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Manchester police step up patrols in gay cruising area

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  1. Having lived in Manchester, that area is at least one mile from the cruising area.

  2. As I reiterate from other posts, this is the 21st Century. We don’t need cruising areas any more. That’s why we have gay villages, bars, pubs, cafés, shops, internet chatrooms, gay dating in classifieds in local and national newspapers, teletext, phone chats, SMS, Facebook, MySpace, Gaydar etc etc etc. You wanted all this, you got it, so stop f_cking in the undergrowth and try giving other LGBT people the respect they deserve in the eyes of a very unforgiving general population. If gay people want respect, it is not just given, it is earned. Like I said before, this is a two-way stretch. All the good work preventing homophobia just gets totally negated when some fag who can’t keep his dick in his pants gets caught cottaging in the local park.

    And if any dickhead pipes up with “Nyah, nyah, but str8’s do that”, I will smack him over the head with a straw man.

  3. So RobN, you want all homosexuals to behave the way you do? Some people (gay and straight) like finding anonymous sexual partners and having sex in public. I don’t and I suspect you don’t either. But I won’t begrudge other people their pleasure. And I certainly won’t tell other homosexuals how they should and shouldn’t have sex – it’s none of my business. It sounds like all you care about is appeasing bigots.

  4. Charlie: Fine. So when you are labeled a “pervert”, or people attack you for your sexual proclivities, even when you may not subscribe to these practices, then you only have yourself to blame. You know what many narrow-minded people are like, and they lump us all in one basket. In this day and age there are no excuses for such activities, and it’s about time we cleaned our act up.

  5. While people are being attacked in the gay village (including a BBC reporter recently) the Police are back to hounding men who are cruising down the canal and on the pretext that it is to protect them. If it’s to protect them then why are they warning that any men who are caught cruising will be arrested?

    And now the city council and even community organisations that WE pay for, such as the LGF, are helping with this persecution! In the old days it was just the police, Tories and tabloids.

    Don’t be fooled. This is all part or a tactic to drive LGBT people into profit-making venues: pubs, clubs and saunas. A ‘one box fits all’ lifestyle that can be marketed.

    It’s time everybody woke up and fought it.

  6. Dorothy Bagwash 6 Nov 2009, 3:17am

    The LESBIAN abd GAY FOUNDATION! What a DISGRACE! selling out nits own community and being nothing but a clear front for the council and the police to dictate to the gay community how to bvehave in public. Shame on you Andrew.

    next time I’m down the canal gettinga bit of nookie after work and I’m ripping open a sachet on your free LGF lube i’ll be thinking of you

  7. Also these days we have a fair number of puritanical, small-minded gay men who think that just because a civil-partnership, copying heterosexual marriage and spending a fortune in the gay village and at Pride is right for them, it has to be for everyone. RobN above even resorts to hate language with use of the word ‘fags’ to describe cruisers.

    What about people who are poor and can’t afford to stand in an expensive bar several nights a week or just don’t want to? What about older people who feel excluded from the youth-dominated scene and what about those who aren’t online? These smug ‘we’ve got it all now’ people don’t care about them.

    The likes of Gaydar and Fitlads are a time wasters paradise. Some people don’t have the time or inclination to indulge bitchy and dishonest armchair cruisers with their fake photos.

    Far more violent incidents happen in the gay village than in the cruising spots. Remind me how many people have been stabbed, raped, murdered or have fallen into the canal and died due to being drunk, around Canal Street in recent years?

    You would think in response pubs would be closed down, opening hours and access to alcohol reduced, with dire warnings from the LGF? But oh no. The difference is that one place (the gay village) makes vast profits for businesses and the other (cruising area) is completely free (and truth be told some people find it a whole lot more fun).

  8. I have posted before on this subject, and it is not about sex in public, this is about the freedom to meet. And in policing the sex in public it compromises our freedom to meet.

    quote: We don’t need cruising areas any more. That’s why we have gay villages, bars, pubs, cafés, shops, internet chatrooms, gay dating in classifieds in local and national newspapers, teletext, phone chats, SMS, Facebook, MySpace, Gaydar etc etc etc.

