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Tuesday, April 1

What's getting worse for British gay people?


A couple of new reports show how life for many gay people in Britain is actually getting worse.

  • A landmark poll commissioned by Stonewall says school bullying is worse than twenty years ago - this ruins life chances
  • More gay men are acquiring HIV than ever before - ruining life expectancy.
Both of these run against the grain of assumptions: pass some laws and life improves. It's notable that Stonewall make a point of criticising 'smugness' over discrimination. It's certainly my experience than many people think that life for gay people isn't like 'what it used to be'. This isn't a 'glass half empty' argument, here's some numbers:
The YouGov poll of 1,658 gay adults found homophobic bullying in schools is more prevalent now than in previous decades. Two-thirds of lesbian and gay people under 19 said they were bullied at school on grounds of sexuality, compared with half of those aged 35-44 and only a quarter of those over 55.
Said Stonewall's Ben Summerskill:
Last spring we heard from a 14-year-old girl who had - incautiously - shared with a teacher at a faith school the thought that she might be gay. Subsequently the girl has been required to sit outside the changing room at the beginning and end of sports lessons while the 'normal' children get changed.
  • A significant minority of gay people expect to be treated less well at a GP surgery or during an emergency admission to hospital.
  • Around 30% of lesbian and gay people expect to encounter discrimination if they were to try to enrol a child at primary or secondary school, and 80% believe they would have difficulty if they were to apply to become a school governor.
  • One in four think they will be treated less fairly by police if they become a victim of hate crime.
  • One in five expect to find it harder than a heterosexual person to get social housing.
  • Nine in 10 expect barriers to becoming a foster parent.
  • Nearly nine in 10 think they would face such barriers to becoming an MP from the Conservative party, 61% from the Labour party and 47% from the Liberal Democrats.
The school experience chimes for me - I wasn't bullied, even when I came out (though my brother was). I had a experience last year around the housing issue when 'more houses for families!' was raised by a politician. This sounded exactly like 'there goes my slim chance' but when criticised the response involved the words 'political correctness'. Just because there are some gay families with kids doesn't mean most of us don't - and where does that leave us.

According to the Treasury's actuary department 6% of the population are gay, lesbian or transgender — 3.6 million people.

Last year Stonewall produced another landmark report which detailed not only how badly lesbians and gays fare in the BBC but just what that means — and it's linked to the school bullying issue.

What was notable about their report was that they interviewed as many heterosexual people and they wanted more characters and coverage.
  • Gay people are contributing almost £190 million every year towards BBC programming.
  • Gay people and their lives are five times more likely to be portrayed in negative terms on the BBC.
  • Gay life is most likely to appear in entertainment programmes, and is rarely featured in factual programmes, like documentaries and the news.
  • BBC programmes frequently use gay sexuality for making jokes or as an insult, and rely heavily on clichéd stereotypes.
Gay and straight people ... told us they wanted to see:
  • More documentaries to help everyone understand lesbian and gay lives - and not just ones focussing on negative issues.
  • More positive role models for young gay people.
  • More realistic and non-sensationalised/clichéd gay characters in soaps and drama.
  • A more diverse range of lesbian and gay identities, beyond the urban stereotypes.
The HIV numbers - highest ever in the UK - just make me scream. I'm not the only one, I've heard a number of gay men my age repeat on air that we can't believe we're going through this again.

One of the worst things I've seen recently which is not helping was a campaign on HIV last year by the BBC which was aimed at young heterosexuals - the focus, money and support for gay men is getting less, not more. That campaign (but most I see when I do see them) only vaguely addressed the persistent myth that 'well, there are pills for it now'. What's needed is much more hard-hitting.

My experience of the epidemic was in Australia and I still haven't dealt with it properly: I lost dozens of friends and 'survivor guilt' as a HIV- gay man of my generation is very real. Within the community here as well as there I was and am sick of hearing HIV+ men dominating the debate. Being HIV- is not a promoted identity here and never has been. By contrast in Australia they had a real debate and formed a proper relationship and coalition, as part of a prevention strategy. When I did this work it was impossible to raise the sort of issues Australia has since dealt with.

Here, there couldn't be a greater contrast. The horror of 'barebacking' is defended when it should be shouted down. I can well understand 'condom fatigue' and there should be wariness about blaming gay men (when straight men are just as bad about condoms) and especially blaming HIV+ men, but HIV kills people and neither is an excuse for avoiding hard-hitting.

