Hello again Oasis ladies, partners and friends.
Another month has passed and we are still no nearer being able to hold Oasis meetings in person. Beccie’s October blog painted a bleak picture of a sharp rise in Covid cases and, almost inevitably, we find ourselves in ‘lockdown 2’.
By an extraordinary coincidence, at this precise point in writing this post, the BBC announced a promising vaccine has been produced. This is very encouraging news and we will all keep our fingers crossed that it will have the desired effect – being able to return us to something closer to normality and, most definitely, a return to St George’s Hall.
Following the media over the last few weeks has revealed both positive and negative news items for the LGBTQ+ community.
Let’s get a negative one out of the way first. I was dismayed to read that, when new students at Durham University held a zoom meeting for new LGBTQ+ students during freshers’ week, the meeting was zoom bombed by homophobic and transphobic students who played loud music, showed pornographic images and made homophobic and transphobic comments. How sad that, supposedly intelligent, people in that age group should be so bigoted and behave in such an appalling way.
However, on the up side, firstly we have Nicola Adams and Katja Jones – the first same sex couple on Strictly. Excellent! Then there was the article in the EDP about Lou Provart, who is openly gay and has progressed through the ranks of the Norfolk police force to the rank of Superintendent. I reproduce verbatim a quote from him because it resonated strongly with me.
“It’s important for people to be their absolute self 100% of the time. You know if people do that they perform much better because they don’t have to spend energy trying to hide who they are and can just be open and honest.”
He is a role model for everyone who feels a career in the police is not for them.
And in case you haven’t had enough of the shenanigans in the US election, we should not forget that Sarah McBride, a thirty year old from Delaware, has been elected the first transgender state senator. Taylor Small, also transgender, has been elected to the house of representatives for Vermont at the age of twenty six, and Stephanie Byers from Kansas is the first transgender BAME person elected to the state legislature. Mauree Turner is the first non-binary candidate to win a seat in a state legislature (Oklahoma) and in New York, Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres are the first BAME, openly LGBTQ+ people elected to congress. And, Donald Trump – you’re fired! Progress indeed!
I’ve been in contact with two new ladies this month who contacted the website. I had a lovely, long chat with Catie from Bury St Edmunds, who, I hope, will join us when we resume at St George’s Hall. And Sophieann is looking forward to meeting up when lockdown ends and we can meet safely for a coffee.
From 13th – 19th November is National Transgender Awareness Week and 20th November is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). TDOR was started in 1998 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. TDOR now commemorates all those who have lost their lives through transphobic violence. My son sent me this picture taken on 11th Nov of the transgender flag flying over Robinson College, Cambridge.
Love and best wishes to you all,
STOP PRESS: Just heard that Nicola and Katja have had to withdraw from Strictly, as Katja has tested positive for corona virus, even though she is asymptomatic. What a shame.