Does Britain Really Support Equal Marriage?

If you went out onto the street and asked people if they supported ‘equal marriage’, I’m pretty sure the majority would say ‘yes’. After all, it would be frowned upon if they were prejudiced against this group of people that the Government has decided to back and give equal rights to. We’re in 2013, the ‘hip and accepting’ period of time. So OF COURSE the majority of people are fine with it. Is that actually how it is though? I’d be inclined to disagree.

I identify as a gay woman and whilst nobody has explicitly told me they deem me to be inferior to them, the language and way the talk about the homosexual community says otherwise. I repeatedly hear the word “dyke” as some kind of insult that straight people use. Some of these people have been my friends and family, which is completely baffling to me. If I sat them down and asked if they had a problem with my sexuality, they would say no. However using the word “dyke”, which has obvious negative connotations attached, as an insult actually points to a different answer. I’ve also heard friends say that sexuality is a choice and that women can choose if they are gay or straight. That’s definitely not the case, at all. Whilst I am completely comfortable and happy with who I am, when I was growing up I’d have loved to control my sexuality. There were many times when I wished I was straight, however that was not to be as you cannot choose who you are sexually attracted to. People seem to make these flippant remarks and then tell gay people they’re overreacting and it was “just a joke”.

Let’s put it this way. What if I used the word “P*ki” as an insult and then just claimed to be joking around? I’d be branded as a racist and rightly so. When you’re using such powerful words in a negative and derogatory setting, it’s nothing but prejudice that borders on discrimination. So why is it any different for the homosexual community? Would it be deemed acceptable to tell any offended ethnic minorities to “get over it”? Probably not. What shocks me even more is the blatant prejudice between minorities in general. As any member of a minority in Britain, you understand what it’s like to be discriminated against on a daily basis. Not being granted basic human rights, such as acceptance and freedom, really does affect you. A lot of the ignorant remarks I hear from people are from people who would fall into these categories, which is completely and utterly hypocritical. If you expect equal rights and fairness to be given to your community, you can’t then see other groups as inferior. It doesn’t work.

I do understand that there is a large percentage of Britain who don’t spout these views and I’m not tarnishing everybody with the same brush. I’m just completely fed up of reading things on my Facebook and Twitter, whereby people so flippantly throw these words around. It definitely doesn’t help equal marriage’s cause and it definitely doesn’t aid the movement in making huge steps towards equality. If you believe you may fall into the trap of using these words without thinking, please just stop. We don’t live in 1950. Widen your vocabulary and find insults other than “gay” and “dyke”, it’s getting really boring now.

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