Owen Jones wants us all to know that Britain is suffering nuder a wave of homophobia. That one of the nation’s leading columnists is about to have the ink triangle sewn on and off the camps he goes. That this is a less than true portrayal of reality is obvious enough. But Owen gives us the numbers:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]We live in a society in which one in five LGBTQ people report suffering a hate crime in the past year. And that’s going up, not down. In 2011-12 there were 4,345 reported hate crimes in England and Wales based on sexual orientation, and another 313 directed at trans people; by 2017-18, those respective figures were 11,638 and 1,651.[/perfectpullquote]
It would appear that Owen Jones thinks there are 66,000 LGBTQ people in the whole Kingdom. If 20% report attacks, we’ve got 14,000 attacks or so, then 5x the number of attacks is the number of people.
Yes, obviously that’s not the true number. There are more Grindr users alone than that. It’s OK though, Owen’s got a get out clause:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]It’s worth keeping in mind that many queer people do not report the hate directed at them: official figures capture but a tiny fraction.[/perfectpullquote]
An interesting handwave, no, really, it’s much bigger than we have evidence of! Sadly, that doesn’t really work either. Queer is the Q in LGBTQ – hey, he used both the word and the acronym. Meaning that LGBT do report……
Oh, and this?[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]I had to wait until I reached my 30s until I suffered meaningful homophobic abuse; since then it’s been an avalanche, mostly online, but also including being chased by fascists yelling “Jonesy is a homo!” What is getting better, exactly?[/perfectpullquote]
It didn’t happen until you were famous. Meaning that there are at least two possible explanations. Firstly, your claim, homophobia is getting worse. Which, in a country that’s just legalised same sex marriage to general acceptance, does seem unlikely. The other is that now people know about you they hate you and will just pick up any obvious point they can to express that. It’s not an attempt to use insulting Owen Jones to get at gay people, it’s using the standard insults about sexuality – we all get them at times, whatever our sexuality – to insult Owen Jones. On the grounds that the more people know about Owen Jones the more they’d like to insult Owen Jones. Works for us as an explanation to be honest.
The homo part is incidental, it’s the abuse which is meant.