Barack Obama. What a man? I miss him, don't you? In his first year as President of the USA he announced that October would be celebrated as a nationwide LGBT History month in the USA.
In the last few years trans rights have, and about time, been given a lot more exposure in the media and on television with shows such as Queer Eye "The Sky Is The Limit, Caitlyn Jenner's coming out story, Aydian Dowling campaigning to be the first guy on the cover of Men's Health back in 2015, and the UK charity Stonewall putting the T in the once LGB charity thanks to the forward thinking CEO Ruth Hunt bring the charity into the 21st century, as well as Laverne Cox's portrayal of the harsh reality of trans women in the American prison system.
Nearly ten years on, it is becoming increasingly more bleak that everything that he fought for us is becoming undone. Since the election of Donald Trump who has taken many, many strides to reverse the work of Barack Obama in regards to LGBT rights such as then latest which is denying visas to same sex partners of diplomats in married couples, as well as Romania voting to restrict same sex partners to get married in the future this weekend, and let's not talk about Russia's current track record in this area. Such moves have caused hate crimes to increase in the US by 12% in 2017. It's not difficult to work out the maths on this and what influence there was politically.
Growing up, being gay was something I knew. I was aware of it and in hindsight with my family and friends it wasn't exactly a secret. But going to a predominately white school, in a conservative county, where most of the children were cruel and narrow minded and bullied me anyway regardless I didn't want any extra spotlight, the more stories and films I watched there were hardly any happy endings. Whilst I knew I was gay I wasn't proud and I desperately wanted to fix the pieces I thought were broken, it took a number of years before I was proud of the person I am. So I wore the dresses, wore my hair down and done things that weren't natural to me just for the sake of fitting in and thinking it would make my life easier and to place other people. I was told to grow my hair out, put on make up and act like girl from my peers whereas they should have told me to be myself.
But it's important we remember the battles of before, and what it took for us to get here. LGBT History month is important to remember icons such as Marsha P Johnson, Brandon Teena, Zak Kostopoulos, Milan Rozsa, Harvey Milk, Alan Turing and Bayard Rustin. It's important you have a time to remember them as without them we may still be silenced. They fought to be seen and heard. They fought for their voices to be read by younger people in the same situation who aren't as brave and don't have the freedoms these people were fighting for.
So I look forward to the different events that the USA will do to celebrate this iconic month.
And remember: other people's opinions are not your business. So said Ru Paul.