A call to arms.. well hands for IDAHOBIT
This post was written by Liz Marlow, senior social media manager Sodexo UK&I and PRIDE Network committee member. Picture features Liz and Meg Horsburgh, Head of D&I, Sodexo UK&I
Last year in the Netherlands, after a brutal homophobic attack on a gay couple who were holding hands in public, loads of allies made a protest by also holding hands in public – read more about this here.
Well, I’ve been thinking about that and a strange experience I had about my Sodexo Pride lanyard…
I remember Jon Norie (founding co-chair of Sodexo Pride) saying that he felt uncomfortable wearing his lanyard on his commute because he felt judged and I remember thinking at the time well, I don’t care if people think I’m gay or not.
Recently I was in an external meeting and someone I had just met noticed my lanyard and she said something like ‘Oh I see you support London Pride, [she misunderstood what the lanyard was about] my husband and I were in London on the same day last year, it looked really good’
I over analyse things, I know I do, and it may not have been what she was trying to say at all but, I felt she was digging to find out about my sexuality whilst asserting that she was most definitely straight. I felt really uncomfortable that this complete stranger was thinking about my sexuality – that’s way too personal!
I found myself being defensive and deliberately not saying anything about the gender of my partner. We’re in a business context, I am professional in front of you, and don’t want you wondering about who I have sex with.
This was a new experience for me and made me recognise a ‘straight privilege’ I didn’t know I had and which I previously took for granted.
This year’s IDAHOBIT is about celebrating alliances in solidarity, and as an ally I would love to see same sex people holding hands in public normalised and the wearing of a lanyard with a little rainbow on our commute home, because if we were all doing it then it wouldn’t be worth anyone thinking about.
Let’s all hold hands this IDAHOBIT with someone of the same gender, whether you’re LGBT or not!