Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Lesbian and gay politics and agendas – Milking it

January 31st, 2009 · 9 Comments · Equality, Equality Authority, Irish Politics, Lesbian, LGBT

I went to see Milk tonight and loved it. I’m not a good reviewer of books and movies – I find myself going off on tangents – just go see it! (Tangent alert coming up!)

I couldn’t help myself from getting angry though at the lack of a Milk figure or politics in operation in Ireland. I’m not talking about out gay politicians here – more a focus on a politic or practice of politics which built alliances with other groups including minority groups, those living in poverty, women and people with disabilities.

Politics which does not desert those groups in favour of our own interests. Politics which recognises political silencing, playing safe, being bought off, the fact we could be next if we don’t stand up for others and refuses to have any of it. That sort of politics in lesbian and gay circles in Ireland seems to have left before the Celtic Tiger.

Instead a representative of Ireland’s lesbian and gay community (appointed in an individual capacity) refuses to resign from the board of the Equality Authority – an organisation which can no longer properly function and uphold the legislation it was created to support. An organisation that many politicians and civil servants wanted to damage permanently and silence and seem to have succeeded in doing so. It is seen as acceptable that someone from lesbian and gay politics stays on the board because civil partnership legislation is due. Many other NGO’s have grown used to this type of attitude from gay organisations in recent years in relation to equality and human rights issues.

€2.1 million of a private foundation’s money is going into supporting this sort of undemocratic and selfish agenda and a further €700,000 has been given to other organisations with similar non-mandates and lack of consultation.

This week a lesbian and feminist member of the board of GLEN seems to have had enough and resigned – you won’t hear much about Ursula Barry’s departure – it would be preferred if nobody heard. (Thanks to the Leeside sisterhood for confirming the info I had received earlier this week.) GLEN have long had difficulties in terms of gender equality and gender proofing of it’s programme and structures – it won’t be getting better anytime soon.

In the next few days I’ll be looking at some of the other games being played at the moment including standing idly by as government proposes discriminatory legislation.

Oops there goes my GALAS nomination I suppose – oh I think I’ll live with the five IBA ones I’ve received this month.

Addendum: I’m not saying that the politics of Milk was lesbian and gay utopia – 1970’s San Francisco was a very divided and segregated community and the film reflected this. (Look at who got Milk endorsed and elected though 😉 ) In making a reference to the politics of Milk and his campaign I’m referring to recognition of class and minority politics and the not being bought or silenced codes. Addendum 2: I’ve also been informed (by a number of sources) that Eadaoin Ni Chlerigh had also recently resigned from the GLEN board.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tags: ···

9 Comments so far