Bethan Turner

Why are homophobic attacks on the rise?

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Bethan Turner examines the toxic mix of mainstream politics, the alt-right and religious pronouncements that normalises bigotry.

"They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions… The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them.” So wrote Melanie, one of the women assaulted in a homophobic attack on a London bus in May. The incident sparked widespread condemnation, including from Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May, arguably surprising, given her record, but more on that later.

From Stonewall to Trump

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Fifty years on from the Stonewall riots, the picture for LGBT+ people is very different, yet there can be no complacency in a time when the far right is attempting to weaponise our struggle, writes Bethan Turner.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. These six nights of violent demonstrations in New York’s Greenwich Village transformed the struggle for LGBT+ liberation, from a collection of mainly small and conservative lobbying groups, to a vibrant and radical movement that called for revolution as the way to win sexual liberation.

The gains of this movement were undeniable. By the end of the 1970s homosexuality was decriminalised in most US states and in 1973 homosexuality was removed from the American Phycological Association list of psychiatric disorders.

The Shock of the Anthropocene

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This book provides a very detailed history of the Anthropocene — the current geological era in which human activity has become the main driver of climate change — and makes some interesting points about how we should view it.

However, it is let down by its failure to provide any real solutions. This is particularly striking as they start the book by, rightly, reminding us how severe the crisis is.

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