Last Sunday I went to a socially distanced Christmas Carol service. The choir sang through the highlights of the child’s birth. Each carol emphasising the love and joy the child Jesus brought into the world.
We all know how his story ended.
This child's birth represented so much hope, love and kindness, His entry into the world was spectacular, with angels singing and stars shining brightly, He ended up being violently killed 33 years later. Many of the people who supported him, turned against him.
Fast forward 2020 years, and I don't think people have changed much.
We have not evolved into decent human beings; we just got better at hiding how we really feel.
Social media makes it so easy for us to be universally seen as the intellectual, open minded, accepting, non judgemental, free spirits... we so obviously are not.
We can visibly support same sex marriages, raise the banner for 'Black Lives Matter', express outrage at the merciless treatment of animals, sign petitions to stop child labour, domestic violence, child abuse. We know that we will never, ever be called upon to publicly defend any of the shit we are seen to be supporting.
Social media lets us tick off that box that says to the world…”yes I am a tolerant person who believes and supports everyone’s basic human right to live, regardless of their religious beliefs, sexual orientation, cultural background, gender or politics”. That’s all it does. There is no substance or conviction or belief behind that ticked box.
When the shit hits the fan, they will turn on you.
The media keeps feeding the public that LGBTQ+ acceptance is widespread. But acceptance is not the issue, since acceptance puts the power into the hands of the person doing the accepting.
Plus the statistics don't support their claims.
8 in 10 LGBTQ+ people experienced online abuse
Among those targeted, 5 in 10 had experienced online hate more than 20 times.
1 in 5 experienced more than 100 incidents
6 in 10 were threatened with physical violence, while 4 in 10 received death threats or threats of sexual violence
68% of LGBTQ+ people in the UK have been sexually harassed at work (the rate is 37% in the general population)
4 in 5 trans people experienced a form of transphobic hate crime
1 in 4 trans people experienced transphobic physical assault or the threat of physical assault
6 in 10 trans people experienced transphobia online
3 in 10 trans people experienced transphobia at work
1 in 4 trans people experienced transphobia at home
5 in 10 trans people received transphobic abuse from a stranger
The issues that existed in the LGBTQ+ community before the pandemic, still exist; but they have intensified.
This Christmas Eve 2020, I want to believe that next year will be kinder and gentler. That we will do the right thing, The brave thing. We will be kinder. At least we can try.
I know. You have your own problems. You have lost jobs. You have not seen loved ones for ages. You are stuck inside. The uncertainty of what COVID will do next, is weighing you down. You have survived 2 lock downs and have just been plunged into a 3rd one.
I hear you. Why should you be kind?
Maybe because we know how our story will end if we let it. But we can change the narrative.
Be kind. Light up the community.