Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Gately Issue

My Dearest Darlings, Stephen Gately's untimely passing and the reaction to this unfortunate event has caused a colossal furore in the press, a controversy that you could hardly have missed, based mainly on the rather inappropriate musings of Jan Moir; the dissection of which I shall spare you, as I am sure by now you have all patronised the Daily Mail's website and read the piece for yourself. Unlike you, it does not surprise Ms Coco LaVerne that the Daily Mail chooses to employ those that are slightly less gifted than I in the commentaries of your culture, though to you it seems like a 'slap in the face' that a well known conservative newspaper chooses to promote conservative views.

Ms Moir naturally defends her words and promises that she is not a homophobe though of course these matters are not that simple. The article reveals ignorance and is guilty of huge sweeping generalisations, which are distasteful and perhaps even offensive though the reaction to it's content has been undoubtedly fuelled by Twitter and FaceBook which has enabled an unprecedented amount of complaints. Complaints that would hardly have arisen if on-line petitions were not so easy to contribute to.

The problem with a dominant largely white heteronormative society is that anything outside of it appears to transcend what is considered the 'norm'. The ignorance her article demonstrates is that your own popular culture is fundamentally unable to comment on any version of 'the other' intelligently. In her article Ms Moir infers that to be gay is by default somehow sleazy and unnatural. She of course forgets the sexual objectification of women for millennia by heterosexual culture, she forgets the overwhelming majority of 'sleazy' abuses and insults on your world that have been initiated by the heterosexual white male powers that continue to dominate your civilisation.

She surmises that something sexually provocative was going on in the apartment in which Gately died, and this lifestyle in some way was to blame for this young man's death as if deviance from the norm should be punishable by death. Your culture is so hypocritical that it chooses to punish the members of it that visibly transcend the 'norm' despite the fact that those that are included in this 'norm' are far more likely to be associated with scandalous and immoral behaviour, a mere glance at the numerous scandals of the members of your parliament would be testament to a supposed 'sleazy' lifestyle. Though an M.P.s scandal does not result in the demonisation of heterosexuality rather an attack on the party to which they are affiliated. There are undoubtedly some 'sleazy' gay men whose debauched lifestyle would shock the most unshakable, though this is just as true of any group. The heterosexual practice of so-called 'dogging' has not created a surreptitious campaign against all straight men. It has not thrown into question the institution of marriage. Though a couple of high profile and unfortunate endings to gay civil partnerships has garnered much questioning due to it's new and problematic position in your society.

I do not blame you for your lack of complex thinking on this issue as I realise complex thinking is not your most prominent of traits. Though the reaction to Ms Moir's article also raises one of my perfectly formed eyebrows in your direction: it seems that the liberal left have conveniently jumped on the chastisement bandwagon in regards to this particular display of veiled homophobia. Though It is not simply the insidious and subtle homophobia that has been the cause of this frenzy, the main motivation for the demonstration against this unpleasant article has been your fetish for the 'sacred' celebrity. Unless a celebrity is involved other everyday forms of homophobia go unnoticed from the unfortunate appropriation of the new meaning of 'Gay' (equalling crap) to the apparently harmless suggestion that all gay men are fascinated by interior design and Liza Minelli and that all lesbians are dungaree wearing pool players. These damaging stereotypes perpetuate reductive ideas of homosexuality which create a climate in which homophobia can flourish. Non-Celebrity gay men and women around the world continue to be brutally murdered as a result of their sexuality though this rather unpalatable truth barely makes your news headlines, as this shocking reality conflicts with the modern notion that the liberal elite have rather cleverly created a smug and beautiful world of acceptance and tolerance.

Those that continue to believe in this liberal propaganda believe that ill-informed and out-dated assumptions regarding gay lifestyles of their perhaps loved gay friends and relatives do not damage, as the world is at last safe for 'The Gay'. The truth is, that gathering any 'type' together reduces all members of that group to a stereotype, a simplification which reduces complex individual members of communities to the most simplest of readings.

The only benefit of this sorry saga is that perhaps debates on the complexities of prejudice can take place.

My advice is do not read the Daily Mail.

Much Love Ms Coco LaVerne x