Pride Month has drawn to a close. Corporations prepare to take down their rainbow flags, secretly pleased that they can stop pretending to give a shit about the queers for another year. The Home Office looks forward to removing any trace of inclusivity from its Twitter profile, relieved to be able to return to telling asylum seekers facing torture or death to ‘act less gay’. Pitifully inadequate cis-het dickholes will temporarily cease their incessant, pant-pissing whining about not having a Straight Pride month, and begin laying the all-important groundwork for ‘WHEN IS WHITE HISTORY MONTH?’ month.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

I mean, for them it does, obviously, because they’re…just…frightful fucking arseholes, but for you, there’s no reason not to be an effective LGBT+ ally all year round.

Here’s how you can support the queer community throughout the calendar, in the hope that, one day, Barry from Chigwell won’t have to worry about his penis falling off because he encountered a handsome, muscular gentleman in a glittery belly top.

Be visible. Be vocal.

You don’t use the word ‘gay’ to mean ‘a bit shit’? Thanks. You manage to avoid involuntarily shrieking in terror when a butch lesbian enters a public toilet? Awesome. Showing the level of self-discipline necessary not to spend a twelfth of the year standing up in pubs and yelling ‘CHEAP LOUSY FAGGOT’ in time with a lot of other pissed-up straight people? Go you. But maybe you could do more.

Quietly accepting our right to exist is fine, I guess, but in practical terms, it’s not a lot more useful than low-level homophobia. To really make a difference, you need to be seen. You need to be heard.

It’s more or less certain that your place of work, your circle of friends, your school or your social media account contains one or more people who are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity. Being in that position and feeling like you have nowhere to turn is a lonely place to be.

Even those of us who are already out to some extent don’t necessarily feel comfortable being open about who we are in all situations. We might be out at home, but not at work. Open at the gym, closeted at the pub.

We need a reason to come out. We need to know that people exist who will celebrate us for who we are. We need to feel safe and supported to be every bit of ourselves in every given scenario. We need an anchor.

You can be that anchor, but you almost certainly won’t achieve it with passive ‘I don’t make bumsex jokes so what the hell do they want?’ levels of engagement. Being a vocal and visible advocate for LGBT+ equality is probably the single biggest thing you can do to help queer people around you feel comfortable enough with their identity not to have to hide it from all but a selected few.

Talk frequently and openly about your support for LGBT+ rights, your queer friends, and the queer media you have seen and enjoyed. Wear the rainbow lanyard or a Pride watch strap or some other visible sign that you are a person who supports LGBT+ inclusivity.

Call out homophobia or transphobia wherever you see it. Don’t sit quietly by while ‘jokes’ are made at our expense. Don’t allow inappropriate language to be seen as remotely acceptable in your presence, because this is how hate is normalised. If Dave in marketing uses the word ‘poofs’, tell him to stop being such a fucking prick. If Carol in finance says she doesn’t want trans women in the toilets, ask her why she’s concentrating on other bathroom users’ genital arrangements and not on pissing.

We see this stuff. We hear it. It matters to us.

Trans rights are human rights

There is no LGB without the T.

Trans people are a vital, integral part of our community, and they have fought shoulder to shoulder with us as we’ve battled for the rights we currently possess. And, of course, many of them are L, G or B themselves.

Their trans identities, however, are under serious and sustained attack from newspapers, politicians, social media commentators, virulently fucking unpleasant sitcom writers, and even from certain inexplicably shitty elements within the LGBT+ community itself.

It’s up to all of us, queer people and allies alike, to fight back. Trans people are a tiny, vulnerable and marginalised minority, and they can’t do it alone. If you’re the kind of person who speaks out against transphobia in all its forms, and who offers a supportive and understanding ear, shoulder or other body part to trans people, you’re probably already a pretty good ally.

If, however, the extent of your being an ally is attending Pride once a year for a fun, colourful day out dancing to Britney with some white cis gays while you spend the other 364 days looking the other way as trans people are thrown under a seemingly endless line of Craggy Island buses, you’re not a fucking ally. You’re a selfish dickhead who is using the LGBT+ community for their own ends.

Don’t use our identities as insults. Ever.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the following scenario:

Homophobe says/writes something homophobic, ‘ally’ rides in with a truly hilarious riposte about how the homophobe is actually just craving a thick, veiny, glistening, throbbing seven-incher (sorry…drifted off for a moment there) but is just too nervous to say.

This is not helpful.

Yes, sometimes homophobes are closeted gays, obviously, but the majority of closeted gays aren’t homophobic and the majority of people who abuse the LGBT+ community are not closeted gays.

An overwhelmingly large percentage of the vitriol that comes our way is from straight people, and automatically implying that someone who behaves that way must be a repressed homosexual lets straight people off the hook for the pretty unacceptable level of homophobic abuse most of us still have to face.

This lazy trope also reduces queer identities to a frivolous thing we throw at bigots in an attempt to ridicule or humiliate them, and that’s not how an ally behaves. Fucking stop it.

