LGBTQ is Not a Question of Politics
Many right-wing news companies, parties, politicians, and activists say more or less the same things: either that LGBTQ people as a ‘group’ are a form of left-wing (in the worst cases even communist) propaganda and that everyone within this ‘group’ have been brainwashed by this supposed propaganda, or that the LGBTQ ‘organisation’ and its followers are some kind of sect that aims to overthrow CIS-heterosexual people in society and forbid heterosexuality. They also often claim that LGBTQ people are ‘sinners’ that must be saved. Some would go so far as to say that LGBTQ and LGBTQ people can be included in all the claims above. What all these arguments have in common are their connection to ‘politics,’ and that LGBTQ is ‘bad.’
At this point in time, the most flagrant example of the above can be found in Poland, where anti-LGBTQ propaganda is used in an extreme way. A few years ago, the government implemented so-called LGBTQ-free zones, which means that in these specific areas LGBTQ persons are not allowed to market their opinions or in any way signal that they are LGBTQ. The reason behind these zones is first to guarantee the hetero culture, which the state, the media, and society at large, have embraced for so long that it is now the norm, and second, to secure the political support of right-wing activists. While LGBTQ persons who are just trying to get on with their daily lives are being subjected to oppression, the extremist hate groups are becoming more and more accepted by society and the state. Why so? Is it to cleanse the country? Is it the will of Jesus Christ? Poland is highly influenced by Christianity and the Catholic Church, which are important features in the lives of most of the population who are staunch believers. Like Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, many of the high-status priests are also highly conservative. Since the church and the state share the same sentiments, especially concerning LGBTQ, it is not hard to understand that they have joined hands tighter than ever.
As in Poland, there are some states in the USA where politicians regard LGBTQ persons with a similar disdain. Even if the US have not gone as far as to implement LGBTQ-free zones, it is nevertheless noticeable where LGBTQ persons are not welcome; as if there were invisible ‘free zones.’ Alabama and West Virginia are two of the most anti-LGBTQ states in the USA at the present time. Alabama has gone as far as to discuss whether to keep or to completely discard the law about same sex marriages. The marriage laws have met the same fate as the health care laws. The difference is that this same development is taking place in several states. Over the years, more and more trans sexual persons have been denied operations and hormones. Between 2016 and 2020 doctors in certain states have had to deny trans persons treatment merely on the ground of their trans sexuality. Even if the situation is possibly beginning to brighten somewhat, it will take time before the situation is good.
In the USA, although the defamation of the LGBTQ issue and the harassments of LGBTQ persons are severely problematic today, they are thankfully still not as problematic as they once were. In the 80s, when the spread of HIV/Aids began, although hetero sexual men and women contracted the virus more often, not only were gay men severely targeted, but they were also given the entire blame for its spread. So why put the blame on the gay men, when they in this circumstance constituted the minority? One reason is the government’s need of a scape goat—someone to put the blame on. Gay men did not only die from HIV/Aids; they also died from the many hate crimes they were subjected to by fearful, conservative Americans.
LGBTQ persons are still today being killed by various regimes, either directly or indirectly, especially in the Far East such as in China, Russia, and countries in the Middle East. Old traditions and mores, religion, a general hatred of persons who are different, and conservative mindsets are some of the reasons behind these harassments and why they continue to this day. In more than seventy countries it is still forbidden by law to be an LGBTQ person. In twelve countries it is even met with a death penalty.
Each time LGBTQ issues are raised there is always someone who says: “Don’t make it into a question of politics.” Why are our lives a question of politics? Does it imply that we are merely regarded as a hindrance, a problematic issue? If there is to be any progress in the social development as far as LGBTQ persons are concerned, people at large must learn to accept that these issues are not “political.” They are instead issues of human rights. And if the same people regard human rights as “too political,” they should really begin to investigate who they are and who they would like to be.