Oh the trolls are out today. Can you feel them?

The National Trust’s ill-advised policy of punishing its volunteers to backroom duties if they don’t feel comfortable wearing the rainbow symbol is incredibly damaging. Not to the National Trust but to us. The LGBT community.

“PC Gone Mad”

“When you have to force your ideas on people it never works out”.

Just spend a moment in the comment section of any of the national papers who’ve run this story and you’ll see, it’s not the National Trust that’s being lambasted but the LGBT community. Sure the National Trust may have taken a hit when a couple of hundred angry people ripped up their membership cards – but the lasting damage is on us.

This has fueled the bigots and they are out in force, bemoaning that the LGBT community is once again being recognised. There are the usual cries of “why do they have to have a pride/month/day/rainbow… etc etc. They are moaning that this policy was forcing LGBT politics down their throats.

When you have to force your ideas on people it never works out.

“Forcing people out of roles that they love doing isn’t going to win them over – in fact, I’ll bet that it will just further entrench their feelings”

I truly believe that you don’t win the battle for acceptance by punishing those who don’t: get us, agree with us or just plain despise us. Forcing people out of roles that they love doing isn’t going to win them over – in fact, I’ll bet that it will just further entrench their feelings – double down on them – and for all the lookie loos reading about this story it just gives them another reason to spew their vile tirades.

Embracing or Excluding?

If the purpose of wearing the lanyards was to ensure that LGBT visitors felt comfortable visiting a National Trust site, it’s failed. It’s not the staff or volunteers we have to worry about its the fellow guests – if the comment sections are anything to go by.

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An NHS trust recently embarked on a similar rainbow lanyard experiment to promote a pro-LGBT environment, but it was perfect in its execution. Only those who wanted to wear it – did – and as a result, they wore it with pride – it was about letting patients know that there was a friendly face, someone they could trust. That’s what the Rainbow symbol is about.

Not forced politics and thought policing.

Handled right this could have been the perfect opportunity to embrace the LGBT community, instead all this has done has excluded staff – and in the process made the LGBT community the scape goat.

 

Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you’d like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.

Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.