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Celebrity Big Brother 2018 Regular Updates

Divisions among trans people, gay men and lesbians have been exposed by the celebrity TV show. But ultimately far more unites us than sets us apart

Who could have predicted that in 2018 it would be Celebrity Big Brother that opened up the national conversation on gender and sexual politics? Transsexual? Transgender? Drag queen? Queer? Gay? Gender-fluid? Shane from Boyzone looked utterly baffled. The show took the uneasy divisions and distinctions of the LGBT community and revealed them to straight people. You know – the ones who think we’re basically all the same oddballs anyway.

First there was the trans newsreader, India Willoughby, and her discomfort with the Britney Spears-esque drag queen Courtney Act, an alumnus of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Willoughby felt people would think she and Courtney were the same thing, and confuse trans identity with a more frivolous aspect of gay culture. Later, Act’s daytime alter ego, Shane Jenek, clashed with actor Amanda Barrie (who is in a civil partnership with a woman) over Barrie’s breezy and uncritical friendship with Ann Widdecombe. As a parliamentarian, Widdecombe supported section 28, which banned positive depictions of homosexuality in schools. The very rights Barrie now benefits from were time and again opposed by the likes of Widdecombe.

Whenever LGBT history is discussed it tends to focus on histories of white gay men

Related: We’re in the midst of an epidemic of violence against trans people | Paris Lees

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