Saturday, 22 March 2014

Queerstion Time

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Queerstion Time
Newcastle University LGBT* Society
Thursday 20th March 2014
6:30pm
Newcastle University SU History Room


'We shouldn't place labels on love, that's not cool.' - Lucy, Straight Supporter 


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From left to right: Benjamin Oakes, Alice Summerscales, Alex Guthrie, JohnPaul Melling, Elly Williams, Samuel l. Johnson and Lucy Vella

A twist of BBC One's Question Time, Newcastle University LGBT* Society organised a 'Queerstion Time', a chance for the general public to anonymously ask any questions they'd like about the LGBT* community. No question is a bad question.

A mildly predictable first question from the audience: 'How Do You Know It's Not a Phase?'

'As long as we remember we've had an attraction to the same sex, or both for bi. Any shift is usually about how out you are about it.' - Alex, Gay Man Rep

'Does it matter if it's a phase, it's how you feel at the time that matters to you.' - Elly, Lesbian Rep

I find a lot of straight people questioning that if the LGBT* community want equality so much then why do they segregate themselves to their own bars, one audience member asked just that, perfectly answered by Samuel, 'Well there aren't plenty of fish in the sea. In my home town there are about three people out as gay.'

Equally, there is a lot more acceptance in gay bars, 'There's far more confusion in the straight bars' trans* man Ben tells us. Could you imagine waltzing into a bar and someone saying 'ID mate' and you have to whack out ID with Miss on when you quite clearly look like a boy? Not an easy one to answer, but with gay bars they are far more open and accepting to this.

Not to miss out the fact 'You go to gay bars because they're open later.'

I must admit I had a little giggle to myself when someone asked why gay people rush into long term relationships, clearly people don't remember their first relationship. The guy who you sat next to in year nine maths who HAD to be the love of your life, it's 'the same with everyone's first relationship, they're awful' - Elly

How Much Bi-Phobia Do You Think There is in the Gay Scene?

'Ah, it's not much of a thing. People usually comment calling it an in-between phase. In the gay scene people are open and accepting' - Iqra, Bisexual Panelist

This obviously escalated into the discussion about bisexual people being greedy, well no they don't fancy EVERY man and woman so no they don't automatically fancy you either. I don't understand why people have so little respect for those who are bisexual, if anything it's sounds so accepting to want a relationship with some irrespective of their gender.

Why Do LGBT* People Talk About Their Sexuality All of the Time?

'Why do straight people talk about their sexuality, they talk about it all of the time' - Samuel, LGBT with Faith

My goodness I felt like walking over to Samuel and bowing down to him. Being a straight girl I socialise with a lot of other straight girls and I can tell you I've heard far more about their sexuality than anyone gay I know. Far too much information!

Obviously the evening wasn't going to be complete without the controversial question: 'to what extent is it a choice?'

'I don't choose to be transgender but I can choose to transition.' I think Ben hit the nail on the head there, you can choose to suppress yourself but why should anyone have to act like they're something they're not? We live in a sad world purely on the fact that people feel like they can't act on how they feel. Adding to this, if it was a choice who would decide:

'Oh, I'm gonna be gay and go into a world of homophobia' - Luke Allison, the Society's Social Secretary

I am a Christian and was really hoping there would be a question on being gay is a sin purely because I disagree with it so much and I was not disappointed. The question was perfectly answered by rep with faith, Samuel:

'Of all of the churches I go to no-one has expressed any homophobia. Technically in Leviticus it's bisexuality that's condemmed because I wouldn't lie down with a woman the way I would with a man. You treat everyone equally no matter who they are...who they love, who they don't love.'

The society hopes to make this an annual event, if so, I will definitely be getting myself there again. I thought myself to be quite clued up about the LGBT* community as I am quite intermingled but tonight I learnt things I didn't know. Good work from an intelligent group of young people!

Hannah x

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