The Editor looks back at the year 2012 in Polari Magazine and how it has explored the LGBT subculture. Part 2 looks at the queer year.
Part 2: Queer Year
2012 witnessed advances in equal marriage rights but a backlash against LGBT rights in countries such as Russia, Indonesia and Uganda. 2012 marked the Turing Centenary and to celebrate this Polari published a series of articles about the work of Alan Turing and his importance to the LGBT heritage. There was also some garden variety homophobia from the confused and the confusing …
Totally Cuckoo Homophobia
The hashtag #tomyunbornchild started to trend one weekend on Twitter, and many people told their unborn child they would kill them if they turned out to be gay. And they murdered the English language in the process.
UKIP politician and all-round nutter Dr Julia Gasper decided that gay people should stop whining about rights. They “never express any gratitude” to heterosexuals for bringing them into the world “while complaining constantly of persecution”. She didn’t stop there, sadly …
Before the shameless Tory MP Nadine Dorries resigned her seat in order to peddle her wares on I’m a Celebrity, she complained about “metro elite gay activists” who just wanted to boss all the other gays into gay marriage, which she knows they just don’t want. How does she know? Some of her best friends are gay, you see.
The Upside Down World of Gay Conversion Therapy
Conversion Therapy, a peculiar brand of fakery, made its way across the ocean from the US to the UK, and it struck out wildly a few times this year.
The Christian Institute, which does not seem to understand the first thing about the Christian message, started to work its way into the hearts and minds of Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail readers (if they can be said to have either). “We believe that the Bible is the supreme authority for all of life and we hold to the inerrancy of Scripture,” the Institute claims. Except, of course, when they don’t.
Hot on these heels, the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster hosted a conference on January 27 about conversion therapy with chief witch-doctor Jim Reynolds, who thinks that homosexuals are today’s lepers.
It then turned out that the gay conversion crew had infiltrated government and they were busily handing over interns to Tory politicians. Philip Dawson started a petition to encourage politicians not to use interns from the organisation CARE (Christian Action Research and Education – yet another erroneous acronym).
The Turing Centenary
June 23, 2012, marked the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing. Turing’s work was instrumental to the Allied war effort in WWII and to the invention of the computer. In a series of articles, Polari looked at the importance of Turing’s work, and the influence of his homosexuality on that work.
Turing died in 1954 of cyanide poisoning, two years after he was convicted for homosexual activity and branded a security risk. His contribution to the war effort and the invention of the computer remained a secret until the 1980s. In 2009, on the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the war, the British government ‘apologised’ for Turing’s treatment.
Turing was stationed at Bletchley Park, where the secret code breaking work was undertaken, and the German Naval Enigma codes were cracked. This gallery takes you on a tour of Bletchley.
The coroner’s conclusions do not square with the facts in the death of Alan Turing. Was it suicide, an accident, or was he murdered?
The death of the boy Turing loved, Christopher Morcom, at the age of 18 changed how Turing looked at the relationship between science and the spirit. This change informed the work that laid the foundations for the invention of the computer.
The LGBT Rights Backlash
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into International Waters, the unscrupulous Tony Blair reappeared in support of Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a feminist who would make it a second-degree felony if a person “seduces, encourages or promotes another person of the same gender to engage in sexual activities”.
The Russian Federation was also having a political tantrum about homosexuality, claiming that it was a problem brought over from the West. So it banned all positive representations.
Three arts and culture events this November highlighted the problems suffered by LGBT Ugandans: Uganda Pride, part of the Homotopia Festival; the film Call Me Kuchu; and the play Just Me You And The Silence by Judy Adong.
Overturning Convictions from Pre-Liberation Days
This year, the UK government passed a law that would allow men convicted of crimes that are no longer on the books to have their criminal records expunged.
In this opinion piece from March, the superb Paul Baker takes a look at the opposition to the government’s equal marriage proposals, and why it’s important to him.
The Christian Institute took another swipe at equal marriage in the pages of the magazine Country Life. They used an advertisement to peddle ‘false facts’, to use a phrase beloved of the 3rd US president, Thomas Jefferson. And a storm started to brew ….
In May, the US President, Barack Obama, said in an interview with ABC, “it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married”. There was, of course, another storm featuring the usual suspects …