A different sort of inequality
Last week I stopped following a (usually interesting) person on Twitter. His tweets were leaning more and more solely towards the (to him) worries faced by the LGBT community, and I was becoming tired of it.
Now...I’m happy that people have been able to ‘own’ their sexuality. It’s great that the stigma seems to be disappearing from the labels and the former insults and so forth, but, when ‘owning’ their sexuality, do these people have to shout quite so loudly?
Sure, some LGBT people have experienced some difficult times but…BUT…there are other groups of people who (IMO) have experienced much more difficult situations AND there are so many more of them.
BUT these people do not have the ability or outlets to be able to shout out their situation - and are unable to gain similar attention as that generated by the LGBT community.
Lately, the Australian Marriage Equality group has begun ‘inviting employers to confirm that they grant full recognition to the same-sex marriages of their employees and customers and do not reclassify these marriages as domestic partnerships, de facto relationships or something else that they are not.’
Dozens (maybe hundreds?) of business and large corporations are now choosing ‘to treat all their employees and customers with the same dignity and respect, regardless of their sexuality or gender.’
It’s been announced as quite big news.
Dozens (Hundreds?) of big name companies are doing this…..Well, great! But is this truly necessary? And, what (or who) is behind such moves?
And for what purpose?
Isn’t it just a bit over-the-top?
Let me quote some statistics. (You can find your own if you wish…they’re all there in one way or another on-line).
Currently, in Australia, 1.8 of men self-identify as gay and 0.4 as bisexual, and 1.5 percent of women self-identify as lesbian and 0.9 percent as bisexual.
Not that many really.
And, how many of these people are desperate to be married?
Okay, tell me I’m bigoted – or ignorant or just wrong – but I would like to offer a few examples of other groups that might need our attention.
Here are some groups of people, who may need their voice to be heard.
At the most recent count, from the Australian network on disability, there is estimated to be over 4 million people with some form of disability.
That's 1 in 5 people.
Certainly some (perhaps many) have only a slight – and manageable – disability, but there are still many profoundly disabled people who need the community to take notice of them.
For instance, in the count of disabled, there are approximately 34,000 people living with cerebral palsy in Australia.
These people do not have the ability or means to join together in an outspoken community – and, even if they did - and they managed to dress up and parade in glittery rainbow colours, most people would only look away in an embarrassed fluster of awkwardness. (That’s the way it works!).
I seriously doubt that there would be any celebratory parties or announcements by international corporations about supporting them
Think about it.
Then there are the carers; people, usually family members, who care for disabled people.
In 2015 there were 2.7 million unpaid carers in Australia. Now that’s a huge amount of people (remember, unpaid) who are working under difficult circumstances – and mainly for LOVE…and necessity.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us that around 856,000 carers (32%) are primary carers, those who provide the most informal assistance to another individual.
How about that?
Do we hear much about these valiant folk?
No, because they possess neither the time, nor the energy nor the money to exhibit their plight.
Compare that with the very loud and visible LGBT community, with their voice, their money and (now) the audience.
The disabled and their carers have few opportunities to grab the public’s attention…And yet isn’t their plight somewhat needier than that of the LGBT community? But who gets the attention? Who do we (usually via the media) take notice of?
I could go on.
I have not mentioned needy people who are simply the poor in our midst. It is perhaps enough to offer the Oct 26, 2016 report by ACOSS (Australian Council of Social Services), that states that poverty is growing in Australia with an estimated 2.9 million people - or 13.3% of all people - now living below the internationally accepted poverty line.
So, where’s all the attention that should be given to that awful fact?
Can someone please start a publicity campaign for all those truly in need of attention in our community?
Oh, well, didn’t think so.
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I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.