THE BLOG

A Letter to the Ukip Secretary Who Asked Me What LGBT People Are

07/05/2015 15:47 BST | Updated 06/05/2016 10:59 BST

Dear Peter Morgan,

You may remember the email I sent you a few days ago. I told you about my radio show, The LGBT Show, and about my desire to interview a UKIP councillor on the show. I told you that I'd tried to get in contact with your party already, but I hadn't had any luck. Do you remember getting that email?

Because, I certainly remember receiving your reply. I remember being in the middle of a crowded shopping mall, eagerly refreshing my email. When I saw your name flash up on my Inbox, I was delighted. I had waited so long to get a response from your party, and now I finally had one.

So, I opened it.

'Can you tell me please what are LGBT people?'

When I read this line, I was completely baffled. Surely I must have read it wrong? I hadn't slept much the night before, and so presumed my lack of sleep was affecting my ability to process the words that glared out of my phone screen. However, as I skimmed the line over and over again, I realised that I hadn't been wrong. You really had asked me what LGBT people are, and I felt outraged. I felt disgusted. I couldn't believe that a man of your power could be so ignorant.

Now, reading this, you probably think I'm completely overreacting, right? Surely it's only an acronym? No person knows every acronym. Surely I should've just replied to you, and told you what it meant? That would've been the easy solution- the right solution- wouldn't it?

Well, you're wrong.

Just like the LGBT acronym, I too have been around since the 1990s. And I can tell you that growing up as a young gay person can be hard. When you're in sex education and your teacher does not even attempt to make a single reference to same-sex relationships, it is hard. When your friend tries to pressure you into telling them which boy you fancy, when all you can think about is that cute girl in your history class, it is hard. When the only time you hear the word 'gay' being used is as an insult in the playground, it is hard. When everything you are made to read, made to study, made to participate in is centred around being heterosexual, it is really, really hard.

It makes you feel like you don't exist.

Yes sure, there's this version of you that sits in the classroom every day, trying to show interest as your teacher lectures you about 'having safe sex with your boyfriend'; the version of you that pretends to fancy the bright-eyed boy who sits next to you in science; the version of you that stays quiet in the playground, desperately trying not to blush when you hear the popular boys call the latest homework assignment 'gay'. There's this version of you that exists.

But that's not really you. The real you feels completely unacknowledged and alone.

But hey, it's not the fault of the teachers, right? It's not the fault of your peers either, is it? Why would it be their fault? I mean, you're the gay one- you're the one who insists on being different- so surely it's your job to educate them? To make them listen?

Or maybe, just maybe, it's not.

Maybe it's your job to educate yourself.

Maybe, instead of taking the easy option - instead of shifting the responsibility straight onto me - you could take some responsibility. Maybe instead of asking me what 'LGBT people are', you could find out for yourself. You could take 2 seconds to Google it.

But let's face it, how likely is it that you'll listen to me? Why change the habit of a lifetime for the sake of one angry youth who clearly has too much time on her hands? If I really want you to be educated, if I really want you to know what LGBT people are, I guess I'm better to do the hard work for you.

So, here you go: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=what+are+lgbt+people