7 Things To Improve Queer PoC Lives 🗣
I was WhatsApping with a friend the other day, and during the convo they expressed concern about the situation in Birmingham and the protests against LGBT inclusive education as part of the ‘No Outsiders’ programme in Birmingham. In case you missed it, there have been protests by (largely Muslim) parents and hurtful words have been said about our community – and it’s spread to other pockets across the country. It essentially seeks to cancel our existence.
It’s Not Just A Muslim Thing 🙅♂️
My friend made a passing comment that essentially inferred Muslims were holding back progress, and that by living in this country, they needed to get with the programme. Being a PoC, I was annoyed as I know it’s not as simple as that (I’m also not condoning the way any of these parents are behaving). Do I believe that these parents are hiding behind their children to disseminate their bigotry? Abso-fucking-lutely.
But given the media portrayal of this issue, I could see why they thought it was a Muslim issue (let’s not get started in Islamophobia today). I had to point out that Christian and Jewish parents had also been part of the protests; and that this wasn’t a ‘backward’ Muslim and ‘liberal Britain’ argument. This trope others queer PoC, not just queer Muslims.
Which I why I’m weighing in. Not to take away the spotlight being shone on the experience of queer Muslims at this time – but to ask us all to take a step back and look at the bigger picture; that we are all susceptible and we must provide solidarity, especially as queer PoC.
White Outrage 😡
What’s also fascinating is seeing the White LGBT community react so strongly and condemn this. There is genuine shock that in this day and age, this type of behaviour exists. I mean hello, welcome to the world of a queer PoC. And where is this shock and indignation when we practice sexual racism and transphobia within our community? This situation has magnified the disconnect amongst our community and the work that must still be done.
The outrage on this single issue misses a point, that this threat to our existence is part and parcel of the queer PoC experience. The protests are unpleasant, but the content and the bigotry aren’t anything new. For people like me, it just shows up in different ways. This threat to our existence has always been real – from erasure (via being ostracised, kicked out and/or cut off) to fearing for survival.
It’s Our Issue 🌈
This isn’t a Muslim only issue – they’ve just been demonised and held up as the poster child of this bullshit in society by the media. It exists elsewhere and reminds us that we must work harder, together as a community.
This isn’t a Muslim only issue – this happens across all religions and cultures, particularly those of colour where concepts of heteronormative gender, family and community are entrenched in day to day life.
This isn’t a Muslim only issue – this has a domino effect. As we see with the Christian and Jewish parents joining. Who next? Sikhs and Hindus? When any of us are attacked, we are all attacked – it chips away at the freedoms we have built to date and the futures we’re aspiring to.
We need to reprioritise what we campaign and lobby for, who our programmes and services reach and how we educate on the queer PoC experience within and outside our community. We have great examples like the Stonewall Faith Role Models Programme; but we need more of this and at a larger scale if we wish to fix the foundational issues in our community and truly shift hearts and minds across modern Britain.
7 Things To Help Us Be Better 🏋️♀️
How are we all challenging ourselves to be better allies to our trans and non-binary community. Here are some great ways we can be allies; let’s practice them wholeheartedly and show our support.
Britain is becoming more multicultural – BAME people are projected to make up 20% of the population. We need to listen more closely to understand and tackle the barriers queer PoC face and use that to strengthen us as a whole – this requires a rethink in how services are designed and where we invest £££
Mainstream LGBT charities, review your spend/effort on programming and services. How much of your work truly supports queer PoC? Make this fundamental to your work.
Queer White people, in the same way White Feminism has been challenged to look beyond itself, how are you doing the same for LGBT equality? You can listen with compassion and make it a point to include us in rooms/conversations when we are missing.
Queer PoC, for those of us that are privileged and able to – how well do we educate and challenge our loved ones on who we are and what it means to be queer? Do we challenge the language they use? The misconceptions they hold? Our privilege holds the key to change and acceptance.
Queer PoC, for those of us who feel able to, how do we use our voices and platforms to show we exist, to tell our stories and dispel myths. What more can we do across our platforms, together? I feel vulnerable doing colourfull but I believe it can make a difference.
Queer media, how can you amplify queer PoC voices further? How can you move beyond representation politics and showcase our true stories so that we can educate and share with community as a whole?
Rant over. I choose being better over bitter. Let's do this! 💪💜