Queen Elizabeth II
On the eve of her diamond jubilee, British LGBT rights icon Peter Tatchell has accused Queen Elizabeth II of refusing to embrace Britain’s LGBT community.
In an article published by The Guardian on Friday, Tatchell said that while the queen has gone to great lengths to be more in touch with the mood of country and present the monarchy as modern, compassionate and inclusive, LGBT people remain excluded.
“While I doubt that Elizabeth II is a raging homophobe, she certainly doesn’t appear to be gay-friendly,” said Tatchell, claiming that “her silence sends a signal of exclusion and disrespect”.
He noted that while the 86-year-old monarch had spoken positively of the UK’s many races and faiths, for six decades she has “ignored” LGBT Britons.
“Judging from her silence, it seems that we are the unspeakable ones – the people she cannot bare to acknowledge or mention in public. If she treated black and Asian Britons in the same way, she’d be denounced as a racist. Why the double standards?” Tatchell wrote.
“Astonishingly, since she became Queen in 1952, the words ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ have never publicly passed her lips. There is no record of her ever speaking them. Even when she announced government plans for gay law reform in her Queen’s Speeches, she did not use the words lesbian or gay. Apparently, mentioning LGBT people is beneath the dignity of the monarch.”
Tatchell also pointed out that throughout her reign the Queen has never visited or supported a gay charity or welfare agency.
He revealed that he had contacted the Queen’s press office for a comment on the issue and to confirm if there has been any instance of the Queen ever mentioning LGBT people, but the office failed to respond.
“As head of state, the Queen is supposed to represent and embrace all British people, not just some. How much longer will the LGBT community have to wait for royal recognition and acceptance?” Tatchell asked.