A few weeks ago, the outgoing president of Warwick Pride made some comments regarding the Tory queer community that could be described as at best intentionally hurtful. As an individual, they are of course at complete liberty to make such comments, whether offensive or not. Warwick Pride, as a society rather than an official LGBTQUA+ organization, also has every right to take such a politically charged position. Why then is this an issue? In truth, when there is such hostility within the queer community towards those who diverge from the movement’s prescribed ‘party-line,’ it begs the question; if one comes out the closet, only to be locked in another one, is one truly liberated?
Warwick Pride, to their credit, responded by stating they would “never stop encouraging individualism” and “personal identity,” especially amongst its members. How though, can such a measured response be reconciled with their outgoing president’s comments? “Can Tory Gays just fuck off,” they stated bluntly. Such a binary mentality reminds me of that oft quoted quip; “You are either with us or against us.”
If one comes out the closet, only to be locked in another one, is one truly liberated?
And one might well wonder whether there is an element of fraud in a society whose name reflects an inclusive and welcoming community, and yet whose actions tarnish the ideals of that concept of free expression which they purportedly hold so dear? Make no mistake, whilst the outgoing president has all the freedom in the world to tweet, society presidents are effectively figureheads, the elected embodiment of what each member believes the society should represent. Whilst they may not realise that this mantle mandates accountability, the very foundations of a society supposedly dedicated to the support of the LGBTQUA+ community seem hollow when its leader publicly denounces a portion of the aforementioned community.
In a recent post celebrating the ‘Trans Day of Visibility,’ Warwick Pride declared that “Your identity is valid, and we need to fight to cultivate a world where gender diversity is nourished, instead of policed.” The statement continued, saying ‘we are here for you.’ From their outgoing President’s words however, it seems such sentiment is reserved for those who conform to an approved ideology, a groupthink marginalising all those who disagree, discarding them into the category of ‘undesirables’.
In truth, the modern progressive movement enshrines hypocrisy. As we are liberated, ever-more are we shackled into a Platonic cave of ideological norms. The implication is that our politics is only relevant if it fits in neatly with a widespread perception our identity. But there is so much more to debate, opinion and identity than sexuality. This politics of surface-over-substance has poisoned and polarised modern liberal democracy, both amongst the left and right wing. It is something we are all guilty of, and something that must change.
As we are liberated, ever-more are we shackled into a Platonic cave of ideological norms
It is about time we learned to criticise and judge people based on their actions, rather than simply who they voted for. Tory is just a word, not a definition. To treat it as such is no different than to treat all Labour voters as a single homogenous collective. Perhaps one may argue that the party’s views in the past have at times left it on the wrong side of history. However, if we continue to look back into the past, to the sins of our fore-fathers, blind to how far we have come, we doom our children to the same ignorance; to see the world through a looking glass of superficiality rather than one of nuance and depth.
The mixed-bag of our past is etched in stone; the future is unwritten. Ergo, each of us has a choice to make. It is a choice that may well define this century. Do we judge people for what they are, or who they are?