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Peter Tatchell receives Blue Plaque

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  1. Hurrah Well Deserved!

  2. I feel unclean. I really can’t think of anyone who is less deserving that that repellent man.

  3. Sister Mary Clarence 14 Apr 2009, 1:31pm

    I have to say to his credit the whole world is now aware of the heinous crimes of Mugabe

  4. BrazilGayScene 14 Apr 2009, 2:33pm

    A well-deserved honour! A ‘repellent’ man? That ‘repellent man’ has selflessly campaigned for the ‘rights’ we all now enjoy.. A good job someone comes forward to do the things the rest of us dare not do. Sometimes we have to fight for our (equal) rights. We can’t all spend our lives in gay disco’s.

  5. Brian Burton 14 Apr 2009, 4:31pm

    I remember Peter Tatchell being ruined by Mary Whitehouse in the first ‘Blastfemy’ case for centuaries. The High Court Appeal on 25 counts proceded, but Peter alas got out of it all by the skin of his teeth. Now and back then, Peter deserves our thanks.

  6. I thought you had to be dead to get a plaque, or is there something I don’t know?

    The man’s enthusiasm and effort cannot be denied, however, his tactics and approach are questionable at best. Him and his Outrage cronies mobbed parliament and many other public meetings with their usual reactionary leftie ranting. Why is it every time the media want a “voice of the gay community” they talk to this rabid little whippet? Personally, I don’t want people like him trying to represent people like me.

  7. RobN: agreed.

  8. @ RobN – but who is going to represent people like you? why don’t you give it a go and try representing yourself for once instead of sitting back and letting someone else do it for you. Get out there and have a voice.

  9. Many people who do not agree with Peter politically still pay tribute to his consistent principles and unflinching advocacy for our equality. He is not afraid to speak HIS mind, and fight for EVERYONE’s equality. Shame may provoke some people to attack him, but he has been a welcome speaker here in Exeter.

  10. RobN and others: it is partly because of Peter’s ceaseless and tireless refusal to allow us to be treated as second-class second-rate citizens that (on legilsative paper at least) so much progress has been made in recent years. Get real!

    I seriously doubt the wisdom though of sticking a blue plaque anywhere on or near Peter’s home. His part of the world, Southwark, is full of rabid bigots and BNP members. Sticking a blue plaque near his abode will be, to them, like a direction notice saying, “One queer for a good belting: go this way!” So if anyone knows Peter, warn him: this is not a good idea in terms of his personal safety. We would all prefer to have him continue alive, rather than get coshed over the head by some thick ugly Sarf London skin-head!

  11. I’ve read many essays on Peter Tatchell’s website and frankly, it has been one hell of an education. I would give him a gold plaque. Like Harvey Milk, he knows that public life can be precarious. Like Andrew Sullivan, he writes beautifully and touches issues nobody else would dare to bring up. I can’t understand why anybody would reproach men like these. Gay people are gifted people, and that means you as well as those who deserve public recognition. Be a little forgiving and send Peter a card of congratulations. You have a hero in your midst!

  12. Paul Disney 15 Apr 2009, 5:35am

    Peter Tatchell is a hero. He more than anyone else, knows what it is like to face the media as a gay man. He is a stalwart human rights activist, who in these days, is something rare. As with Stonewall, Peter has made real change to ‘gay politics’ and he is not afraid to be out on the streets in action on human rights issues. He is a brilliant politician and would proud to have him as my local government representitive.

  13. DCarter: Not all of us are self-aggrandising, leftie whingers.
    I personally consider the “gay community” a myth, and consider most gay men selfish and undeserving of the equality they moan about not having. I sure as hell have better things to do with my time than stand in the rain outside public buildings waving “Queer” placards and trying to shock people into supporting my cause.

    I think the only thing Tatchell has achieved is to alienate the general public from the average gay person, and make all gays look like a bunch of militant Marxist yobbos likely to be seen at a G20 riot.

  14. Oh, and another thing, that needs to be stated at a time like this: Peter Tatchell is an Antipodean! He ain’t English. He ain’t British. The fire in his belly is not an English or a British thing. It’s an Antipodean thing. It’s taken an Antipodean to come over to Britain and stoke things up and keep them stoked up in terms of gay rights process.

    We should remember this next time we automatically stick out little noses in the air and dismiss “little Colonials”.

  15. If I had my way it would be Sir Peter Tatchell :-)

    He’s done a hell of a lot for LGBT emancipation and human rights – I would welcome it, if some of the critics above, esp RobN, could pinpoint exactly where they find his tactics or arguments flawed. He spoke up when many didn’t, couldn’t afford to or were too scared to. And that takes some guts.

    PS if you get the chance to hear him live talk about his life of activism, do so – apart fom the serious points he makes, he’s hilarious.

