Queen Elizabeth condemned anti-gay discrimination, but she left one big thing out.

The last time Queen Elizabeth II mentioned LGBTQ rights in a Queen's Speech was 2003.

On June 21, 2017, the monarch gave the community a long overdue shoutout.

Photo by Arthur Edwards/Getty Images.


"My ministers will seek to enhance rights and protections in the modern workplace," the queen read from a document prepared by ministers of Prime Minister Theresa May's conservative government. "My government will make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability or sexual orientation."

The commitment to end sexual orientation-based workplace harassment was the first explicit call for LGBTQ equality in the address since the queen announced the government's support for civil union protections over a decade ago.  

The speech is delivered annually at the opening of Parliament.

Many cheered the queen for standing up for Britain's LGBTQ citizens.

Critics, however, noticed that the speech failed acknowledge the "T" in LGBTQ.

"We are very concerned no mention was made of tackling discrimination based on gender identity," a spokesperson for British LGBTQ rights organization Stonewall said in a statement to PinkNews.

Prime Minister Theresa May's government has pledged to amend laws that require citizens to undergo intrusive "medical checks," before a legal gender change, but mention of legislation was nowhere in the speech prepared for the queen.

The 2010 Equality Act ban contains only limited protection for transgender workers, including banning employers from discriminating against employees who take leave for the purpose of gender reassignment.

While calling out anti-gay workplace discrimination is a good step, the U.K.'s trans citizens shouldn't have to wait forever to hear vital, validating words of recognition from their queen.

Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

According to comedian Stephen Fry, upon assenting to the country's 2013 marriage equality legislation, the 91-year-old monarch said:

"Who’d have thought 62 years ago when I came to the throne, I’d be signing something like this? Isn’t it wonderful?'"

If British voters can hold the government  to its commitments, perhaps she'll be celebrating extending fuller equality to people of all genders sooner rather than later.

True

Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pixabay

As people get older, social isolation and loneliness become serious problems. Many find themselves living alone for the first time after the death of a spouse. It's also difficult for older people to maintain friendships when people they've known for years become ill or pass away.

Census Bureau figures say that almost a quarter of men and nearly 46% of women over the age of 75 live alone.

But loneliness doesn't just affect those who reside by themselves. People can feel lonely when there is a discrepancy between their desired and actual relationships. To put it simply, when it comes to having a healthy social life, quality is just as important as quantity.

Keep Reading Show less