Nearly every time I write an article (or talk on the radio) about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues, someone then contacts me to complain about my employment of the word "queer". Since summer is the season for LGBT(Q!) pride events, it seems like the ideal time to que(e)ry the term "queer", and to think about why it seems to be a word that divides opinion.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has signed into law the new homophobic Bill that criminalises gay freedom of expression. The adoption of children by foreign same-sex couples has also been banned and gay organisations that receive financial donations from overseas are being fined as 'foreign agents'. These are the latest examples of an escalating trend towards homophobic repression in Russia...
"Where's the straight Pride? Why do the gays get a special day to themselves? It's not fair." If I had a pound for every time I was asked that question, well, I'd have quite a few pounds... Straight Pride is taken for granted every single day. It's invisible, unshocking, quietly permeating everyday norms.
Patriotic Love has touched my life in profound ways. I grew up in the shadow of a tremendous giant, the Second World War. My childhood was cast into its darkness; it was only through persistence that I survived and was able to bloom. It was Patriotic Love that took the lives of family members and friends, those who fought in battle and those who were lost as casualties.