  16. RobN, do you realize you exhibit all the markers of a misanthrope?

    No man is an island. Join the human race. Embrace your brothers and sisters and enjoy the fight. You clearly need SOME company – after all, you visit here enough, don’t you?

  17. Brian Burton 15 Apr 2009, 3:12pm

    Ah! The usual suspects Who know nothing and spout about even less.
    Peter Tatchell has been a hero to me since the early days of ‘Gay News’ and also in the days when Mary Whitehouse brought Peter down. Mary Whitehouse was a crusader for ‘Clean Up TV’ mainly. She took Perer to the High Court on BlasPhemy charges. Mary Whitehouse won her case and Peter stayed out of Jail by launching an imediate appeal and was on bail till the appeal was heard. Peter appealed on 25 counts and did not go to Prison, but he lost the ‘Gay News’ Paper and his shirt. Well, instead of been a brocken man he picked up the Gay Rights gauntlett and so he is as you see today.

  18. Wow, I feel so great and proud after reading all these wonderful comments about Peter Tatchell. Yea! And RobN has every right to express his opinion. In fact, it takes guts, and I think he’s got guts.

  19. Eddy: He is an Australian, so say it. I am British, not European.

    AdrianT: I have met Peter on a number of occasions. In my first post I said I respect the amount of work he has done, but I question his methods. There are better ways of getting a point across than direct action. It’s about as subtle as a housebrick with a pink ribbon tied to it.

    Paul: Believe me, if I could be alone on an island, I would be.
    I visit here because it saves me from meeting all these “brothers and sisters” that incessantly moan about what they haven’t got, instead of actually enjoying what they already have.

    Jean-Paul: Thanks for the support :o)

  20. RobN: A house brick with a pink ribbon tied to it! You slay me, but I hope I never have to regret having had that idea put into my head!

  21. Mihangel apYrs 17 Apr 2009, 8:06am

    @RobN
    what, exactly, do you think the LGBTQ(etc) scene in the UK would look like without the protests etc? Would it be legal to have sex, would it be legal to have relationships?

    You seem to think that we have these things because of some benevolent power so decided, and that yoiu have a right to them because you’re you. Wake up: there are many out there that would have you branded and in chains, and many others that would look on you with contempt, had it not been for loud-mouths like Tatchell getting up on their hind legs and saying “enough”.

    The 1967 Act didn’t appear by magic: Abse fronted it, but there were a bunch of gay campaigners pushing it, and prodding civilised consciences (and pointing out the obvious vulnerability of gay people to blackmail, such as Vassell). We would have got NOTHING without agitating, and your naivety in this suggests that your problem is that people associate you with the part of the gay world that is outspoken

  22. apYrs: I fully agree back in it’s day, protestation was necessary, but the 1967 changes came about because of the Wolfenden report (ironically, who’s son turned out to be gay). Let’s get this in perspective though. This is 40 years on, and the man is STILL moaning. There are more important things in life than being called queer. People are dying because of filthy hospital wards, pensioners die because of lack of heating, kids are being stabbed on every street. I suspect even if LGBT people had total equality and everything they wanted, some would still complain that nobody was paying them any fucking attention.

  23. Mihangel and RobN:
    I hate to see the two of you arguing. You are both such clear thinkers and much more articulate than I am. I like the idea of putting these things in perspective and remaining focused.
    It appears to me that a good place to start would be trying to figure out what has motivated Peter Tatchell in the first place. I agree that the Wolfenden Report was a monumental turning point in decriminalizing homosexuality in England, the USA and Canada.
    I didn’t know that gay campaigners were involved though; I thought the government was concerned about the reputation of the police force more than anything else, and Baron Wolfenden himself admitted that he didn’t know why he had been chosen to form an inquiry committee.. that took ten (10) years to come to a conclusion because, as he said, it took that long for public opinion to catch up to the idea of much needed reform.
    So yes, I believe Peter would have been partly inspired by the Wolfenden Report.
    As RobN has mentioned on at least two occasions, Marxist methods were involved in forwarding the cause, and because Rob leans to the right, as more and more middle-class gays are doing in America, he dislikes the sight of «yobbos» likely to be seen at G-20 riots.
    Michangel believes it was obviously the right method because Tatchell has the Blue Plaque.
    Now, about this perspective thing, is it not possible that a man of Tatchell’s intelligence would have known about the work and writings of the most important English reformer of the 18th century, Jeremy Bentham?
    I believe Peter read Bentham over and over again throughout his life. Let’s not forget that if the English reaction to the French Revolution had not been so hostile, Bentham’s reforms, which were embraced by Napoleon and the Spanish, would have taken place in England way back then.
    In 1818, Bentham wrote that male love with its bonds of attachment is an unequivocal good in its own right, thereby jumping ahead a century and a half to the Gay Liberation ethos of 1969.
    Most of all though, we live in a society where we are free to express our opinions. Sometimes we get a little hot under the collar. I guess British phlegmaticsm is a myth, but I must admit I like a passionate but civilized debate.
    A quote from Bentham, and I’m outta here:
    «Cruelty and intolerance, the most odious and most mischievous passions in human nature, screen themselves behind a mask of virtue».

