Next time you walk in a park on a sunny Sunday afternoon, whilst at a leisurely pace, take note of the amount of people holding hands. Naturally when anyone is with their loved ones, in a certain place and feeling a certain way they do want to show affection, Its human nature, yet we often don’t register when we witness heterosexual couples holding hands, as its a common sight.
However being lgbt and living in a more acceptable society, even England you can feel at the very least ‘apprehensive’. You can even feel more aware, even with our laws sometimes we are up against attitudes too. Especially when you hear stories of pubs and shops ejecting customers for public display of affections. We need to be aware that it was not long ago when we could have been prosecuted in the UK. A law was bought in enforcing previous ones in 1986 in conjunction with the 1967 sexual Offences act, that decriminalised homosexuality but you couldn’t legally share a hotel bed with your partner or kissing your partner in public. Moving away from this mind set is difficult.
This weeks scruples I asked two questions. First was…….
As a member of the #lgbt family do you feel comfortable holding hands in public?
172 people answered
Of cause we need to look at this as a thought provoking exercise, rather than an exact science and think about who took part and their location. Not just in countries that have anti gay legislation but we know through studies there is a vast difference between rural and urban hate crime towards the lgbt family in countries such as England, Scotland and America .
Here is what some of you said……
whats sad is theres such a high percent of people who are scared to hold hands in public. Hell I’ll grab her bum dont judge!
Where are you, do you think your loc affects this? As an example living in a city or smaller town & the obviously diff countries
Her reply was…
I’m in Wichita Kansas. People are pretty mean but I don’t let it bother me. I have 1 thing they don’t and that’s fine with me.
and she went on to say…
It’s hard for people to understand but it shouldn’t stop ya from being true to who you are.
How you feel also depends on your generation too as @QBaited pointed out…….
I am a victim of my generation, because even though I could probably hold hands in public, I’m conditioned not to.
So I asked @ProudlyCody what she would say to someone who feels they can’t do something simple as hold hands, she replied……
I’d tell them it’s okay to hold hands in public – that it’s not a crime, it’s love. If straight couples can, so can they.
I had many replies similar to this and support from Heterosexuals too. Odd this week I got no homophobic abuse.
Homophobia is something I fear is making us feel that we can’t show affection this way, which brought me to my second question.
Have you ever witnessed any hate crime towards our #lgbt family in public brought on by visibility?
Clearly and probably no surprised to none of us most of us that have experienced hate crime. This is probably one of the biggest reasons why we often feel we can not hold hands in public.
With time this will change, we can already see changes happening, but we need to ask if we don’t show visibility then are we allowing the homophobes to win and not helping in changing attitudes?
We also need to constantly ask the authorities why more isn’t happening to protect the lgbt community in our areas. This is what happened last year in my area and now the police as set up groups to liaise and cut down the issue. Including the local colleges are involved, as this is where the biggest issue is in our area.
Even if we don’t want to be visible ourselves, perhaps we can support others when they do so and give them words of encouragement?
What a wonderful couple you are or its good to see these days will suffice, after all if you have doubts in doing so they will too.
This doesn’t just stop at holding hands, some of us are more visible than others, like the Transgender community. We need to ask ourselves if we become more visible, holding hands, who else are we supporting in reference to changing of attitudes?
Of cause we need to be concerned with safety as @TheJohnSinopoli pointed out
I travel the World with my hubby and rarely feel safe holding hands.
But when it is possible will it slowly change attitudes of others, playing a part locally then further a field, showing people it is normal, simply not as common as a straight couple holding hands ?
On a final note…..
@DanReeveland pointed out
People are becoming more open though. The futures bright.
Perhaps when its safe to do so I will reach out for my partners hand in the park next time and show the normality to the world!
Take a look at too
If you are aware of any articles or information that you feel may contribute to this topic please contact me at Pridematters1@gmail.com or @darrenmarples69