Missing in Action is my terminology. The link at the bottom of this article shows a list of books recommended for everyone to read and understand the troubles! But, both in terms of what it lists, but also in terms of what it leaves out.
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There are books covering aspects of both sides of paramilitaries, of ordinary people and how they were affected, but nothing about the military or the police, which to my mind is a shortfall. But even more glaringly obvious is the lack of any books covering the LGBT community during the trouble, either individually or as groups. For the military I suggest the following:
and for our community, possibly
I would ask any of readers to suggest other books to cover all of our community. But also remember to read the reviews that we have here on our own site, at NIGRA.
And just to add other spice to the mix:
The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP
Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities
requests the pleasure of the company of
Cllr Jeffrey Dudgeon MBE
at a screening of Against the Law
at 10 Downing Street
on Tuesday 11th July 2017 at 6.30 pm for 7.00 pm
Against the Law tells the story of Peter Wildeblood and one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s – the infamous Montagu trial.
Along with the Conservative peer Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and their friend Michael Pitt-Rivers, Wildeblood was imprisoned for homosexual offences after his lover gave evidence against him under pressure from the authorities.
With his career in tatters and his private life painfully exposed, Wildeblood began his sentence a broken man, but he emerged from Wormwood Scrubs a year later determined to do all he could to change the laws against homosexuality.
His high-profile trial led the way to the creation of the Wolfenden Committee on sexual law reform which eventually resulted in the passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 – changing the lives of thousands of gay men with its partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts.
This powerful new drama forms part of a season of BBC programmes marking the fiftieth anniversary of that landmark change in the law. Starring Daniel Mays and directed by Fergus O’Brien, it is interspersed with moving testimonies from a chorus of men whose love and lives were against the law.
This article was originally published in iPOLITICS in May 2017. I have kept it hovering around until I had time to read it properly, and then found that elements of it are equally applicable to LGBT journalism and activism. He was and is a composite journalist, indeed communicator, but he felt that the system of ‘carding’ as it is called in Canada, and what is called ‘Stop and Search’ in the UK, was intrusive and morally wrong. He felt that having been stopped 50+ times, and the only apparent reason seemed to be because he was ‘black’, something had to be done!
In the UK ‘Stop and Search’ has been used by police forces throughout the UK as a means of ‘curtailing and controlling’ undesirables. However, the statistics would indicate that profiling is going on, and that particular targetted groups are being harassed e.g. blacks, Muslims, LGBT individuals and groups (Black and minority ethnic groups increasingly more likely to be stopped and searched by police).
To go further, taken in conjunction with the continued encroachment of our civil liberties by government bodies who use the over-riding phrase ‘ we are protecting society by delving into your emails, phone calls, indeed anything we deem necessary, the phrase ‘ Big Brother’ is real and all encompassing; 1984 and the politics and control written about by George Orwell is effectively here.
One of the proudest moments in the history of journalism came in 1898 when the French writer Émile Zola wrote his famous letter to the president of France, headlined ‘J’Accuse’.
Over the last 40+ years that I have been involved in the LGBTQ community, I have been privileged to witness the acceptance of gay people into the general community – young and old, we now have more freedoms; however this has only come about through the continued pressure from individuals, groups through lobbying and through legal cases. We have in most parts of the UK an acceptance and understanding that being ‘gay’ is normal, that it does not require “treatment” to correct an illness! Again I said in most parts, there are however still some groups and individuals who wish us to disappear or receive corrective treatment – in most companies LGBTQ rights are now accepted; but we cannot sit back on our backsides; if we do not keep monitoring and interacting with government (both local and national) then the rights that we have fought so hard to achieve will be taken away again.
What are your thoughts on this article; I would really like to hear what you think. Comment now or email us.
Source: Old and young see LGBT rights in contrast
Items for further reading:
Name of movie: 365 Without 377
Length (hrs): 53 mins
Film genre: Documentary
Characters: Beena, Pallav and Abhenna.
Director: Adele Tulli, who graduated in South Asian Studies and has worked on several activist projects in India and Europe
Plot information: A documentary following the decriminalizing of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalized any sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex.
