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Politics and more

Well, it’s election day here in the UK and I have a few things to say.

I used to think that I wasn’t political or that my identity wasn’t political. But just by existing, I am. The LGBTQIA+ community is, and has been, used as a political football for decades. And 2024 is no different. Yes, I realise that the survival of the community isn’t at the top of everyone’s voting criteria, but for those of us in the country part of the community, it can be a vital part.

Just like in the 80s with the gay community, the trans and non-binary community face awful rhetoric and abuse from naysayers, politicians and the media. It’s not something we haven’t seen before. The Tories seem eager to return the country to Section 28, version 2; denying our youth from seeing themselves in education and preventing non-LGBTQIA+ youth from unlearning prejudice and discrimination. The Tories want to prevent the trans community (in particular, trans women) from proper healthcare and toilet facilities appropriate to their gender. Unfortunately, Starmer of Labour wants the same. The Tories, after years of promises, will still not ban ‘conversion therapy’ – consistently letting down the LGBTQIA+ community in the country. Sunak has the gall (and the gumption) to say that the UK is one of the best places to be LGBT+. Is he serious? Well, I suppose he grew up without Sky TV, which must have been awful for him. Seeing him on the TV debates has been dreadful. A petulant child who keeps repeating the same old lies and the same old lines (crystal clear, anyone? Surrender?)

While it is crystal clear that the Tories are toast, it’s also apparent that life for the LGBTQIA+ community under Labour will not be a walk in the park. Rights will still be attacked. Trans people will still be targeted. And for what? Living as they truly are? What kind of society have we become where this is the reality?

There have been so many people in the country calling for tactical voting. Voting for Labour in order to get the Tories out. But if I voted for Labour, I’d be endorsing Starmer’s view on trans people, and that would be a betrayal. So I didn’t. In good conscience, I couldn’t. I couldn’t throw the community under the bus.

Without a party in government that stands up for ALL the LGBTQIA+ community, how on earth can we live in an equal society? When Labour get in, I shall be writing to my local MP to demand that the trans community are treated as humans. Enough is enough.

But what does this mean for the global 2SLGBTQIA+ ELT professionals and their allies? A UK government which is transphobic. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t come together to help foster change within our industry.

This is where I am not a taboo! comes in.

I’ve been thinking for a while now that the 2SLGBTQIA+ ELT community and its allies have been fragmented, and there is a lack of a community. I want to change that. But I can’t do it alone.
The website, which was launched just a few days ago, is a place I’d like to see the global 2SLGBTQIA+ ELT community and allies come together in a safe space. Forums for support, discussions and plans for change. A growing list of resources and references for education and support.
So, if you’re reading this and are a 2SLGBTQIA+ ELT professional or fierce ally in the industry, I’d like to invite you to the forums. All you need to do is go to reply to a thread and a pop-up will ask for a login. At the bottom of the pop-up is a sign-up link – and there you go. The link is www.iamnotataboo.com

Together we are stronger.

I am not a taboo.

Nobody is a taboo.

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