    What many of you might not now was that before 2003, some , if not most of the the above places mentioned, where illigal!!!!

    Yes it was a law not used , but it was on the books. Gay men meeting in public was against the law. Be it a toilet , a park or a bar. It was up to the police to decide if we were breaking the law. They were judge and jury. The only reason why the law was not used so much as it was hard to prove. BUT it was there, and a constant threat. So if wanna go back to those days, go ahead. I know I dont. I want to meet who ever, when ever I want. I want to be able to go to a guy in a supermarket , a cafe or a park , and say, hi fancy a cup of coffee and a shag. JUST LIKE STRAIGHT PEOPLE CAN. I dont want a torch shined into my car, so two bully coppers can excersicing there homphobia, just becuase the laws says they can. THOSE DAYS ARE GONE. But if you listern to some posters on this site, its what they want. Crusing for sex is something we all do, gay or straight, its no different. but because we go to a place where we know where gay people will be, we are berated for it. I wonder nowadays where we can go. A guy recently was walking through London, going I expect to many of the places ROBN mentions in his post, and he was kicked to death. Homphobic crime is on the increase, where ever we go. As some one who try to help with the police on crusing areas. I have alwasy said in the day time they need to be policed for the public, at night they need to be policed for the gay community.

  9. RobN going way back there were always gay men and women who thought that blending in and not upsetting the heterosexuals, Christians, Conservatives, or whoever, was the way to go and they would respect us. They didn’t. It wasn’t the way forward in the old days and it isn’t now.

    You only enjoy the freedoms you have because of people like Quentin Crisp who refused to do the above and instead said a big f*** you to the police and narrowminded bigots. The homophobia is just more subtle now. The police want to ‘protect’ the cruisers. Like Tony Blair wanted to protect us from the terror threat by removing our civil liberties.

    Over the last 15 years we have allowed so much of our LGBT culture to be destroyed in the quest to fit in. The result is that there are few LGBT programmes for us and about us on TV whereas the ridicule and stereotypes on screen are as bad as ever, our bars are no longer safe spaces and probably more people are being physically attacked on the streets than 25 years ago. Meanwhile our charities, gay businesses, lobby groups and community leaders are busy betraying us: marketing us as a commodity and lifestyle and even doing the dirty work of the authorities.

    At the Manchester Pride 2008 parade a yob tried to grab my camera and threatened to punch my face in. I was about 20 yards from a policeman and when I went over and told him, he wasn’t the slightest bit interested. He didn’t want any embarrassing increase in the crime figures THAT day! Meanwhile the LGBT police were goosestepping past and being cheered. Sometimes I feel as if I’ve slipped into a parallel universe where the gay village is full of violent homophobic straight men and Pride parade is full of cops.

    I can tell you that in Manchester’s gay village many people are saying that if the police and council don’t pull their fingers out and do something about all the violence and abuse very soon then we may need to handle it ourselves.

    So I suggest the LGF, police and Manchester City Council refocus their efforts away from men who are playing with each others willies in dark places down the canal, seen by nobody, and shine the spotlight onto the gay village where transexuals are routinely verbally abused by drunken straight yobs, people are robbed by drug dealers and even a BBC cameraman is physically assaulted as he sets up a live broadcast about Alan Turing.

    We are not going to put up with it.

  10. RobN are you Mrs Thatcher?

  11. A frind of mine recently received a letter from the local police. It said “Your car has been seen on several occasions in ………. and also………. Anti-social behaviour-including drug-taking and sexual activity are occurring in these areas. If your vehicle is seen at either of these locations in future further action will be taken against you”

    These letters are now being sent by police forces up and down the country to tell gay men where they cannot go.

  12. In the 1980’s the police used staff in local shops to monitor activitity near public toilets and cruising areas. I believe one place where that happened was at Platt Lane in Manchester.

