Some headlines never change, the moral panic sliding into our lives via outraged font bashers desperate to share their bigotry and hate. The year was 1992 but the story is the same today. Hatred whipped up into coverage destined to scare and seduce. The lesbian, gay and bisexual community harangued by a right-wing press determined to use their media to maximum effect. Brighton Pride was but a twinkle in our city’s eye in 1992 when the News Of The World shared their queer-bashing intentions when Brighton Council declared our memorial to LGBTQ+ veterans of war and victims of homophobia inappropriate, and The Evening Argus gasped in capitals-locked horror at our forthcoming queer Pride proceedings.
And yes I’m the moody one in the middle, suited only to scowls and close-ups of badges filled with promise and passion. And yes it seems like only yesterday. Young and fizzing and furious and kinda fabulous. But as recent as 1992 feels the bigotry of today is as devastating as it was then. The lesbian, gay and bisexual demonisation and tabloid scaremongering of the early 1990s refocused on a new 21st-century target. Our trans family, the souls that protested for equality and created our Pride movement fifty years ago – attacked again as the moral panic police desperate to kick us back into the closet recruit some of our own to deliver the killer blow.
Whilst my rose-tinted glasses wish to look back and see how far we appear to have come today, our current connection to these 1992 headlines is hard to ignore. The lesson we need now is one of unity, not division, with headlines of hope, not hate, campaigns of connections, not condemnation. True equality for each and every one of our LGBTQ+ community can only be achieved if we work together – leaving no queer soul behind. As I stood silently shaking and finding no words to say to Channel 4 back in the day who knew I’d still be here, fizzing and furious at those once homophobic but now transphobic headlines and all those that fuel them.
Channel 4’s Hard News 1992. A silent Wildblood television debut never to be repeated. A story of LGBTQ+ bigotry in the press sadly still being told.