When does the movie take place? July 2009
What happens in the movie? Imposed under the British colonial rule in 1860, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalize any sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex, stigmatizing them as ‘against the order of nature’. On 2ND July 2009 the Delhi High Court passed a landmark judgement scrapping this clause, thus fulfilling the most basic demand of the Indian LGBTQ community, which had been fighting this law for the past 10 years. Three characters, Beena, Pallav and Abheena travel through the city of Bombay heading to the celebrations for the first anniversary of the historic verdict. ‘365 without 377’ is the story of their journey towards freedom. (IMDB)
What makes the movie interesting? The chance to see a different culture handling a British imposed culture, and how they developed as people and overcame the challenges of being ‘gay’ in India, where even though the law as been annulled by the Delhi High Court, for many they still believe it will take much more than this to change the mindset of the Indian community as a whole
What is the best part? The best parts for me was looking at the three main characters lives, and how just like ourselves they are ordinary, but have developed as people and are willing to stand up for their beliefs and rights.
How do you feel when the movie ended? Neither sad or happy, but I did feel that I wanted to learn more, and hope that another documentary will do a follow-up say in 5 years time.
Who will like this move? People with an interest in LGBT activism, people with an interest in humanity, people who like India
On a scale of 1 (don’t like) – 5 (like), how do you rate this movie? For me definitely a 4
Now I know that quoting Wikipedia is so blase, however in this case I feel the definition is worth looking at: Wikipedia defines “Traditional Values” as “those beliefs, moral codes, and mores that are passed down from generation to generation within a culture, subculture or community.”
However on investigation, Wikipedia cannot define where those beliefs, moral codes etc come from. There is no defining text, and what is also interesting is that this cultural phenomena is wildly held as fact, when even within family to family said ideas can be wildly different.
A colleague of mine, put his thoughts as:
Clearly this moron hasn’t heard of New Orleans – though as it is French / Irish / Italian Catholic maybe he is going to allow it to secede from the secession.
A right-wing author has a plan for people who aren’t happy about shifting attitudes about LGBT rights.
Interesting comments, however Mr Parris has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth, and I believe he has yet again! It is fairly obvious to anyone with half a brain that ‘community’ is always made up of bodies with similar interests, and therefore you could using Mr Parris’s analogy say there is not such thing as community in the wider sense if applied to the population in the United Kingdom. The LGBT community is formed from liked minded individuals, and groups, who feel that they are being victimised or oppressed. To achieve the rights that we currently have we have had to fight both in court, at the ballot box and sometimes even in the streets. Where was Mr Parris during this – hiding behind (sorry in) the closet. He consistently has fought against LGBT rights, as can be seen by his various statements on gay marriage and how the church should oppose this.
Examples of that LGBT community which Mr Parris says doesn’t exist, and why we still need to fight for our rights:
- These brave LGBT activists are marching for equal rights in Montenegro
- Gay couple subjected to vile homophobic attacks on consecutive nights say ‘it just doesn’t make sense
Obviously I could continue to put up more links, but I believe the news and public opinion are enough of a reminder of why we need to continue to fight for civil rights for minorities, and not to allow small minded people to take a so called moral high ground, when in reality they don’t have one.
Jeff Dudgeon MBE, is part of the history of Northern Ireland, and with his court case made the case for homophobia to be abolished in N Ireland. Unfortunately until 1982 it was still a crime to be a homosexual in Ulster, indeed people were still persecuted under other laws for being gay, and their lives destroyed by what can only be called vindictive police cases which should never have ended up in court subsequent to this repeal.
Today, liFe has improved, but there are still problems; only within the last two weeks was a gay man attacked for challenging two men passing by who called him’queer’ and other words.
People are regularly still harassed in their homes. and probably more worrying is that fact that being young and gay is still open to abuse in schools, colleges and universities.
This is not acceptable in today’s world, and the more that we stand up against any form of persecution the more we as human beings earn the right to be called ‘human’.
Mary McAleese has said homophobia should be consigned to history in Northern Ireland.
For a number of years it has become clear that LGBT history is disappearing as our societies members have aged and their stories (which our our stories) disappear with their deaths or the onset of illnesses.
For Ireland this is compounded by the fact that so many of the LGBT community have had to leave the island to find work, relationships and just to be safe. Today these things have been reduced, but the economic crisis of the last few years, and the impending impact of Brexit may well see further departures.
The LGBT society in both parts of the island of Ireland need to start thinking urgently on how we should capture and then make available our history. This will ensure our past, and also help our future, and will provide a wonderful resource for teachers and other groups/individuals.
A mechanism that might be considered is working with the museums in Ireland who have depositories to see if we can get access combined into a timeline – obviously this will take time and resources, but I believe that a small group could achieve a lot in this regard.
The American National Park Service has produced a wonderful book in two parts about LGBT History in the USA – the publication LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History is available for download in PDF format – this is just another example of what can be done with the right active group and money.
Source: Telling All Americans’ Stories (U.S. National Park Service)