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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 June 2006

Fight back against homophobic bullying

THE SHIFT towards the left in social attitudes over the last ten years has meant that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have won important rights in Britain. These include an equal age of consent and the abolition of Section 28 of the Local Government Act, freeing schools from the constraints they felt were stopping them from discussing LGBT relationships.

Tom Penman, Socialist Party LGBT group

But the hangover from 20 years of government-sanctioned homophobia is still felt by many young people, especially in the form of homophobic bullying, which is still a massive problem. Estimates put the number of schools affected by homophobic bullying at over 60,000.


Socialist Party / International Socialist Resistance post-Pride meeting

Saturday 1 July, 3.45pm

The Clarence pub, Whitehall (Off Trafalgar Square)


On top of this the word gay is often used as a derogatory word. Radio One DJ Chris Moyles recently provoked anger when he described a mobile phone ring tone as 'gay' on his show. The BBC announced it was acceptable for him to do so and the outburst wasn't considered as homophobic.

The main parties have all made comments against homophobic bullying but hot air from them won't solve anything. In fact their educational policies are likely to make it worse. All three main parties support the dismantling of free, publicly owned education in favour of City Academies and PFI schools.

City Academies have their lessons and rules affected by whoever pays the initial 2 million. If the sponsor has right-wing views (as many of the City Academies are already attracting) then students can wave goodbye to any decent education on LGBT issues, policies to deal with homophobic bullying or sex and relationship education in general.

Even in schools that are publicly owned, there may be few resources to help equip teachers and staff on how to deal with homophobic bullying or provide education on relationship issues.

Homophobic bullying isn't just restricted to LGBT youth. Anyone can find themselves targeted for being slightly different such as a hairstyle or different clothing. Gender stereotypes play a large role in this. There are still ideas that men and women should look a certain way and should only do certain activities and the idea that gay men and lesbians should look and act in a certain way.

The idea that all gay men are camp, and should be dressed 'fabulously' is of course ridiculous. Yet it is still present on TV shows and in newspapers, even on supposedly 'gay-friendly' shows such as the US comedy Will and Grace.

International Socialist Resistance (ISR) campaigns against homophobic bullying in schools, workplaces and society in general. To fight homophobic bullying, we need a decently funded education system with clear anti-bullying policies. Training needs to be available for teachers and educational support staff.

We also need to challenge gender stereotyping and sexism. These measures will go some way to fighting homophobia but ultimately we must fight against the system that creates and uses homophobia to divide the working class - capitalism. Only by the creation of a socialist society can homophobia and other forms of prejudice finally be eliminated.


See also: Police and fascists attack Moscow Pride

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 29 June 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS SOS

Manchester marches to defend the NHS

Save our baby unit!

Take over the drugs giants

What the Socialist Party says:


Socialist Party youth and students

Young people - fight for your rights!


Socialist Party feature

SWP / Respect conference: Flawed perspectives


International socialist news and analysis

Greek students' protests ignite solidarity action

New regime in Somalia a setback for US imperialism


Socialist Party campaigns

G8 leaders fail to make poverty history

Police and fascists attack Moscow Pride

Fight back against homophobic bullying


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Hands off civil servants' pension rights

Support striking Asda workers

Anger at leadership's tactics

Not just: " Lie back and Think of England"

General Motors meets workers' resistance


 

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Related links:

Gay:

triangleStonewall riots' legacy shows need for socialist struggle to win LGBT+ liberation

triangle30 years on from Section 28: the legacy of fighting LGBT+ attacks must continue

triangleSupport for Socialist Party campaigns at biggest ever Leeds Pride

triangleLessons from the Russian revolution for LGBT+ struggle today

trianglePride 2017: we need a fighting, socialist movement for LGBT+ rights

Schools:

triangleSchools aren't safe

triangleEerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

triangleUnited action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan

triangleJohnson's reckless 'back to school' plans threaten everyone's safety

Lgbt:

triangleLabour Party and trans rights

trianglePriced out of Pride

triangleBristol Socialist Party: Defend LGBT+ rights

Education:

trianglePay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!

triangleNo 'back to school' until outbreak is under control and trade union agreed safety arrangements

Homophobia:

triangleWidespread condemnation of horrifying, violent, homophobic assaults

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