Mathew on Monday column: Be an upstander, not a bystander, in the fight against homophobia, biphobia and Transphobia

Mathew Hulbert | Columnist | 9 May 2022

WELCOME to Mathew on Monday.

Mathew, with a poster of his poem penned for the exhibition, titled ‘Our Bodies. Our Lives. Our Rights’. (Image: Mathew Hulbert)

As you may have seen reported on this website last night, there is currently an exhibition on at the wonderful Atkins Building in Hinckley marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHoBiT.)

Sadly all of these things continue to be a scourge on our society and we must always stand against this discrimination and for equality, diversity and inclusion.

But it shouldn’t be left just to those of us who are LGBT+ to take on this fight.

We need allies to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us too.


Because none of us are equal until all are equal.

And that continuing inequality, that failure to recognise and indeed celebrate diversity, therefore diminishes us all; whether gay or straight and whether Trans or Cis.

We should strive for a world in which every inidvidual is able to be the truest and fullest expression of themselves.

We’ve come a long way already, for sure.

Within the lifetime of my parents homosexuality was illegal.

Now, if I were to meet a man and fall in love we could marry.

That is quite some journey and has only been achieved because of countless brave campaigners down the decades; some high profile and well known and others we may never know the names of but who, nonetheless, helped us take each step along the way to where we are.

For as far as we’ve come, however, the yellow brick road to full equality for all continues to stretch out in front of us, long into the distance.

Especially when it comes to justice, recognition, dignity and equality for Trans and non-binary individuals and communities.

The vile, senseless, shameful, unceasing, depressing, enraging, coordinated media (traditional and new) campaign against Trans and non-binary people is one of the most despicable and wide-ranging forms of bullying I can remember in the public sphere.

It is a disgrace; which all decent people, of every background and political persuasion, should condemn and condemn utterly.

Trans and non-binary individuals deserve love and support, not hate and ridicule.

I, as a Cis gay man, will always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my Trans and non-binary friends.

Just as it was Trans women who were at the forefront of the original Stonewall riots which were the beginnings of the modern gay rights movement.

But what about you?

Where do you stand?

What will you do?

Part of the exhbition is a piece of writing by me, which concludes thus:

‘So, be an ally.

Be a friend.

Be an upsander, not a bystander.

Know that none are equal until all are equal.

Don’t just look around this exhbition.

Decide to act.

To be in our corner.

To be on our side.

Because we are you.

And you are us.

Love Always Wins. x ‘

The first thing you can do is go and see the exhibition.

It’s free and on until May the 17th.

Take the first step as an ally.

You never known where it might lead.

Thank you.  

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