Thursday Thought: Is Homophobia Still an Issue in the United Kingdom?

With many people in the western world outraged over the news of an alleged attack on two gay men in The Netherlands, Dutch men are uploading themselves holding hands in a stand against homophobia. But, to those in the U.K, that seems a problem far from our reality. You would think that homophobia is a thing of the past here. But, unfortunately, that is not always true. Jason Carter shares with us his views and experiences…

In 2017, it’s expected that everyone is treated equally. There is no place for discrimination. However, being gay myself, I have felt that there is still a long way to go in terms of reaching equality and tackling homophobia for the LGBTQ community.

Recently on the Isle of Wight, MP Andrew Turner went to a sixth form college. He told the students that

homosexuality is wrong and dangerous to society.

This shows that even people in government are not supporting the gay community. Within the integral parts of society, there needs to be a solid change for the opportunity to move forward and to reach equality.

In Portsmouth, eight women were attacked by a group of men for being gay. They had just enjoyed a night out and were walking home, when the men shouted homophobic abuse. This was followed by him kicking and punching them, leaving black eyes and knocked out teeth. The men were then later released from police custody, although, they are still “under investigation”. This is a disgusting thing to have happened. 

These are just a few of the events that have occurred recently.

It suggests something needs to seriously change to make it safer for LGBTQ people to live in confidence to express who they really are and not have to hide it.

It has been almost 50 years since being homosexual in the UK and Wales was first made legal. It was only 37 years ago in Scotland. Much has happened since then like equalised the age of consent and the right to marry. However, more still needs to be done.

On the Isle of Wight, which is my home, I experienced a month ago an incident first hand that appeared to be homophobic. I was refused entry to a pub on Newport High Street, when all my friends were allowed entry straight away. This goes to show there seemed to be something prejudicial going on. Especially, when I was the one out of everyone who was not allowed to go in.

But you’re probably thinking what can we do?

Events like these seem to keep happening and not just in the UK but around the world. With everything that happened to gain equal rights so far, I couldn’t let it just slide by. So, take a moment to think, have you ever been refused entry to somewhere because of who you are? If you have, I know how horrible it feels. Especially when, perhaps, you are that one in twelve prevented from being who you really are.