  24. Mihangel apYrs 18 Apr 2009, 4:57pm

    @RobN

    it’s true that in this country we’re sitting comparatively pretty, but we mustn’t forget wy we are in this fortunate position, nor must we forget our peers in other countries who aren’t as fortunate.

    My fear is that with our hard-fought for freedoms, we have raised a generation of gays and lesbians who are little more than disco-bunnies and hedonists, who happily play without realising the privilege they have. I don’t want to quench their joie de vivre, but those who forget teh fight may have to face it again sometime. (That’s why history month IS important).

    Tatchell can be a pain, but he keeps publicising persecution and hypocrisy – a worthwhile activity. I hold no brief for those who whine and blame it on homophobia, but we must remember that we are privileged, while the discobunnnies dance, there are also a lot of young gays in the more deprived areas who don’t have it so easy.

    I do understand your point about the wider problems in society, but we must make sure that none of them drop of the radar of politicians. I don’t think that our opinions are actually too far apart in reality, it’s just difficult to keep all the balls in the air, as it were, when discussing in blog mode

  25. @Mihangel ap Yrs
    Well put. Your fear regarding disco-bunnies is perfectly legitimate, and I would add that young gays need to learn to use internet pornography in a healthy way. It is a multi-billion dollar (pounds) industry, and it can be terribly nefarious to the study habits needed to succeed and to become valuable citizens when they grow up.
    You are also talking common sense when you mention how fortunate we are, and how we must never forget those of our peers who live in fear of their lives.
    Finally your allegory of keeping all the balls in the air in blog mode is exactly the kind of brilliant expressions that come so naturally to you British people and that I would give my eye teeth to master. I will never forget RobN’s expression concerning a house brick tied with a pink ribbon!
    As for history month, I hope that we can prove time and time again that Hegel fell short of wisdom when he said: «History teaches us that people have never learnt anything from history».
    Incidentally, I would be most interested in hearing more about John Hunt’s idea of asking QE2 to chose between being Head of State or Head of the Church of England. There must be someone you know who can write up an article about it and have it printed in PinkNews so we can kick that around for a while.

  26. Discobunnyphobes: Nothing wrong with being a disco bunny, or a muscle mary…. I’m 100% guilty as charged ;-)

    I think the argument above is a classic repeat of Suffragist vs Suffragette. Time will tell who’s right….

  27. Mihangel apYrs 19 Apr 2009, 2:52pm

    @AdrianT
    there’s nothing wrong with being a disco bunny as long as that’s not the sum total of your life’s ambition. I’m happy that the bunnies can safely play, I just hope that they know that the fox can come back

  28. Everything in moderation,yes…. Pleasure, though, should not be an ambition, but a life-time’s pursuit. A virtue in and of itself. You’re right, I hope everyone does their bit occasionally, whether it’s a letter to a newspaper, donation, a demo whatever. But I see no reason why that should not stop people partying all through the weekend. I fact, it mustn’t.

    (**Actually, NOTHING compares to DJing away for hours on end. Damn, I certainly would rather ‘work’ all summer till 7am each morning behind the Decks at Space, Pacha, DC10, amnesia…. etc. )

    right, i’m off to the gym…. ;-)

  29. @Adrian T:
    I’m just an old mother hen, I suppose.
    How can I ever forget the fun I used to have dancing with all those swirling colored lights and crowded dancing floors? I still can move to Tina Turner and Cher, but only when nobody is looking. And now I’m stuck on Matt Alber. Swoon. Thanks for the reality check.
    But don’t you agree that our generation has a responsibility to share our experiences with the younger guys?
    Frankly, I wish someone had told me a thing or two back in the 70’s, especially about the importance of a good education. It has taken me a lifetime to catch up, and I don’t even remember the names of the guys I used to hang with when I was young and beautiful. Well, at least I thought I was beautiful.

  30. Yes, Jean-Paul, I certainly agree, we all have a duty to pass on what we know, to mobilise, motivate or inspire others, to give others the arguments.

    But….’When nobody is looking’??? Really, strut your stuff, man, who cares?! If you don’t go out and lose yourself now and then, you forget what you are fighting for!