    Now there is no need! Already we have automatic car numberplate recognition software and a CCTV camera on nearly every street. Very soon the police will have the technology to monitor your entire journey and precise whereabouts in REAL TIME. Whether you’re a journalist off to meet a whistle-blower or a gay man wandering about, they will be able to track you live and presumably set up alerts to let them know if person A ventures anywhere near location B? A real person can then switch into the CCTV and see exactly what they’re up to.

    Being gay and parking your car anywhere near a known cruising area will be the 21st equivalent of being stopped and found with condoms and lube in your pocket.

    There is also your mobile phone signal which can identify your precise location. Google offers a facility to do that with family and friends. Whether the Police have routine access to something similar I don’t know.

    Cruising isn’t just about sex. It is a social activity and a way of meeting friends for a lot of people. The LGF article is a disgrace. It’s almost as if it has been written by the police. It focuses on the penalties that people can expect and there is no information about what do if you happen to be arrested. For instance accepting a caution is an admission of guilt.

  13. This morning (Sat 7 Nov) at 10am some of us will be protesting abut this outside of the LGF on Princess Street. If you can, please join us.

  14. Gary: “Cruising isn’t just about sex. It is a social activity and a way of meeting friends for a lot of people.”

    What utter CRAP. I am not so holier -than-though not to admit I haven’t spent the odd evening on Hampstead Heath in the past, and the etiquette was always to keep your mouth shut. Pray tell me how you are supposed to partake of this “social activity” in virtually pitch darkness where you cannot see, let alone talk to anyone?

    The bottom line is, all these whingers complaining about their “gay rights”, OK, so you want the right to break the law? Sexual acts are illegal in public places, simple as that. That’s why you get nicked for it.

    Stop using your right-on, minority, pseudo-persecution bollocks on something you have no right to do in the first place.

  15. robn, before gobbing off again check the law. It is not illigal to have sex in public unless it is witnesses by more than one person and that you have not taken enough measures to hide yourself. Sex in a public toilet is illigal with up to two years imprisonment. Google crusing wiki. GET IT RIGHT

  16. You’re wrong RobN. For a start, Ancoats isn’t the wilder darker parts of Hampstead Heath. It’s Manchester city centre with places to sit and street lights. I have sat down there myself at night chatting with people many times and made friends who I am still in touch with years later.

    The freedom to be male and do that without being harrassed and hounded by the police, newly-arrived residents and the City Council is one of the issues at stake here. This latest ‘crackdown’ has crossed the line and the LGF is too eager to parrot this and do the dirty work on behalf of the authorities. The place is being misrepresented (including by you) and people are getting away with that because so few are willing to stand up and speak out.

    Few people would support men blatantly having sex where they can be seen or them leaving evidence. But I strongly suggest a majority of visits down to Ancoats actually do not end up with sex in a public place.

    There are loads of men who aren’t on the commercial gay scene, who don’t like or can’t afford it: gay, bi, married, ethnic minority, white working class, poor, not online, teetotal — you name it. It’s a place where they can wander, meet and talk. Where people are less judgemental and more willing to chat than in bitchy gay bars. By the way, saunas are just an extension of all of that.

    And what about men who meet in Ancoats and then go home with each other? That isn’t illegal.

    One of the main problems is the same one that is causing grief throughout our society: alcohol. Whereas, in the past, men who wandered around these areas would have been quiet and discrete, now there are too many drunks who arrive at 3am after the bars, shout, scream, fall in the canal and generally draw attention to themselves and everyone else.

    The canal has probably been a meeting place for gay men for hundreds of years and I wouldn’t be surprised if life on canal boats was a career choice for men who were ‘that way’ in the Nineteenth Century. Just like the Merchant Navy or being a ‘trolley dolly’ in more recent times — a way to get away from your home town and seek out people like yourself in new places.

    Is it a coincidence that two of Manchester’s oldest gay bars are on Canal Street? The Rembrandt (formerly the Ogden Arms) is shown on the 1849 map.

  17. Jean-Paul Bentham 8 Nov 2009, 7:58am

    I will cruise where and when I want, period.

  18. We’ve made a video about it:

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