Whilst I sat here earlier, I was reading about the Pride events and how they have become regular now, and this got me thinking about how the whole gay movement has succeeded in being recognised by the general public as a usual way to live. So why can naturists and nudists be accepted too?
I will use the term gay to cover all homosexual people as it is more commonly used, as in gay pride etc.
So looking back to how gay people were persecuted for their lifestyle back in the 1950s and how it wasn't accepted until the late 90s and the early 2000s and then only from people being brave to come out as gay and not be afraid to hold hands or kiss in public made people realise they were treating gay people in a wrong way and slowly realised and accepted that this was normal.
Nowadays, they are free as they should be to be themselves when out and about and not have to hide it away. So how does this relate to naturists or nudists? Well, we are not as it was in the 1950s for gay people, but we are where they were in the late 80' to early 90s.
People know of us and that we live a nude lifestyle every day, but they feel we should be behind closed doors and not in a public place. And why is this? They still seem to think that simply being naked means you are doing something sexual. They feel like this as being sexual is nearly the only time they are nude other than showering. So this means they think that the only reason we are nude is because we are all perverts, which is unfair and untrue.
When we hold any form of nude event, people will take offence to us. Take, for example, the charity walk held on the Cuckoo trail in East Sussex, UK. The walk was supposed to have around 20 - 30 people coming, but in the days running up to this, people on social media voiced their opinion, making half the people not turn up. The comments online were a criminal offence as they were committing a hate crime against the naturist lifestyle of nudists, yet the social media companies did not agree.
The walk took place, and most of the public seen en route had no issues with us. Still, once the trek ended, some went to the local pond to have a picnic; as per what the police and council said to do, they were met by a small number of locals that attacked the nudists verbally and physically until the police arrived to sort it all out. I know that the person who organised the walk has been affected by this as another local nudist event took place. He did not want any advertisement for the event as he was worried that people might attend to abuse the nudists verbally.
And this is my point; we cannot be nude in a public area without members of the public abusing us, just like how gay people used to be, even though it was also legal. Naturists and nudists alike are not able to live their lives freely as they should be and are subject to hate crimes continually, and this needs to change.
Large groups like British Naturism don't help with this at all. They are happy to sit back, take your membership money, charge excessive fees for events and then say when asked about taking the issue of nudity in public into the public spotlight, they decline and say we should be happy with what we have. This stance is unacceptable as they should be at the forefront of trying to gain our rights like gay people did all those years ago.
When we go on organised nude walks, we cover up to cross the roads or past buildings and then uncover once we are well past, but why? When I go on solo nude walks, I undress at the start, and the next time I cover up is when I get to the finish point; why should I cover up when I need to cross a road or when I come across a family - I am doing nothing wrong just living my lifestyle which means I am nude, especially as it is legal.
The only way that we will ever get naturism accepted is by forcing it into the public eye and getting it made illegal to call us names or attack us as that is a hate crime again, as per the definition of hate crime in the dictionary "a crime, typically one involving violence, that is motivated by prejudice based on ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or similar grounds."
We need to stand up for ourselves and get large organisations like BN and INF to do more to make nudity for naturists and nudists alike to be acceptable and to educate the general public about our lifestyle and give them a better understanding so we can live how we choose. Why shouldn't I be able to go to a local shop nude? I should be able to do the same as a person wearing clothes. If I cannot, I am persecuted for my lifestyle choice. Look at the world naked bike rides. At the start, there were loads of bad press against it, and the general public would be abusive towards the riders. Still, nowadays, well, at least the Brighton ride, is generally accepted, and even the press coverage is polite about it. And why has this event been received? Because the comments against them did not put them off, they held the event every year and were persistent in achieving acceptance, the same as gay people did; I have so much respect for them both as they earned their rights against all the hatred early on.
In conclusion, we need to fight for our rights and achieve naturism and nudism rights so we can live our lifestyles freely. We need BN, INF, etc., to do their part and help us to achieve this worldwide rather than hiding away from the public.