Learn the language

Words are important. What we say and how we say it invariably reflects, in a very direct way, the content of our characters. If you don’t care enough to respect someone’s pronouns, or to understand that the word ‘cis’ is not an insult, how can you possibly claim to be an ally?

Taking the time to learn what terms are acceptable and which are not is the very bare minimum that should be expected of any ally, and it’s really quite easy to do.

Half an hour on Bing (which you can find on Google) will almost certainly yield the majority of the information you need, and if you still don’t understand, you can always fucking ask. Not a single LGBT+ person is going to be irritated or annoyed by someone who genuinely wants to be more supportive of our community asking questions about how they can achieve that. Not even me, and I get irritated by the sound of another person breathing.

Empower the whole community

We are a diverse group.

We are gay, we are lesbian, we are bi, we are trans, we are black, we are brown, we are white, we are Asian, we are asexual, we are gender non-conforming, we are queer, we are intersex, we are butch, we are camp, we are…so many other things.

It’s great that we’re all those things, but not so great that inequality still exists even within the community itself.

Queer people of colour are too readily left behind, bisexual identities too readily erased, feminine gays too readily derided or lampooned, and LGBT+ people on low incomes too readily frozen out of Pride events based on their inability to afford the ridiculous ticket prices necessary to bring in the big name pop diva demanded by white, middle class gays.

An effective ally doesn’t just ask Granny not to say ‘shirt-lifter’ for an hour because Alan’s boyfriend is having tea with us, they understand that different levels of privilege exist in the wide and varied subgroups that make up our community, and actively seek to redress those inequalities. They look outside of their immediate frame of reference and lift up those who would otherwise be forgotten or marginalised, so that the whole community might one day be viewed as equal, both within itself and amongst society at large.

Support LGBT-inclusive education

It’s not ‘inappropriate’ for children to know that queer people exist. It’s not ‘confusing’ for children to learn about families different to their own. No one is getting ‘turned’ into anything they weren’t already as a result of receiving information about LGBT+ identities and relationships.

Section 28 was horrible. Like, really fucking life-threateningly terrible for so many people. And now, these tired old arguments are raising their ugly, intolerant heads again, particularly where trans people are concerned, but also in relation to wider LGBT+ issues, and it’s incumbent on all of us to fight back against it with every bit of force we can muster.

It’s not ‘up to parents’ to decide whether their children get to learn about a simple fact of life, and fuck anyone who says otherwise. This essential knowledge must be given to all children at the earliest possible opportunity so that another generation doesn’t have to grow up isolated, afraid and broken.

This affects you. It affects your children.

Speak to your child’s school today – do it now if you can – and make it clear that you support LGBT-inclusive relationship education right from the word go. The majority of people almost certainly feel this way, but the bigoted cunts who look back on Thatcher’s Britain with a misty-eyed nostalgia boner are shouting a whole lot louder right now.

Let’s drown the fuckers out, and make it so that the next generation of children grow up as natural LGBT+ allies and you no longer have to sit through turgid, rambling shit like this.

 

 

 

People with dodgy hips who take five different types of tablets a day renewed calls this afternoon for the UK to commit to a course of action that will exacerbate near-crippling levels of NHS staff shortages and lead to a potential scarcity of vital medical supplies.

The purple-nosed attendees of the Brexit Party rally in Fylde were adamant that a few preventable deaths in hospital corridors is a price worth paying for ideological purity, non-burgundy travel documents and less choice at the deli counter. The very idea of Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May plotting to deliver a significantly harder Brexit than anyone advocated during the referendum campaign was enough to send many of the Daily Mail wielding bastards into fits of frothy-mouthed rage at how soft this hard Brexit would actually be.

“Look, when the Leave campaigners said in 2016 that no one was talking about leaving the single market, they were speaking figuratively,” said Reg, a retired dickhead from Blackpool. 

“What they actually meant was that we should sever all ties with these unelected bureaucrats before we have to waste time with any more elections, and worry about running out of fucking insulin after that.”

Wayne, a racist taxi driver with angina and a carefully curated set of opinions gathered exclusively from the pages of the Daily Express and UKIP election leaflets, agreed.

“This isn’t about whether my Aunt Brenda can get hold of clean tubes for her catheter, it’s about democracy. We knew exactly what we were voting for, even though the ballot paper never mentioned no deal and Liam Fox said it would be piss easy to get a deal, all 17 million of us were definitely voting to be worse off and possibly dead.”

When asked whether they were worried about the inevitable staff shortages that would occur in the event of a no deal Brexit, the response was emphatic.

“We didn’t have German doctors during the war, did we?” shouted Denise, a detestable busybody from Lytham St Anne’s who was born in 1956, “and we seemed to get through that ok.”

I pointed out that a great many people had actually died during the Second World War, and that the spirit of friendship and cooperation with our European allies since then had been instrumental in repairing a fractured continent after decades of violence and upheaval, in response to which Denise muttered something about me being a ‘traitorous cunt’, before heading off to ask a South East Asian couple in a food van what the fuck they thought they were doing there.

