If ever you have been shot at by a mob, had your home and possessions destroyed, or personally experienced acid attacks because of your sexuality as I have then you will know what gay hate crime really means.
And so when last year I watched on the BBC the thousands of jubilant LGBT people celebrating and cheering their equality in the steets of London along with Boris Johnson, I had to wonder how so many thousands of people could be so easily duped into believing that the raising of a piece of colored cloth over parliament in any way signified their equality and recognition, while the very same government had removed all access to protect their homes and their rights in law by removing legal aid!
It was all the more bitter pill to swallow to receive a dismissive letter from my MP who had written to me to ask me not to use his offices again for such purposes after I made a surgery visit to request that he obtain on my behalf from the police, a full list of over twenty five hate crime reference numbers that had ammased over a fourteen year period, and an explaination from them as to why, when attempting to discuss the large amounts of gay hate crime with the area beat manager and the damage and destruction of over a dozen vehicles that I was told more than once that he thought I drove a girls/hairdressers car anyhow!
The Avon and Somerset police for their part had already claimed dissaplication and had refused to provide in full the information that was required from them. Neither would they recognize the unacceptable behavior of their own senior officers even though it could not be disputed as the conversation had not only been recorded myself, but is still available to this day.
There had already been two deaths in the Avon and Somerset area as a result of hate crime;
One man, Bijan Ebrahimi was dragged from his home and burnt alive on his front lawn, and the other, a twenty year old gay man committed suicide in order to escape the daily torment from his perpetrators
I turned to the gay organisation Stonewall in desperation, but again, so little help was offered by them that they may as well not even be there at all.
What a waste of time and hope.
In fact they provided no more tangible help than the citizens advice bureau who ironically asked me if I had tried Stonewall.
And so the hatred and attacks continued until finally I was hospitalized with two strokes, and even I seriously considered suicide just to be able to get out of the daily misery which I was forced to endure.
If as gay people we do have equal rights, then those rights and laws are only applicable to the select few who can afford to privately hire a solicitor. For the rest of the gay community, there really is absolutely nothing in place to legally protect us.
And as the vast majority of LGBT people on a low or modest income cannot possibly afford to pay for private legal representation just what in reality are they left with in the future in order to protect their homes for a mob from kicking in their door or attacking them with a gun?
A few words to say they have equality or laws which they cannot afford to utilise when necessary?
So much for progress.