Today should have been a day of celebration, and yet it’s become one of pain, anger and about 10 steps backwards. 50 years ago to the day the Sexual Offences Act (SOA) was passed in England and Wales which saw the legalisation of same sex over the age of 21, and how do we get to celebrate this momentous anniversary? With the news that President Trump banned any Transgender involvement within the Military, and no mention of cake at all.
Even as a straight UK citizen I was disgusted and appalled at this notion. Transgender people already have an incredibly difficult time feeling accepted within the society, we should be making them feel welcome and included, not pushing them to the sides and branding them all in one box. It’s like saying all Ginger people aren’t allowed to become Doctors- its ridiculous, unwanted and outdated.
Of course the discussion has been a main focal point on all forms of social media and within the office today. With the majority of people standing together, raising their voices and doing their ultimate best to make their transgender friends both here and across the pond feel loved and supported. The best quote I came across which hit home ridiculously hard and prompted this post was that “You don’t have to be transgender to support trans rights”. I believe, hands down that it is our job to stand up, ready to fight and show not only America but transgender people across the world that we are standing proudly alongside them, and this behaviour should never be allowed in this day and age.
And it’s not just the UK people who feel this way- Tineka Smith: Founder of HueTribe (an LGBT and Multiracial Greetings Card Company) and Former UN Communications Consultant had this to say when I spoke to her earlier: "The news of the transgender military ban in the U.S. is absolutely disheartening, not just for the LGBTQ community, but for everyone who believes in diversity and equal rights for all sexualities and genders. This is discrimination and it is astonishing that this is still able to happen in today's society. It is a tense and astonishing time for the U.S. and it's important that we continue to stand up to end discrimination for those whose rights are being taken away and belittled. We should be looking to our governments to promote equality for all - not taking it away.”
She continued to say: "17 years ago, Britain ended its ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military - sadly, the U.S. only did this 6 years ago. This week also marks the 50th anniversary of Britain recognising gay rights - perhaps the Trump administration should take a lesson from our cousins across the pond and work to stamp out discrimination based on someone's gender identity or sexuality."
Just take one look at the entire LGBT community and watch them stand together: bigger, brighter and more colourful than ever before. They will not be broken. We will not be broken.