs have formed a guerilla fighting group to take on Islamic State in Syria.
After three years of men being thrown off buildings and beheaded after accused of being gay, a sub-group has been founded that has one goal: ‘Faggots kill fascists’.
Its name: The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army, or TQILA (said Tequila).
My colleague at Gay Star News, Joe chatted with them this week and their story makes compelling reading.
Would you have the guts to take up arms when you have no choice left? I’m not sure I would
Thursday marked an important anniversary – 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of gay male sex in England and Wales.
The word partial is important. The law made it possible for two men (and only two), aged over 21 to have sex in private.
But the persecution of homosexuals intensified afterwards. Police vice squads deliberately entrapped men into breaking the narrow boundaries of the law. So many lives were damaged or even destroyed.
My favorite tribute to them and to the anniversary is this song from Tom Robinson. He has updated his classic campaign anthem ‘Glad to be Gay’ with new lyrics. Check out the video on GSN.
It will remind you of the progress we’ve made – and the work still to be done.
What do you think?
Let Blued and me know what you think. You can read more about all these stories, plus loads of new articles, photos and videos every day, on Gay Star News.