Wednesday, 14 April 2010

That's not what you mean

The Lib Dem manifesto has been launched. All good lefty stuff, the only coherent programme on the table, and may they win a swathe of seats not least as the only party consistently on side with LGBT issues, etc.

The Lib Dems do have one weakness on their manifestos, and it's the B word. Now it's peculiar that the 'third option' party should have such a persistent blind spot on the 'third option' sexuality but there it is. 

The manifesto includes:
Liberal Democrats will continue to encourage more openly gay and transgender people to stand for Parliament

How many times do I have to spell this one out?  I'm not gay.  I'm no more gay than I am straight.  Saying bis are a type of gay because they're not straight is like saying Germans are a kind of Egyptian because they're not Spanish.  You can reasonably shrink gay and lesbian down to just gay; you can't do that with the B strand of LGBT.

The manifesto also says a Lib Dem government would
Require better recording of hate crimes against disabled, homosexual and transgender people, which are frequently not centrally recorded.
Now, you can see how they got there.  Someone sub-editing things down sees a reference to hate crimes against disabled people, and a reference to homophobic and transphobic hate crime. "How can I put these together?" they think. "What's the -phobic word for disability? Erm. OK I'll do it the other way... homophobic hate crimes happen to homosexuals, and transphobic ones to transgender people".

Except of course they don't.  Or rather, they don't just.  The venn diagram has a big overlap between, say, being gay and being a victime of homophobic attacks.  But these things happen to bi people, to straight people, to cis people, too. 

I think it's pretty clear what they mean.  It's not quite what they said, and if they get in, or even if they don't and are advocating these things from the opposition benches, we need to make sure they get it right in the legislative print.

No comments:

Post a Comment