Reclaiming the rainbow

May 28, 2020 by

by Jo Bartosch, spiked:

When the likes of ‘non-binary’ singer Sam Smith were a mere sparkle in a drag queen’s eye, the rainbow was used by those fighting for lesbian and gay liberation as a symbol of resistance and acceptance. A little like the checked shirt or suspiciously well-manscaped facial hair, it was a sign for those of us in the know that we would be safe and welcome wherever we saw it displayed.

But in recent years, it has become a gaudy symbol of pernicious groupthink. It has been co-opted by a movement which is forcing same-sex attracted people with unpopular opinions back in the closet lest we offend our new transgender overlords.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the rainbow has been repurposed as a symbol of support for the NHS. With people desperate to signal their support for health workers, manufacturers of rainbow-themed tat have now rebranded their ‘LGBTQ+ Pride’ merchandise as ‘Thank you NHS’ products. This has caused consternation from professional self-declared media ‘queers’ who have frothed across the pages from Forbes to the Independent. Esteemed rag Pink News recently opined that the broader use of the rainbow was ‘rattling queer folk who are already contending with the coronavirus pandemic’s eradication of 2020’s Pride season’.

But to those outside the LGBT corporate clique, the ‘Thank you NHS’ rainbow has depoliticised what had become a toxic symbol of bigotry. As Kate of the grassroots LGB Alliance explains:

Read here


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