All the drugs do is extend life expectancy from extremely low to less than average — I tried finding some figures and couldn't but from memory it's maybe 21 years, so if you're 21 expect to die at 42. When did you (or I) see a message pointing that out? And when, by contrast, did you see lots of stories about people walking around after twenty years. They should be proud of themselves because that takes work, but this emphasis makes me angry because there are many others who aren't walking around. HIV is a bastard virus.

6 comments:

  1. CAN VOLUNTEERS PASS THIS INFORMATION TO OTHERS?

    RACIAL HARASSMENT IS SERIOUS AND CAUSES ANGER, FEAR, DEPRESSION, CONFUSION, HELPLESSNESS, PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ILLNESSES AFFECTING RELATIONSHIPS OF PEOPLE AT HOME AND WORK. RACISM MEANS DISRUPTION OF FREEDOM. ANTI-CHRIST RACISTS AND THE RACIST POLICE BEHAVING RACISTLY COMMIT INFORMATION AND PRIVACY THEFT, BEHAVING AS CRIMINALS.


    UK POLICE HARASSMENT OF PEOPLE IS SERIOUS DISRUPTION OF FREEDOM AND CAUSES ANGER, FEAR, DEPRESSION, CONFUSION, HELPLESSNESS, PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ILLNESSES AFFECTING RELATIONSHIPS OF PEOPLE AT HOME AND WORK. ANTI-CHRIST POLICE THEMSELVES COMMIT INFORMATION AND PRIVACY THEFT, BEHAVING AS CRIMINALS. RACIST WHITE POLICE AND THEIR COLORED GUTLESS INSIDERS-INFORMERS EMPOWER THEM TO ABUSE THEIR POWER AND HARASS PEOPLE.

    BEWARE OF UGLY STINKING LOW CLASS DISHONEST RACIST ANTI-CHRIST BRITISH POLICE, JUST A PUBLIC SERVANT IN UNIFORMS SURVIVING ON PULIC TAX PAYERS MONEY AND THE UGLY STINKING LOW CLASS RACIST WHITE DISHONEST ANTI-CHRIST BRITISH NEIGHBORS BOTH COMMITTING THE SERIOUS CRIME OF THEFT OF INTERNET AND OFFLINE COMPUTER HACKING.

    THE BRITISH POLICE CANNOT BEAR TO BE WATCHED AND THEIR UGLY ANTI-CHRIST DEEDS EXPOSED. THEY FORGET DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE OHTERS DO UNTO YOU. WATCH THE BRITISH POLICE:

    DISHONEST RACIST ANTI-CHRIST BRITISH POLICE IN UNIFORMS PERPETUATE RACISM IN CONNIVANCE WITH RACIST ANTI-CHRIST WHITE DISHONEST BRITISH NEIGHBORS TO ILLEGALLY AND UNWARRANTEDLY USE WALL SEE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY, AUDIO LISTENING IN DEVICES, EMR VAN ECK PHREAKING EQUIPMENT, AND INTERNET, EMAIL, AND LANDLINE AND CELLPHONE TELEPHONE HACKING AGAINST ASIANS IN THEIR HOMES THROUGH WAILING SIRENS FROM OUTSIDE FOR EVERY BODY MOVEMENT OF ASIANS IN THEIR HOMES. INTERNET AND COMPUTER HACKING AND INFILTRATING INTO OTHERS PRIVACY IS A SERIOUS CRIME. THEY WILL WAIL SIRENS AND HAVE THEIR INSIDERS IN CARS CREATE SOUND DISTURBANCE OF ACCELERATING AND HONKING AND NEIGHBORS BANGING DOORS AND THROWING THINGS EACH TIME THE EXPOSERS OF THEIR UGLY DEEDS MAKE LIVING MOVEMENTS AT HOME EVEN AT NIGHT AND DAY, EVEN DURING TOSSING AND TURNING IN BED, AND EVEN IN TOILET. THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THE ANTI-CHRIST DISHONEST RACIST BRITISH POLICE IS TO DISHONESTLY MAINTAIN LAW AND ORDER THROUGH ENSURING THAT THE RACIST WHITE DISHONEST BRITISH SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DEHUMANIZINGLY DISTURB, INTIMIDATE, AND HARASS ASIAN MEN AND WOMEN IN THEIR HOMES AND ON STREETS, SHOPS, AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT THROUGH THE ILLEGAL USE OF THESE TECHNOLOGIES WITH POLICE CONNIVANCE AND TO INTIMIDATE, HARASS, DISTURB, AND PROVOCATE ASIANS WHO REFUSE TO TOLERATE THIS ILLEGAL NONSENSE OF DISHONEST RACIST ANTI-CHRIST BRITISH POLICE IN CONNIVANCE WITH DISHONEST RACIST ANTI-CHRIST BRITISH NEIGHBORS.