One of the speakers at the event was the partially reanimated cadaver of former Conservative MP and open casket of horrors, Anne Widdecombe. I asked Ms Widdecombe for a comment on the suggestion that her party’s approach to this matter was rooted in bigotry rather than the practicalities of ensuring the issue is resolved in a manner that ensures the UK remains prosperous, to which she replied,

“Fuck off, you mincing cock-juggler. I don’t speak to poofs.”

Latex-faced Hitler enthusiast, Nigel Farage, announced exciting plans yesterday to march from Sunderland to another bit of Sunderland before getting in a bus full of other horrendous cunts and driving somewhere else.

This ambitious project is designed to raise awareness of the fact that some traitorous elements of the British population are still betraying the Will Of The People by not spending their every waking moment doing a racism, and also to fund that new 60-inch, ultra HD, 5.1 surround sound telly Mr Farage has been after that he might fully enjoy the DVD he just ordered off Amazon, in which Lee Hurst yells the word ‘snowflake’ at people who aren’t malicious fucking pricks for 93 uninterrupted minutes.

For the very reasonable sum of just £50, gullible racist bastards will have the opportunity to walk on roads they can walk on for free literally any fucking time they want to, carrying upside down Union Flags and singing Hitler Youth songs while normal people call them arseholes and empty jars of piss on their heads.

Fascist ham-mannequin, Farage, was in ebullient mood at the event’s launch, saying,

“Honestly, you should fucking see it. The colours are pin-sharp, and you can actually feel the subwoofer right in your fucking taint. I’m off to Curry’s as soon as enough of the dopey little shits have coughed up.”

When pressed for a comment on the thinking behind the stupid fucking walk thing he’d semi-organised, his mood changed.

“Did you know that in Britain today, more than 23% of newspaper columns don’t make any attempt to direct hate at Muslamics, coloureds, or even poofs? That’s not including the Mail and the Express, of course, but it’s still a shocking statistic. We will start walking, and we won’t stop until every single column inch is like one of the sweaty, feverish dreams in which I sticky up my jammy bottoms visualising a racially pure United Kingdom. I say ‘we’, I’m probably just gonna do the first and the last twenty minutes.”

Members of the Brexit Party in attendance at the launch were adamant that they weren’t being taken for absolute fucking mugs by the bastard offspring of the KKK and some tweed. Wayne, a hateful dickhead from Stevenage, said,

“He obviously has to fuck off in his private plane after a quarter of an hour because he needs to get back to London and fight the establishment. They’re trying to silence him by just letting him have his own radio show, a couple of newspaper columns and sixteen hours a week of unchecked ranting on BBC News. He can’t possibly be with us for the whole walk, so it’s important he has our support. And also our money.”

I put it to Mr Farage that he might be wasting his time on something that’s likely only to make most people regard him as an even bigger twat than they already did, but his response was unequivocal.

“It’s got Freeview and Freesat built in.”

The government today confirmed to concerned UK citizens that not shitting up almost every aspect of their already miserable lives sits at the very fucking bottom of the list of Conservative priorities, below ‘arsefisting the NHS to death’ and ‘inflammatory xenophobic posturing’.

Following suggestions before Christmas that the parliamentary break should be cancelled or curtailed that they might actually take steps to defuse the increasingly fucking volatile shitgrenade of Brexit, the laughter of many MPs was so vigorous that their bellies shook like bowls full of jelly in the manner of cunty, self-centred Santa Clauses. So ridiculous was the idea that they might actually make some small sacrifice to prevent the entire nation going to fucking shit, that at least three on the Tory benches threw up their roast pheasant in impromptu fits of uncontrolled mirth.

In a further bid to underline the complete absence of fucks given about the thing that promises to render cardboard our most valuable national commodity, Home Secretary Sajid Javid cut short his family holiday today to deal with a ‘major incident’ in which a handful of people displaced by the bombs we drop all over the fucking Middle East made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the channel in quite a small boat.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office said,

“Look, this is really fucking simple. Although Brexit will adversely affect hundreds of millions of people across the continent, the racist little cunts who keep us in power seem to really want it to happen. Of course Sajid flying home is completely fucking unnecessary, but it panders to those same jingoistic arseholes who’ll ultimately give us the backing we need to continue buttfucking the economy into oblivion for personal gain. Also, when it’s all over, Jacob has offered to take us all out somewhere not as nice as the Ritz but better than a Harvester with his winnings.”

We approached former UKIP leader and current Hitlery jizzpipe, Nigel Farage, for a comment, but he was said to be unavailable, and was last seen heading towards the White Cliffs of Dover banging a yard of metal pipe into his palm and muttering something about there not being any black in the Union Jack.

With Mr Javid set to touch down in the UK in the next few hours, we can at least rest assured that these penniless, non-white immigrants turning up on our shores will be immediately and unceremoniously returned from whence they came, just like his father wasn’t.