I should know, I was publicly outed by the government two months ago
In Westminster, the power of LGBTQ issues as political capital is well understood. It is ‘cool’, it is ‘trendy’ and it can be used as many times as you like to mask the thousands of ‘uncool’ things politicians may or may not be doing otherwise. I’ve worked in the right wing sphere for almost two years – I would know.
No surprise there, it is politics after all. Two months ago Number 10 outed a gay, Pakistani muslim man. I came forward with information that revealed cheating during the Brexit referendum. Cabinet ministers like Boris Johnson and several senior advisors to the Prime Minister could be implicated because of these revelations, and instead of addressing the allegations and launching internal inquiries, Theresa May chose to taint me as a scorned lover (I had dated one of the senior advisors after the referendum). In that process the government outed me as a gay man.
National broadcasters and publications like the BBC and Daily Mail took the bait and reported on where I was putting my dick rather than on how the country was being dicked. The outing however tainted Theresa May’s already waning appeal to the LGBTQ community. But despite the outcry from nearly every gay publication (excluding the Gay Times) in the UK, her response was to lie in the House of Commons. When asked about it by (very few) brave MPs during PMQs, she said it was a ‘personal statement’, not once, but three times.
“If Theresa May really wanted to help make Britain a country ‘where no one feels the need to hide’ she wouldn’t be protecting her advisor, or her office” – Shahmir Sanni
She protected the advisor responsible, she shielded him instead of shielding the LGBTQ community. It was a disgusting thing to observe for anyone who has ever been forcibly outed. To this day, Number 10 has refused to apologise, and the advisor, despite his heinous actions for using the entire Number 10 office against me, has remained in his position as Political Secretary to the Prime Minister.
On Thursday, Theresa May with the help of the Gay Times announced that the Government would set out “concrete steps for LGBT people in this country and address some of the injustices the community has faced” – an “LGBT Action Plan”.
She said “one answer that stood out to me was how many LGBT people said they avoided being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity in public, or with their own family and friends… I want to help make us a country where no one feels the need to hide who they are or who they love…” She is a hypocrite. If Theresa May really wanted to help make Britain a country ‘where no one feels the need to hide’ she wouldn’t be protecting her advisor, or her office. But making me out to be a sad, embittered ex-boyfriend to protect the Conservative party from allegations of cheating was more important to her than protecting a fundamental rule of the LGBTQ community: “Never out someone.” She chose politics over the community.
“A government that weaponises a young, Muslim man’s homosexuality is not a government that really wants to help our community” – Shahmir Sanni
Her party stayed silent in order to not bring attention to why I was forcibly outed. A government that weaponises a young, Muslim man’s homosexuality is not a government that really wants to help our community. For many of us it is difficult to literally exist in Commonwealth countries, I lived in Pakistan for 15 years of my life myself. However, it is hypocritical of Britons to stand our ground as champions of LGBTQ rights when our own government is using our struggle as political capital – as ‘good PR’ – while simultaneously perpetuating oppressive actions against our community here in the United Kingdom. The only way for us to help LGBTQ people in Commonwealth countries (a cause that Theresa May is so avidly supporting) is if we support politicians that actually care about the struggle…so they don’t back out when our community in oppressive countries need us most. If you really care, Theresa May, meet me and organizations that support LGBTQ people of colour, muslims and jews to better understand the implications of your office’s actions.