Thursday, 24 August 2006

Far too simplistic, Simon

On the 16th of August, Simon Fanshawe wrote a piece in the Guardian advocating the need for gay choirs to move away from camp and try and focus a bit more on quality of performance; Something I, as a member of a gay chorus (the biggest in Europe), completely agree with.

In the same article, Mr Fanshawe made a few comments about what it is nowadays like to be gay in Britain. I did not agree to this and was not the only one:
Far too simplistic, Simon

I am fed up with Simon Fanshawe thinking he is being clever by sucking up to his straight friends (Telling tales, August 16). It may be fine for a writer and broadcaster who lives in Brighton to pontificate as he does, but for the rest of us being gay is still fraught with threat and difficulty, as well as joy and love. He needs to expand his gay world view and realise that all is still not well.

I would suggest he: try being a gay man who is a teacher, a builder, unskilled, or a professional footballer; a young gay man in one of our schools; a gay man who prefers hip-hop to opera, or football to ballet; a gay man who lives outside a major city; a gay man who, outside one of our few "gay-tolerance zones", wishes to display the same signs of public affection to his partner that heterosexuals daily take for granted; a gay man who wishes to marry his partner in a church, temple or mosque; a gay man who wants to give blood; a gay man born into any family or community where homophobia still runs rife, where abuse and violence remain a day-to-day reality.

In fact, try being any gay man who does not inhabit the cocooned world of Simon Fanshawe.
Paul Patrick
Paul Patrick, an aquaintance of mine, is the co-chair of Schools Out and is also involved with LGBT History Month.

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