Opinion: I will not hide…

rainbow flag on white background  : harvey milk plaza, san francisco (2012)Boy, has this been a tough week. This week I suffered some homophobia. This is tough to write.

It came in the form of an e-mail from someone who should know better, but sadly doesn’t.

Someone who believes their faith gives them the right to put pen to paper (or fingers to keypad) and accuse me of being immoral.

I’ve been lucky since I came out as a gay man, in 2011, in that I’ve faced very little homophobia (at least that I’m aware of) but this e-mail has reminded me that the fight against homophobia, against bigotry, and for justice and acceptance goes on.

Sometimes it’s intimated to me that I shouldn’t be so public about my belief in LGBT rights, that it might ‘cost me votes,’ that some people may not be ready to hear the messages I’m putting out there.

Maybe they’re right, but I believe with all my heart that if you believe in something you should fight for it.

I will not hide.

Nor will I be silent in my fight for justice and progress.

Not whilst there’s still young LGBT people taking their own lives because of the homophobia/homophobic attacks they’re facing that they just can’t take them any more.

Not whilst there’s still young LGBT people being chucked out of their family home just for being open about who they are.

And not whilst the fight for full equality goes on…from more rights for Trans individuals, to ensuring Equal Marriage becomes a reality in Northern Ireland, and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our LGBT friends in many other parts of the World where to be Gay is to live in fear of your life.

We’ve made great strides, for sure, and for most people today someone’s sexuality is not an issue.

But for some people, very sadly, it is.

To have someone tell you, or intimate to you, that you are less than, that what you are-the very core of you-is somehow immoral or evil, hurts more than I can say.

But, I’m going to take the pain that this has caused me and ensure that I use it to never forget who I’m fighting for.

If you are an LGBT young person and maybe you feel like you have to hide, maybe you feel that you can’t be open, that you fear people’s reactions, I say to you: you are a beautiful and valuable person, that you can be open and be fully you, and that if people have a problem with that firstly it’s their problem, not yours and, secondly, there are many organisations out there that can be of help to you on a range of fronts.

The late, great Civil Rights activist, Martin Luther King Junior, said it best:

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.

* Mathew Hulbert is a parish Councillor in Leicestershire.

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17 Comments

  • lynne featherstone 5th Apr '14 - 4:07pm

    Mathew – well said.

  • Keep up the fight, Matthew.

  • Eddie Sammon 5th Apr '14 - 8:16pm

    Homophobia is alien to my heart, the only thing I sometimes ask is to strive for better relations with religious communities. Of course this is a two way street. I also think “the west” should toughen up on countries with awful LGBT records.

  • Richard Duncalf 5th Apr '14 - 9:02pm

    Keep up the good work – very proud of elected supporters such as Mathew.

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 6th Apr '14 - 8:52am

    Well said, Mathew! And let us remember the bravery of a senior member of the Anglican Communion who is not hiding in Uganda but giving his support to the LGBT community in his country. Matthew you are so right – there is much still to do.

  • Edward Reach 6th Apr '14 - 12:52pm

    Well said.

  • Sal Brinton 6th Apr '14 - 12:59pm

    Well said, Matthew, and I hope you can recover from this awful experience soon.
    There are many people of faith who do not support the homophobic comments of those who try to speak in our name. As a Christian, they do NOT speak for me. I am delighted that the Quakers, Methodists and Unitarians will be conducting Equal Marriage ceremonies, and look forward to the day when other churches join them.

  • The Quakers and Unitarians are indeed beautiful examples of what Christianity could, and should, be. They should be celebrated more.

  • Sal Brinton 6th Apr '14 - 5:50pm

    Thanks, Helen, for the correction: the Methodist Church has just concluded a consultation on Equal Marriage, but haven’t yet announced the result. I rather jumped the gun: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/11/30/methodist-church-begins-consultation-into-equal-marriage/

  • I’m a Christian and they don’t speak for me…. I feel for you, no one should be singled out or judged for their sexuality.

  • So horrid, these “homophobes” on the attack all the time.

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