Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Queen And The Queer - Dedication, Passion, Service...

 Today is Peter Tatchell's birthday; his 60th. As someone I greatly admire and had done long before I met him and even got involved in the LGBT Rights struggle, something else struck my mind this morning...

Of course Mr. Tatchell is not the best-loved across the nation, but he is respected for his dedication, resilience and passion. It was while I try to think about this man who has selflessly dedicated himself to supporting the oppressed, to bring neglected issues to the fore, regardless of the cost to him, that I also thought of another personality I so greatly admire: the Queen, Herr Elizabeth.

It is then that it dawned on me, that while the later was to ascend the throne that year, Peter was born shortly before. Does it mean that the promise Elizabeth made 5 years before that time on her 21st Birthday, have a lot to do with Mr. Tatchell?

First of all, it is important to note that Peter do not agree to a hereditary monarchy as he publicly declares for a Republic. Funny for that, I admire him but disagree on that issue. I am a Monarchist and admire Her Majesty.

It does make it strange that this promise the Queen made on her 21st Birthday in far away South Africa: "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.", seems to have replayed in Mr. Tatchell's life.

Peter has dedicated his life, earning nothing, living in a council flat and going across the world to show solidarity publicly... The Queen had dedicated her life, earning (inheriting) a lot, living in a palace and going across the world to show solidarity in calm. Very different?

Please also note, that Mr. Tatchell, started his most active protest for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Rights at the age of 21... The other coincidence is that he started it 'Far far away from his own birthplace too'.
The two role models of mine who my contrast of all nature, birth, privilledge, job, place in the world, opportunity, et al, seems to share so much in common too... dedication, passion, service, resilience, patience, perseverance and above all, almost the same response to criticism; keeping calm and carrying on.

Peter Tatchell may not agree with my comparison of him to the Queen and I have not sought his opinion or approval to write this, but within all that notion, the things these two people share are what I admire them both for. Not for their position or other personal belief and characteristics which I do not know much about.

Just two months less 4 days from now, the Queen will celebrate her own real birthday. And that comes on the heels of her accession to the throne; it seems to me that all these dates which are important is the Queen's life are somehow important to one of her best critics. Mind you, Peter Tatchell, by no means have a personal hatred for the Queen... he only disagrees with hereditary monarchy.

Well, I wish Mr. Tatchell even a longer life on his 60th. And in the summer, I shall, in hope, be joining in all joys, Her Majesty, to celebrate her 60th year as the reigning Monarch.

For me, history would always, although told apart, remember that in 2012, the Queen and the Queer, both had shown service and yes, in a selfless manner.

Thank you Peter Tatchell.

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