This article was written in March 2006 by PA Mag Lochlainn for the magazine ‘ICON’ (Northern Ireland’s Gay Publication)
We in the LGBT community of Northern Ireland are engaged, willingly or not, in a perpetual struggle for our rights. American homophobes claim that “the gay lobby” seeks special rights: in fact, it is they who already have such rights, with their huge stake in press, radio and television worldwide, their unfettered access to schools where they persist in teaching lies about uSeand even the presumption that ‘any homphobe wearing a white collar must be more truthful than me – because I wear no such uniform’.
I pray that ICON will shine the light of truth above this tide of mis-information.
No-one has so far discovered any evidence that children are born homophobic (although there is some fascinating work from nursery classes that seem to show boys excluding the child who later turns out to be gay), and it is utter nonsense to talk about being born a Christian or a fundamentalist.
It is quite clear taht children are taught what to expect from boySeand girls, or from PortestantSeand Catholics. There is no room in this cosy world for little lesbians or gay boys. You have only to read the “problem pages” or the agony aunts to see the panic when Junior prefers pink, or Jane plays with tractors.
Strangely enough, we do appear to be born lesbian or gay. Wolfenden reported (back in the 1950s!) that children exhibited signs of minority sexuality from the earliest age which researchers could measure. As teenagers, all too many of us recall our frantic efforts to conform to heterosexuality. I never know whether to snigger or sob when I hear some (usually self-appointed) expert proclaiming that we are “sodomites” only because we deliberately chose to make ourselves so!
The struggle to present the truth about our community, in the teeth of such powerful propaganda, and is a long and arduous one. Nevertheless, many of us engage in this struggle, simply because we have no alternative. Never forget the wisdom of the slogan “Silence = Death“.
We can (and often do) disagree about what the wisest course of action is in this or that situation. What we must not do is to allow ourselves to be split into factions, which our enemies can then play of against one another. Only when united, can we stand: once divided, we shall fall. Let us by all means debate and discuss within our own groupSeand publications the way to tackle our many enemies. Our movement has a good record already of working through consensus: that is the only way forward.