Petitioning D&G?

I’m going to break an unofficial habit of a lifetime and talk fashion.

Haha, not actual fashion, snowflakes, that’d require interest in clothing other than my jeans. Dolce and Gabana, yah.

So if you pay attention to LGBT news, fashion news or the general news, you’ve probably heard that Misters Dolce and Gabbana have got themselves into trouble with Elton John, and anyone who’s ever used IVF or been part of a non-traditional family. Even though Dolce and Gabbana are definitely not traditional. And neither are lots of their clients. And most people.

I think they’re hypocritical, and short-sighted for not having considered the potential backlash, but if they think IVF babies are ‘synthetic’, that’s their prerogative. I’m not that interested in the bitchfest that’s started up either, because it’s not that different from any other bitchfest, and any argument via Instagram makes me feel a bit like this:

Found on Tumblr I think
Found on Tumblr I think

My conundrum is that the other day I got an email from All Out. I love All Out – they’re a LGBT rights group that works almost exclusively through online petitions, which tend to call for political change in regards to LGBT equality. They campaign to stop deportations of LGBT people to countries where they could be imprisoned, for example, and helped ensure the Olympic charter was altered to prohibit discrimination of athletes based on sexuality. I get to help the civil rights movement by doing a small thing that can help a lot of people. Yay!

This week All Out sent an email asking me to sign a petition asking D&G to ‘use your platform to open minds, rather than spreading hate’. They point out that D&G have ‘become part of the problem and not the solution’, which is true. Straight homophobes will almost definitely use their comments as excuses for discrimination… ‘the gays only like traditional families, let’s deny them the right to be one’. It’s gross. Plus they’re undermining all of the LGBT people who are living in fear of their lives or fighting to have their rights recognised.

But if D&G wanted to use their platform to promote LGBT rights, they would. They’ve already backtracked/elaborated on their comments (which were made in a magazine so could’ve been misprinted slightly in the first place?) and apparently they have different views about IVF and family anyway – none of which are really anyone else’s business. On the other hand, do they have a responsibility to be pro-anything-which-supports-LGBT-people, both as LGBT people and major designers? If they do, should I tell them that?

My gut feeling is that they should be allowed to say whatever they want, but also that they should know better. I won’t boycott the brand, mostly because that would involve having the money to buy from it, but I would pause for thought before accepting any D&G castoffs. I’m just not sure if it’s my place, as someone who’s pro-freedom of speech, to tell someone what to say. What do you guys think?

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Holiday Post 3: All Out

I wasn’t sure what to write for the final holiday post until I remembered that yesterday (a fortnight ago to the rest of you when this is published) I signed a petition run by an international organisation called All Out. It’s a movement that strives to prevent and end anti-LGBT laws, and it’s excellent. I first heard of it through Lindsey Way on Twitter, when she signed, I think, the petition to prevent a Ugandan law making it illegal to be gay or some such shit.

I signed it too and since then have been kept up to date on the insane statistics associated with homophobia. For example. it’s illegal to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in 76 countries, and in ten it’s legal grounds for life imprisonment or execution. So, basically, it’s against the law to fall in love and/or be yourself.

I don’t even know how to follow that up with a witty comment, because I don’t think there are any witty comments to be gained from that. It’s insane and makes me really, really angry. It’s not just the law that’s a problem, though – remember how a few years ago in the UK, kids were getting beaten up for wearing black and listening to rock music? Well, in Iraq, wearing black and listening to rock music is synonymous with being gay, which is synonymous with devil worship. So, of course, these youths need to be stoned to death. (Don’t get me started on the misinterpretation of the word ’emo’, but I think we can overlook that in this case.)

I’m not pretending that the UK is any better in regards to people’s homophobia – the amount of kids calling things ‘gay’ as an insult is immense, and it seems like I can’t sit with adults over 30 without some sort of homophobic comment coming up somewhere in the conversation. But at least we don’t get imprisoned for being ourselves anymore. Scotland’s been discussing gay marriage, Obama thinks it’s great and bands like the Scissor Sisters are huge.

The way I see it is that a large majority of people think Freddie Mercury was the world’s greatest frontman. He was bisexual. Large amounts of people like Elton John, but are happy to spout off homophobic crap. A large amount of people see racial discrimination as being wrong because our race is “just part of who we are”, but are content to call lesbians ‘dykes’ and gay people ‘queer’. If you’re gay and you like those terms, that’s cool; but I mostly hear them used as snide insults.

A large amount of people are convinced they can ‘cure gay’ – because, you know, your sexuality is a contagious illness. What even…

I need to go and pack and I’m just getting increasingly frustrated while I write, so I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes.

  Aww, it’s titchy. Okay, have a GIF-that’s-a-picture-unless-you-click-on-it-I-think instead.