    ABUSING AND DISRESPECTING PRIVACY IS A HEINOUS CRIME.
    THE CONCEPT BEING PREACHED IS THAT 'WHY DOES ANYONE NEED TO WORRY ABOUT PRIVACY IF THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG'. THIS IS THE ANTI-CHRIST WAYS OF INFILTRATING. WHY DOES ANYONE NEED PRIVACY?: WHY DOES EVERYONE DRESS? WHY DOESN'T EVERYONE GO NAKED? LACK OF PRIVACY IS SAME AS WALKING EVERYWHERE NAKED AS A STREAKER! ARE THE BRITISH POLICE PREACHING THE CONCEPT OF EVERYONE BECOMING STREAKERS - NAKED UNCIVILIZED PEOPLE EVERYWHERE IN UK? JUST SO THE BRITISH POLICE CAN RETAIN THEIR ABUSE OF POWER THROUGH PROCLAIMING AN INFLATED, MANUFACTURED, FALSE, SELF-INITIATED SELFISH CONCEPTS OF SO-CALLED 'TERROR THREATS'.

    ABUSING PRIVACY IS HARMFUL TO MIND, BODY AND SOUL. THUS, THE BRITISH POLICE HAVE BECOME THE PERFECT ANTI-CHRIST. THEY WILL BE DEBARRED FROM THE KINGDOM OF GOD. EVADING TACTICS SUCH AS WHERE IS GOD, ETC, WILL NOT ABSOLVE THEM OF THEIR SINS AND THE BRITISH POLICE WILL NOT GO UNPUNISHED FOR THEIR HEINOUS CRIMES OF ABUSING PRIVACY.


    THE POLICE ARE ALSO USING HIDDEN LONG-DISTANCE CAMERAS FROM STRATEGIC POSITIONS TO TARGET THOSE WHO EXPOSE THEIR UGLY DEEDS. USING THESE CAMERAS, THEY BEAM THE VIDEO IMAGES TO THEIR POLICE CARS ROAMING WASTEDLY WITH THEIR BACKS TO THE TARGETTED PEOPLE. AFTER THEIR AFOREMENTIONED UGLY DEEDS WERE EXPOSED, THEY PRETENDED NOT TO BE COWARDS THROUGH AVOIDING ROAMING WITH THEIR BACKS TO THE TARGETTED PEOPLE AND INSTEAD APPROACHING FROM FRONT. HOWEVER, THE FACT THAT THEY ARE COMMITTING THEIR HEINOUS CRIMES THROUGH EVIL MEANS AND INSIDER INFORMERS AMID NEIGHBORS REFLECTS THE COWARDICE STILL MAKES THEM ABSOLUTE LOW CLASS COWARDS COWARDS COWARDS COWARDS. THUS, THE BRITISH POLICE ARE THE ANTI-CHRIST COWARDS HARASSING THOSE WHO EXPOSE THE UGLY DEEDS OF POLICE HARASSMENT AND INVASION INTO PRIVACY OF PEOPLE AT HOME AND WORK, THROUGH VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE AUDIO AND VIDEO DEVICES, WALL SEE THROUGH TECHNOLOGIES, OFFLINE COMPUTER HACKING USING KEY LOGGERS AND ELECTRO MAGNETIC RADIATION (EMR) EQUIPMENT TO RETRIEVE IMAGES OF ANYTHING BEING TYPED ON PERSONAL COMPUTERS OFFLINE AT HOME AND WORK, AS WELL AS ONLINE COMPUTER HACKING THROUGH THE INTERNET THROUGH ILLEGAL ACCESS UNDER THE FALSE PRETEXT OF SURVEILLANCE AND PROTECTION AND SECURITY, THEREBY VIOLATING PEOPLES HUMAN RIGHTS AND PRIVACY, INVADING THEIR LIVES AND CREATING DISTURBANCE AND HARASSMENT THAT WILL WEIGH HEAVILY UPON THEM IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE ALMIGHTY LORD OF CREATION THAT LEAVES NO WRONGS GO UNPUNISHED EVER!


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