Theresa May’s ‘gay icon’ is a joke

CW: Homophobia

As this election winds to a (thankful) end, party leaders have given pre-election interviews to Pink News, providing a snapshot of their views on LGBTQ-related issues. It will come as no surprise that Theresa May’s answers amounted to little more than vague platitudes and empty words. Her voting record on LGBTQ rights is covered in shame, and those of her party are covered in blood. However, I want to unpack her answer to a question that is not policy related but personal. When asked who her gay icon was, she answered the following:

This could be a very quick way of losing votes! I’m not sure what the criteria are for icon status, but I’m very pleased we have so many inspirational LGBT people in business, the arts and public life. Across the parties there are lots of brilliant out politicians, but I hope they’ll forgive me if I highlight our own Ruth Davidson, who is doing a brilliant job in Scotland and is a superb role model.

This gives such a clear insight to how May’s mind works it’s almost startling. She starts by worrying about losing votes – everything is about image. She can’t even answer a personal question with any kind of authenticity. Whose vote is she concerned about losing? The votes of LGBT folks because she picks someone uncool or not worthy of gay icon status, or more likely, the votes of her UKIP mates because she admits to admiring a gay person?

Theresa May’s voting record on LGBTQ+ issues

Next, she says she’s unsure what makes an icon. This is so Tory it’s unreal, everything has to fit into a neat little box or meet strict criteria that can be ticked off a checklist. Look inside yourself for once, Theresa, and realise the definition of what constitutes an icon to you is a personal one. Following this are more bland platitudes about the inspirational LGBT folk in all walks of life. If you find us so inspiring Theresa maybe think about granting LGBT people refuge here rather than sending them back to die at the hands of their oppressors.

Finally, the only thing Ruth Davidson is an icon of how fucking nasty the Tory party still are. Yesterday, she introduced Theresa May at a campaign event by telling us she will “make Britain great again”. Come on Theresa, there’s plenty of gay people out there, surely even your programming would allow you to think of someone else? Alan Turing, that’s always a good one. Oh but wait, then maybe you’d have to engage with what the man – without whom we’d all be living in a fascist state – was forced to endure under the watch of your beloved Churchill. Perhaps Freddie Mercury? He’s always popular. Oh, but then maybe you’d have to engage with what your beloved Thatcher did to the gay community and the blood she had on her hands of everyone who died of AIDS in this country while she was busy trying to block HIV awareness campaigns because they were in “bad taste” and might “corrupt children”.

So please, Theresa, do us all a favour and take your trash life and your trash attitudes and join Maggie in the tenth circle of hell.

Zoe Wilde is an admin and activist at Fourth Wave: London Feminist Activists and is working on their first novel. Follow them at: @z_wilde.