• Mike Douglas

Diversity Rant


This post is inspired by a music video I saw online at the start of October called 'Into Dust'.

'Into Dust,' is an original song and music video commissioned by b-side. Into Dust aims to tackle the stigma, social isolation and phobic behaviour among young people in the LGBTQ community.

Apart from being a good song, one which I may have over listened too (I think I maybe a quarter of their youtube views on this video), there is a very important message here. Tell you what, watch the video then come back.

What did you think? Cool right!

Into Dust, along with a couple of personal experiences lately, brought up a few topics and thoughts for me I would like to discuss.

Language

I sometimes try not to use the term 'LGBT' because when talking about diversity I think it can be / is important to recognise the 'T' (transgender) and that it relates to your own identity. Gender is (in my mind) quite different to being 'LGB' regarding your sexuality.

I understand there are often very similar battles to fight. But seriously how has a term that throws everyone thats different together happened? Was / is it a case of stronger in numbers, or am I not aware or something? I am honestly asking, I want to know if there is a reason. There has to be one.

Why do we (society) use reference to gay sex as derogatory? Ill put my hand up, I have done it in the past. I guess it comes from a culture of one or two generations ago, when being gay was very much frowned upon. Yet today we celebrate all love (unless your in Russia or the White House), so why do we still use terms like 'so gay' 'fisted' 'ass fucked' as acceptable terms to use when demeaning someone? The truth is this is NOT acceptable. For me personally this also shows a lack of knowledge in how much love, pleasure and fun people can have by doing these things. 'Wanker' anyone?

Toilets

This is a big topic for me, so buckle up!

"Disabled toilets" do not exist, a toilet can not be disabled!!!

Breath...

The 'disabled toilet', is an access / accessible toilet or simply a toilet!

I believe very much in each person having their own right to their beliefs and not being forced to accept others views. I understand, as much as someone can without experiencing it, that for example a women may not want a female who was previously male in the toilet block they use. However the answer isn't to force transgender, questioning or a-gendered people into what you still call a 'disabled toilet'.

Personally, I don't see why there are not more of the individual cubical corridors. Where you have the toilet, sink, mirror in each individual cubical. I have actually seen this in quite a few schools over the last 8 or so years, so why they are not more commonly used in public spaces I have no idea.

People of Colour

I am going to leave this to Agra Gra, Oglala Lakota or whoever first wrote this poem, I love it!

"When I was born I was black,

When I was sad I was black,

When I was hot I was black,

When I was sick I was black,

When I was scared I was black.

When you were born you were pink,

When you were sad you were blue,

When you were hot you were red,

When you were sick you were green,

When you were scared you were yellow.

And you call me coloured."

I do have a question, why does skin colour matter? I get some people have a class thing and just want to be around money, and only want to be around people perceived as rich or well known etc. But I can't work out why someone would have an issue with someone else's skin colour.

Sideish note, heres a photo of my beautiful niece. I have been asked before "is she black?", "is she mixed race?". My answer "She is Phoebe".

Does it mater what colour her skin is? Does it matter if she has parents of different races? Is that even any of your business?

I guess what I'm talking about is closely linked to the Equality Act 2010, which covers ‘protected characteristics’ under the headings of: age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy / maternity.

That rolled off the tongue hehe.

People be People!

I think its important to look at how our culture and society works and functions occasionally.

If you don't look back and consider what, how and why we do things, then how can there ever be progress? Recognition that that things have changed? Or celebration of our successes?

Whether its skin colour, language, toilets, rights, respect or anything from a quite long list. If you feel passionate about something, get involved. If you think you could / should know more, ask questions, research. There are so many amazing people out there that don't always get the opportunities or the platform to show what they can do. There are so many that have been told they are not good enough. Well, poo poo to that!

Be who you are, and if you don't know who you are, thats ok too!

Heres to 2018 and more self discovery and better knowledge and education.

Also death to disabled toilets!

#diversity #LGBT #toilets #POC

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