Tag Archives: LGBT

Tolerant traffic lights

Last Saturday was an annual event that I look forward to but which is pure torture for my wife, and which she falls asleep during most years. I’m talking about the camp kitsch-fest, the Eurovision* Song Contest. This year, it was hosted in Austria, and to celebrate the bearded lady who won last year, new traffic lights have been installed around Vienna that celebrate diversity and LGBT couples. There has been some controversy surrounding the cost of installing these new lights around the city, but they have been embraced by locals and are going to be rolled out to other cities across Austria. Personally, I think that they are a great idea, and wish that such things could be found here in the UK. I fear though that here there would be too much backlash, or they would be vandalised by individuals with too much testosterone and too much prejudice in their system to think straight (or in this case, think too straight). Despite the image that this country tries to maintain, we will never be comfortable enough and inclusive enough to institutionalise such views without falling foul of someone who can’t see past the stigma and who does not understand humanity in all of its many possibilities.

The new lights, depicting both hetero- and homosexual couples

The new lights, depicting both hetero- and homosexual couples

* Yes, I know that it was the 60th Contest, but how does that validate the inclusion of Australia? And since when have Azerbaijan and Israel been part of Europe?


A big thumbs up to Google- Winter Olympics 2014

It can’t have escaped the attention of many people that the XXII Winter Olympics have begun in Sotchi, Russia, and that there has been a large amount of tension due to the ridiculous, barbaric and utterly repulsive anti-homosexuality laws that their ruling dictatorship has put in place. So yesterday I was impressed and warmed by the actions of Google, who in their usual fashion produced a ‘Google Doodle’ to celebrate the opening of the games, but which looked like this:


Image: google.co.uk

In an incredibly bold move, they used the colours of the LGBT flag as the background to the Doodle, blatently showing their support for all athletes, irrespective of their sexuality. Similarly, the broadcaster of the Winter Games in the UK, Channel 4, have had a rebrand for all of their coverage:

Channel 4 LGBT

Image: theguardian.com

Indeed, Channel 4 have gone even further, placing an advert at the beginning of all of their coverage with a cabaret singer performing a song that celebrates diversity and wishes the athletes of any orientation good luck in the games. It is insanely camp, but a rather disturbing and yet joyful two-fingers to those who have a problem with other people on shallow and prejudiced grounds.

However, the biggest thumbs up has to go to the German athletes, who entered the Winter Olympic stadium like this:

Image: huffingtonpost.com

Image: huffingtonpost.com

They are not following the LGBT flag exactly, but you can see where they are going with this, and it seems that the rest of the world was clear on the message that the team were giving.

In 2014, there is little room for such intolerance, prejudice, small-mindedness and simple hatred of our fellow human beings. Hopefully through such bold acts as these, certain individuals and groups may open their eyes to the reality of our present world, where people and nations are valued for who they are and who they can be, rather than judged on baseless propaganda and hatred for not conforming and being different. We all know where it got us in WWII, when prejudice and irrationality took hold over common sense, compassion, decency and morality.

To end, a quote from the Olympic Charter, which accompanied the Google Doodle on Google’s homepage yesterday:

 “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

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