In this op-ed, Léa Rose Emery explores threats to the queer communities in the U.S. and the U.K.
It’s no wonder that people are concerned about the fate of LGBTQ rights in the U.K. As a bisexual woman living in London in a relationship with another woman, I’m amazed at how many people underestimate the homophobia queer folk face in liberal countries — and liberal cities — every day. There seems to be this idea that because gay marriage has been legalized, most people are not anti-LGBTQ rights, so everything is fine now. But it’s really not. And as an American living in London, it’s hard not to see the parallels on both sides of the pond. While Trump revokes guidance that protects rights of trans students, a new report says more than two in five trans students in the U.K. have attempted suicide and four in five have self-harmed.
While the LGBTQ community in the U.S. has its own concerns about their rights now that Donald Trump is president, queer people in the U.K. are also concerned about their rights. Earlier this month, there was a U.K. election where no single party received enough votes to take over control of the government. So instead, the party with the most votes — the Conservatives, already in power — have teamed up with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in order to give Conservatives the Parliamentary seats needed to govern. It’s like what would happen in the U.S. if no presidential candidate received enough electoral votes to gain office — but in this case, the parties can combine into a coalition to give them the total that they need. Though the move is controversial for a lot of reasons, the decision to welcome the DUP into government is totally offensive to members of the LGBTQ community.
Sacrificing women and marginalized groups for political clout is no longer the exception, it’s becoming accepted governmental policy. To put it simply: We are bargaining chips, and it’s horrifying. Read more via Teen Vogue