But I thought about how open we all actually are.
I know that overt hate crimes are mostly racist and that non-white people are 13 times more likely to be the objects of racial hate than white people. (Data from 'An Overview of Hate Crime
in England and Wales' published by the UK Home Office in December 2013.)
Now 'sexuality' is another big area regarding victims of hate crimes. In October 2013 the Stonewall organization wrote that one in six lesbian, gay and bisexual people have experienced a hate crime or incident. I have one lesbian friend who was recently raped. (Fortunately, she recently won her legal case against her rapist.)
About LGBT* issues, last year I was interviewed by the Gaydio radio station about Trans* people - see my blog entry:
And you know what? I was thinking how are people going to think and assume? I knew that some people would think, "Oh, he's obviously gay" just because I was on a gay radio station - I don't care (although my girlfriend would) - but that's just another erroneous assumption/bias people often make. How many of us actually make those erroneous assumptions? Well, I'll hold my hand up and admit that I sometimes do - but that's the point. Unconscious bias loses power if you're aware of it.
Then there's my talking about transgenderism. Yeah I do talk about cross-dressing in that interview but if we think about it - what's really wrong about cross-dressing? I never got turned on by cross-dressing. But even if I guy does get turned-on by cross-dressing what's wrong with that? You mean that some women who like to wear corsets and/or stockings don't get turned on by wearing them?
Again we're talking bias.
This connects with other prejudices. I know some people could get angry with me and say,
- "How can you be on a gay themed radio station and not be gay?"
- Gaydio is a Diversity embracing LGBT radio station and I was talking about 'transgenderism' because I'm trans*.
- "You're not a proper transgender person because you're not permanently transitioning gender."
- What's 'proper'? Look up the definitions of 'trans*'.
- Oh, and by the way the past research on transgenderism? It's often been... misleading, poorly undertaken, unethical, and contradictory. Have a look at the findings from the Equality and Human Rights Commission that detail this.
- This past poor research on transgenderism has fundamentally and harmfully affected medical, legal, Governmental and media opinions.
- I know this. That's what my doctorate was about.
Basically, many of the biases we have are based upon irrational historical prejudices (over 1000s of years) and they derive from insecurity. Sexism/homophobia/transphobia (and others) all come from similar gender insecurities (I could detail a lot more about this but it would make this blog 3 or 4 times the length - much of my PhD is about this).
So do many people like to talk about their enthusiasm for Diversity but are actually still powerfully affected by unconscious biases?