Visibility isn’t the same as credence or equality.
That’s what writer Amelia Abraham learned when she went up north to Stockport, UK, to visit some LGBTQ youth groups and talked to young people between 11 and 16 year olds about its own experience of being queer.
“A lot of them that known quite frightful hate crimes or the type of homophobia that I’ve been luck enough to not ever had to endure — things like physical violence, ” she says. Abraham says many have spoken of the LGBTQ role models they look up to, including non-binary actor Ruby Rose. “But it didn’t really feel like that top-level visibility had really filtered down to improve their day-to-day experience.”
It was during this visit that she was inspired to revise a book of essays that would show people just what needs to change to tangibly improve the lives of LGBTQ people. We Can Do Better Than This: 35 Singers on the Future of LGBTQ+ Rights is an collection of parts by 35 people from the LGBTQ community on how we can start to create a better future.( Disclosure: The columnist of this story shares the same publisher as Abraham .)
Contributors include It’s a Sin sun Olly Alexander, fashion designer Jonathan Anderson, generator Naoise Dolan, reporter Shon Faye, vocalist Beth Ditto, RuPaul’s Drag Race star Peppermint, lag performer Amrou Al-Kadhi, theatre maker Travis Alabanza, photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, draw queen Pabllo Vittar and more.
The papers themselves cover a broad spectrum of themes, from reflecting on knows of dating as a trans being, to building a kinder queer community, learning to adoration oneself, and espousing the fluidity of one’s own name. Other essays discuss visibility and public security, HIV stigma, impelled intersex surgeries, and homosexual influencer culture.
“We talk a lot about how for benefit of future generations everything’s so much more professing and so much better and I think sometimes that can be a bit of a story, ” says Abraham. “That’s what that event been demonstrated by. When we are speaking of things being so much better now, there’s so much more now, especially for the younger generation, but I see I’ve found out firsthand that that’s not inevitably genuine. Peculiarly outside of major cities, and peculiarly outside of Western countries.”
Amelia Abraham, writer of We Can Do Better Than This.
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Abraham points out two of her favourite papers from the book. “One is by Levi Hord, who is a trans academic, and they’re talking about growing up and trying to imagine what their family would look like and creating these queer co-ops with their Barbies, ” she says. “Then they talk about how they’ve started to think about pregnancy as a trans being. There’s this amazing argument for how if we made a less gendered approach to pregnancy, it would benefit not just trans parties, but basically everyone in society.”
“It’s a guidebook for the next 10 years of activism for LGBTQ+ beings themselves and for anyone who wants to be an ally.”
Another essay Abraham kindness is “Happily Ever After Isn’t Accessible To Me” by Canadian queer disability activist Andrew Gurza. “He talks about his date know-hows truly vividly and with so much humour, and what you end up encountering as a faggot disabled population, ” she says.
Abraham wanted to explore not just what still needs to change and how far we have to go, but to present ways to move life-time better for lesbian beings and to ensure their actual refuge. When it comes to discussions about LGBTQ privileges, Abraham says we are very reactive as national societies. “So it takes something to happen — like the Chris and Melania attack on the bus[ when two homosexual dames were physically assaulted] — in order for there to be an outcry or repugnance, or a will to action from parties outside of the community, or it takes Black Lives Matter opponents to draw attention to the number of Black trans parties being killed in America for parties outside of the community to realise that that’s a problem, ” says Abraham.
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For Abraham, the book was meant to be active rather than reactive. “You don’t need to time answer when something bad happens, we can forever be trying to push things forward in all these ways, ” she says. “It’s a guidebook for the next 10 years of activism for LGBTQ parties themselves and for anyone who wants to be an ally or cares about LGBTQ rights.”
By understanding what the next territories are, we can begin to know what we’re “re fighting”, says Abraham. “I hope that by spotlighting fibs of what different queer beings all around the world are experiencing we can start to get a picture of what needs to change, whether it be HIV stigma, bullying in class, the criminalisation of homosexuality, shortage of care for LGBTQ elderly, or long waiting times for trans people, ” she says.
If the book encourages people to change their attentions about the LGBTQ community, that will be really useful, says Abraham. “And if it heartens substance act, then even better.”
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