Coming after the cancellation of Virtual Pride, where some LGBT people harassed and threatened the organisers because one liked some tweets by Nigel Farage and Toby Young, and seeing the general hostility from particularly young LGBT people towards other LGBT people who think differently, it is important to write this post.
LGBT people promote diversity. However, this diversity is a perversion of true diversity. True diversity is about accepting all people and cherishing the differences, including differences of thought and belief.
Basing the idea of diversity on skin colour, sex and gender alone is reductive and insulting to people. People are much more than their skin colour, sex and gender. A person is who they are because of the memories they have, their experiences, their achievements and their hopes. No person has the same life or experiences. We have similarities, but no one life matches another. This is diversity.
If you stand two Black women side by side, they look different, they have different names, they have a different family structure, different jobs, different social activities and different ambitions. Of course they will think differently.
It is the same with LGBT. We have some similarities such as a higher rate of coming from dysfunctional families, having a parent with serious mental illness, childhood physical and/or sexual abuse and being bullied in school.
However, we are not The Borg. We are individuals. We have different life experiences, we have different friends, we are from different classes, we have different jobs, different hobbies, different ambitions. Of course LGBT people all think differently.
Of course LGBT people think differently.
However, there is a very vocal minority – of mainly LGBT people under the age of 25 – who want all LGBT people to think the same. They are the ones who try to shut down any sort of difference of opinion by labelling other LGBT people “fascist”, “nazi”, “terf”, “truescum” and more.
I do believe – like many psychologists – that young people have, in general, been mollycoddled. They are too soft. When a young person is LGBT, they are told that the world revolves around their feelings and their emotional comfort. All the people screaming “You’re denying my existence!” to anyone quoting a biology text book simply would not have survived what LGBT people of my generation and the generation above me went through.
Young LGBT people have been infantalised – treated like babies – by the LGBT media who tell them how “vulnerable” they are. LGBT people are not vulnerable. We are strong. We are overcomers. We always have been. Julius Caesar, Hadrian and Elagabalus were not vulnerable. They were bi and trans rulers of empires.
People will have different ideas to you. Other people at university, your housemates, workmates, people you socialise with. They will all have different ideas to you. When you shut off people with different thoughts, you make your world smaller and smaller. You become less able to think about your own beliefs and why you believe them, and you stagnate.
I am an Orthodox Celtic Christian. This means I disagree with mainstream Christians on many things. Yet I do not cut myself off from other Christians. In fact, my spiritual home is the Taizé Community in France where Christians of all different beliefs from all over the world gather. People with other beliefs go to Taizé, such as Muslims from Belgium whose imam tells them to go to Taizé to learn, and atheists. And most of us get on and have a great holiday together, talking about what we believe and why, and listening to what other people believe and why. I’ve made some good friends through Taizé.
Having your own ideas is necessary for you to grow as a person. I understand that for many people, expressing your own ideas will be scary because you might lose a lot of friends. If that happens, those people were not really your friends. As Dave Rubin said in a recent chat with Douglas Murray, coming out as gay was a positive thing. His friends supported him and their friendships deepened. However, when he came out politically as being a centrist or independent thinker, he lost a lot of friends. However, he gained many more true friends who really did value him for who he is.
I left a writing collective several years ago. It never fulfilled any of its promises to help us move forward as writers, and the morality was getting worse and worse with one member saying openly he was a rapist and was going to carry on raping.
I reported him to the police and I’ve been writing on my own since. I lost most of the “friends” I had from that group, but I have had far more success on my own than with that group. I have performed more and I have nearly finished a trilogy of fiction.
Be brave. Think for yourself. Don’t let people treat you like a baby and make you less than you actually are. Go and find out what other people think and why they think the way they do. You will gain friends and you will become stronger in your own thoughts and beliefs.
I admire people who stand firm on their own beliefs, often standing alone for a period of time. The Levellers are a folk punk band who were hated by the music press. They were vilified by the music press, yet the Levellers stayed true to who they are, they stood strong, and they now headline festivals throughout the summer every single year and they run their own festival, Beautiful Days, which wins the Best Family Festival Award almost every year.
Briggs, the indigenous Australian rapper, stood strong on his principles and his good humour, and now has great output alongside other indigenous rappers and singers in Australia. They all carry a bit of extra weight, sometimes record in small studios in people’s homes, they dress in hoodies, but they are now raking it in financially and with a huge fanbase.
Dave Rubin in the United States was on the far left and part of a group called The Young Turks who have their own podcasts and daily shows. Rubin started questioning a lot, wondering if all the people The Young Turks opposed were really all stupid. He began his political journey away from the Left to the centre. He now has his own show from the studio in his own home. He invites guests onto his show from all political and social backgrounds. Rubin’s studio is in his home where he lives with his husband, yet he is confident in his own beliefs to invite guests into his home and onto his show who are against same sex marriage. Rubin gets on well with all his guests, whether he agrees with them or not.
When I was at school and growing up, us gays were strong enough in ourselves to embrace all LGBT people, to include everyone. We also were friends with everyone else. I am a gay person today who can get on with almost anyone. Straight people actually come to me to talk about LGBT issues and not their other LGBT friends because I am not the type to shout “You’re denying my existence!” Unless I am being ironic. Instead, when heterosexuals come to me to ask questions about LGBT issues, I answer their questions and we end up laughing for hours.
I am a gay person who can get on with almost everyone. This means I have a very active social life. In fact, the only time I am concerned about getting on with people is when I go to LGBT gatherings, and that is because I worry about group think and hostility for having my own thoughts and beliefs. Yet I have no concern about meeting total strangers at a language exchange or a rock climbing group or the farm I volunteer at. I can go to a community in France and talk with people from Burundi or Estonia. I can go on holiday to North Africa and chat with Bedouin guys around a fire in the Sahara. Life is so much better when we don’t demand that everyone thinks the same as us, and when we stand confident in ourselves.