Monday, 24 January 2011

Dear Melanie Phillips,

I have to say that, when, this morning, I read that article of yours in which you so eloquently denounce the production of optional lesson plans that would force absolutely every school in the realm to possibly have to consider the idea of maybe including LGBT elements in their curriculum, I was particularly impressed with the dexterity with which you arranged reality to fit your idiosyncrated and rightuous view of the world.

How can one not be impressed with your citing the story of that preacher, who was NOT condemned for homophobic statements, as one of the incontrovertible proofs that those poor Christians are yet again under attack by the nasty gays and their terrible homosexual agenda.

Likewise, exhalting as examplary the case of those B&B owners who decided that they were above the law of this country and refused a bedroom to a civilly-partnered gay couple, was truly a masterstroke.

I can also only applaud and humbly agree when, dear Melanie, you state that "this is but the latest attempt to brainwash children with propaganda under the ­camouflage of ­education. It is an abuse of childhood". It is indeed the latest attempt and it is absolutely outrageous that centuries of complusory religous education, your favorite type of proganda, should be brushed aside so and replaced by someone else's.

And while we are mentioning the good ol' "moral norms of Western civilisation", which, as you so insightfully explain, are being trampled by those repugnant homosexuals, I would like to state how much I long for that golden age when women knew there rightful place (in the kitchen or at church, with the kids) and didn't have the impudence of expressing their naive and childlike views in the papers, but simply didn't even have views on anything.

Likewise I hanker for that blessed time when we, the enlightened white males of this world, could make the gift of civilisation and the good news of the Gospel to those poor black and brown people by allowing them to wait on us and do our jobs for nothing.

*nostalgic sigh*

So, dear Melanie, please, please, please, carry on your good work in that thankless role of moral light of this nation, that you undertook, unbidden, to burden your frail shoulders with. We need people like you lest we forget how the world has changed and how different it would be if you and your devoted followers of the Daily Mail readership had their way.

Best wishes,


For those curious to see what including LGBT elements to the curriculum can do to a school, I suggest you visit this page on the LGBT History Month website or read this blog post by a gay teacher.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

LGBT History workshop at the Museum of London

The following was written as part of a workshop on blogging LGBT history at the Museum of London, organised by Untold London. After the visit described above, we were simply asked to blog something in 20min, hence the rough, rushed, not-really-thought-through nature of it (particularly the conclusion). I haven't had time to proofread or refine it.

There were a few strange looks but mostly people seemed oblivious. Amusingly some people looked actually rather pleasantly surprised to hear those words in such an unexpectedly place.

We were a group of about 30 people blocking the narrow spaces of the museum, there on a whistletour of the collections for some elusive glimpses at LGBT history. Our guide wasn't shy in using words as incongruous in those surroundings as homosexuality, gay and sodomy. Quite loudly too!

After being shown a bronze head of Hadrian which used to be part of a statue on London Bridge, we were moved on to a little alcove housing a head of the god Mithras. As our group emprisoned a pair of what looked like gay men in the small space, our guide launched into reading a ritual involving enthusiastic exclamations of adoration for the god. These, we were informed would only be uttered by young, viril and probably fairly sexually-unhinibited soldiers. No women there. The "gay couple" looked around slightly uneasily, moved to the other side of the space and turned their backs to us.

The quick stop at the Great Fire section of the museum also allowed us to startle a pair of unsuspecting gays, as our guide unformed us that after the Fire the French were blamed for not only the conflagration but also the rampant sodomy of the time at the origin of this new Sodom and Gomorrah.

By the time we got to the notorious Samuel Drybutter, the manish suffragettes and the colourful pride badges, we were pretty much on our own but there was still a thrill, for me and obviously also for others, to be in a public institutional space and unveiling our hidden histories.

This is both positive and emblematic of the work still needed for visibility and (although I hate the word) normalisation for LGBT lives. This is what History Month is about.