Pardon Me? Well, Pardon Me! – David E Watters for neverblendin & The Give ’em Hope Campaign 

I’ve got mixed emotions about this news:

BBC NEWS REPORTED that “Thousands of gay and bisexual men found guilty of decades-old sexual offences in England and Wales have been posthumously pardoned.”

Yes, it’s good news but like so many progressive steps for LGBTQ people, it’s also taken a long time to come; many have had their entire adult lives ruined; reputations tarnished and opportunities stripped away. Many like Alan Turing were distressed enough to take their own lives. For many the “pardon” is too late – by many decades 😡

This is a reminder that we are only at the beginning of our journey towards being treated as equal citizens. No apology, and a pardon, by the way, is not an apology, is adequate enough to undo the shame and the pain endured by those who were criminalised because of their statistically less common sexuality. 

We have lived through clause 28 in my lifetime and we have had to fight in the courts to be allowed to marry. 

 I worry that we are still willing and grateful to accept the crumbs and feel that we have some obligation to be thankful when we are shown the same dignity unquestionably offered to those with the more common sexuality. 

Veteran Human Rights Activist, Peter Tatchell has said:

“Gay pardons for up to 100,000 men welcomed. But pardon has connotations of forgiveness for a wrong done

Yes, this was the correct outcome but no, this is not the end and we must continue to fight for our rights because as quickly as they can be given, they can be taken away. 

It is said, by some, that God’s greatest joy is to pardon sinners. Is it the greatest joy of the UK government to do the same? Not that I’m for one minute saying we are sinners.

Are we ready to pardon our recent ancestors for their inhumanity? That is the real question here. 

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About neverblendin

David Watters, a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, Trinity College of Music, London and the Institute of Education, University of London, has worked internationally within education and Educational Management for more than 20 years. He has taught extensively within many socially and culturally diverse settings; most recently as a Head of Performing Arts within Further Education. He is a personal and professional development associate with The Pacific Institute (, personal coach, freelance writer and founding member of NBI Associates. He is a writer on social equality issues, is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK and author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN which features key voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and which aims to inspire and encourage those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity. David is currently promoting a youtube campaign"Give 'em Hope"and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity. He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out, The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Albert Kennedy Trust and numerous others. His background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, and his passion for Equality Advocacy drive every aspect of his work as a personal development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer. View all posts by neverblendin

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