Hop Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
This isn’t to say that this is something we should be bearing in mind just once a year. I would hope that anyone who reads this is already well aware of the message but a bit of reinforcement never hurts.
One of my favourite quotes is from Plato. In the original text there’s a lot more to it but the sentiment remains one of the best rules of thumb that I know, and it is usually rendered as:
Be kind – for everyone you meet is fighting a battle about which you know nothing.
It doesn’t usually cost anything to be kind but it can take some effort.
I had an email this week, one of those annoying All Staff emails that usually refer to pilates classes in the lunch hour at a venue 30 miles away, or surplus office equipment. Normally I delete them but this one caught my eye because it had this heading:
It had been sent by Stonewall Cymru, Yr elusen cydraddoldeb lesbiaidd, hoyw, deurywiol a thraws yng Nghymru [The all-Wales charity for lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans equality], as a little reminder that all public places and the public servants who work in them should be mindful, careful and thoughtful at all times and not just when they think they should. Battles are being fought every day, quiet, painful secret struggles, by brave warriors whose polite smiles conceal the wounds they carry.
At the very least we should not be adding to the burdens carried so secretly but Stonewall Cymru takes it a step further with their watchword DimAnwybyddu = No Bystanders. If you hear the comment, that nasty sneering throwaway cut, challenge it. If you see something you suspect might be bullying, interfere. Even the old and the slow, like me, can bear witness, and make it clear that we are prepared to do so.
As usual I’ll be donating, as usual to AKT, and as usual I’m offering a prize to a commenter – an ecopy of A Taste of Copper. Don’t forget to leave your contact deets in your comment.