Language is a powerful tool. It can be used to impress, to inspire, and to insult, however language also can have a symbolic and political purposes. The approach of a group of people toward language is an interesting area of enquiry because the language used by a group of people about another group of people is revealing. There is now a growing trend among LGBT people of reclaiming typically homophobic language in order to remove its venom, which clearly puts the LGBT rights movement in a long tradition of marginalised groups acting in this way.
On Saturday night 50 people were gunned down in a terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida. As a result of the death toll, this incident is the most devastating mass shooting in US history as well as the largest ever terrorist attack carried out by one person. The suspected shooter, Omar Mateen, carried out the attack armed with an AR-15, which is the civilian version of an M-16 military assault rifle, and a handgun. There needs to be a series of conversations that take place in the aftermath of this attack, but one is undeniable. According to reports Mateen’s father said that his son had seen two men kissing and this angered him. Let’s be clear this attack was not coincidentally in a gay club. It was targeted by a homophobic bigot who thought that same-sex attraction should be punished with execution. Continue reading →
With transgender issues becoming better known in the public consciousness, it is necessary to look at ways to fundamentally reform society in a way that is consistent with our enhanced knowledge. The international gay rights movement has changed the way that we think about sexuality and society adjusted accordingly, albeit it at a slower rate than many of us would like. With gender now understood in less definite and binary terms, we need to make a conscious effort to reform our attitudes, institutions, and procedures. This piece shall suggest five ways in which society can be improved in this regard.