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It doesn’t get better

December 7, 2010

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago. I was planning to make it into a it-gets-better-ish video, but then realised I was a bit shy to be seen on camera. So I’ve rephrased it into making sense as a blog post, and here it is.

Trigger warning: Contains references to workplace and queer space discrimination.

My name’s Kit and I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t get any better. Sure, things might improve for people who can separate their private and public lives, but not all of us have a chance to do that.

When you leave school and move on, you can leave your past behind, you can choose who to come out to rather than have rumours flying around. But when your past is written all over your face, it’s hard to let it be something that never comes up.

If you stand up against bigotry or misinformation in your workplace, that’s practically coming out. Lots of information is out there so that straight people can know about gay people, but if you bring up an asexual, or trans, or polysexual, or polyamourous issue; you’ve just outed yourself, whether you’re in that group or not.

Around the world, people with different identities have different levels of protection in the workplace. The recent equality act in the UK claims to protect all of us: It would be no protection against me getting harrassed, bullied, discriminated against, fired or underpaid. I’m asexual and non-binary. According to the new shiny equality act, I don’t exist.

You can’t expect too much from the gay support groups either. They may claim to be LGBT or all-inclusive, but they’ll tell you to stop sitting on the fence or that you’re reinforcing the gender binary or that you’re supporting the patriachy. They’ll say that they work on your issues too, yet spend two hours talking about giving blood and two minutes about people being sent to the wrong jails.

This isn’t a list of reasons why it’s not worth carrying on. By you reading this blog post, I know that you already have some advantages. You’ve either got unmonitored access to the internet, or you don’t care that people may know you were reading this. Internet access is a very useful thing. There are loads of queer support groups out there on the internet, and if you feel uncomfortable in one, you can move to another easily. You can make your voice be heard on issues that affect you and those you care about without fear of physical retribution. You can contact legislators directly to tell them you need your human rights.

I’ve heard gay people say that LGBT equality has been achieved. That’s not even true for gay people. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this blog post, it’s that the world needs fixing. You’ve been on the front line and you know what’s wrong. Tell us. Together, we can make the world better.

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