    Cher and Tina Turner – all well and good, but I suggest if you really want to stay young, the best way is to try BBC Radio 1, Friday Evenings, the Pete Tong show (look, he’s 48…he can manage it, so can you). it’s on listen again. ;-)

  31. AdrianT:
    One of the most astounding things about growing old gracefully is learning from young people like yourself. You have as much to say to the older generation as they have to say to you. For example, I thought it magnanimous of you to hear you say that you would grant Peter the title of ‘Sir Peter Tatchell’.
    There is an exception though: we older guys can tell a lot more about younger guys than the other way round; well, at least most of the time.
    Frankly I’m not sure I would take the time to write to a younger person who had not demonstrated in some way that he or she has a few grams of gray matter between the ears. Get the picture, Smiley?
    You are an agreeable young man, and I like you, alright?
    You don’t have to worry about hurting my feelings; we Acadians have a rather thick skin, although I doubt very much that you know what an Acadian is.
    Yea, I like to dance when nobody is looking. I love it. Around here when guys with graying hair show up in gay bars on the weekend, the young guys are visibly wary that we are «out to get them». That may be true for some lonely, aging gays, but I am in a successful relationship. We go to the occasional party, but we are not really in demand because neither of us drink alcohol so that in a very short time we appear to be quite boring. I won’t say what drunken queers appear to be to me, but if you are a DJ, you must know what I mean.
    I was never into working out at the gym, but I do have my bronze medal in swimming, I was an instructor for years, and I’ve been doing yoga for the last 39 years. After a yoga session in the privacy of my home, I put on a Tina Turner video and shake it loose with my dog running circles all around me. It’s fun, more fun than going to a club, and a hell of a lot more affordable because I have yet to feel the need for Viagra. I like Mozart too!
    Speaking of working out at the gym, friends of mine have arthritis in every joint because they needed to have the perfect body when they were in their 20’s. I am not criticizing you, but if you really want to stay young for a long, long time, try adding some stretches and a few yoga postures to your routine when «nobody is looking». There is inner peace in solitude, and inner peace will keep you young, attractive and graceful.
    You are an extrovert, Adrian, and my guess is that you are quite popular. Enjoy yourself; we only have one life. I agree with you, as would Jeremy Bentham, that pleasure is a good in itself.
    Thanks again for your comments. Warm regards.

  32. Ha thanks JeanPaul, :-) Well I got a fiull picture in my head of you dancing away, now anyhow.

    Yes, I take on board your comments about yoga as well LOL…. I’m in my 30s now, so not quite as youthful as I like to think…..

    You’re right about the fact that we’ve been through it, and know what it’s like, have hindsight. I tihnk younger people are generally better informed than we ever could be before the internet. Look, one of the big gay parties is doing a michael causer benefit night in Liverpool next month for example.

    But there’s a need to teach people how to think, how to argue, to empower people to stand up for themselves, confront opponents. We still need that because you have some rabid extremists (Christian Voice, Christian institute, Christian Legal Centre, Alliance Defense Fund, Evangelical Alliance, CARE, the Daily Mail…), who want to push back – or keep rights to discriminate. 24% of Brits would recriminalize homosexuality. The Labour party thinks sharia law tribunals are OK. That leaves a lof of dangers and I hope we see some younger people come up and make their voices heard. We’ve got to help people make those first few steps, too of course.

  33. AdrianT:
    You are everything I thought you were, and more. Your statistics and names of hostile organizations leave me speechless, and I think I speak for Mihangel ap Yers as well when I say I am so very proud of you.
    30’s! Hell, I’m 64 and I feel like 16. You’re young, your intelligent, and whoever is holding your hand tenderly is a lucky, lucky man.
    As for empowering people, we should never forget that it was the drag queens who triggered the Stonewall riots, and they fully deserve to lead every Pride Day Parade. They’ve got BALLS and they have a lot to tell us about standing up for ourselves. That is a basic fact, no matter how we feel about transsexuals. Ours is the rainbow, and every color counts. Just my opinion, of course. Warm regards.

  34. Sir, that’s far too much flattery… trust me, I’m hell to live with :-) Never take my word for anything I say by the way. I could be full of sh*t. I wish I were on many occasions.

    Actually, before this thread reaches its week-old sell-by date: if there’s one book you ever read – Letter to A Young Contrarian, by Christopher Hitchens (2001). A great beginner’s guide for the wannabe freedom fighter. I think that book poisoned me more than anything else ;-)

  35. Adrian:
    I do not flatter, I simply report. Believe me, if I wanted to flatter you, you would soon find out how full of sh*t we Frenchmen can be, and it usually works!!! We are all full of sh*t, most of us grow out of it, worry pas.
    I’ve taken note of the book by Hitchens. All I can do is add it to my list for now. I am a voracious reader and I have a mountain of books all over the house that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into. My partner says I’d rather read than make out, but that’s not true. An orgasm becomes more and more divine as you get older, and when ‘nobody is looking’… m-m-m-m, m-m-m-m! My partner don’t mind, we are honest with each other about everything. See ya later.

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