here we go……… as far as I am concerned the straight acting gay men are usally boring, give me a flamboyant camp glitter queen any day. Who care what they represent or how there sexuality in too account. Just be bloody funny. I have never laughed at Alan Carr or Graham Norton, Ogrady , Clarey etc etc. Only with them
Peter Tatchell is a perfect stereotypical example of the “bitter old queen”…
Tatchell has got this completely wrong. The fact of the matter is that a very large proportion of gay men are quite camp and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Showing camp men on TV is simply a true representation of gay men more generally. Of course gay people come in all shapes, sizes who have masculine and feminine dispositions, but creating the myth that most gay men are butch rugged men simply panders to the right’s expectation that gay people should act like ‘normal’ men. If TV channels were to show only gay men who display heteronormitive characteristics (i.e the ideal version of masculinity) it would inevitably mean that gay men who display effeminate mannerisms would be viewed as abnormal (as is still currently the case – just read the Daily Mail). Therefore, far from stereotyping and playing up to clichés, having camp gay men on TV simply normalizes the fact that many (but not all) gay men are camp. As soon as we accept that CAMP is OK and not something to be ashamed of, the better it will be for gay men to act as themselves in public. So stick that up your sparkly pink a hole Peter!
I think it would definitely be a good idea to have a more rounded view of the LGBT community, instead of just a one sided one which we seem to mostly have at the moment. Perhaps that is because I am a very much under-represented lesbian though :]
Mark, I couldn’t disagree more with what you’re saying. You’ve taken a few pertinent concepts and presented them all the wrong way round.
Indeed there is nothing wrong with being camp but it’s also true that camp characters reinforce the stereotype that that’s what gay men are – and there’s a reason why this is the model of homosexuality that’s been perpetuated in the media for ages: it is the only idea of homosexuality that doesn’t challenge heteronormativity. A gay man is feminine and a gay woman is masculine, it’s the only model that reinforces age-old assumptions of what it is to be a man or a woman. If a man likes men, he really must be more of a woman. And vice-versa.
Personally I enjoy watching Alan Carr and Graham Norton and their flamboyance is a great part of what makes them such good entertainers. Sure there are lots of masculine gay men, but maybe they’re just not as good as entertainers… Maybe what Tatchell got wrong here is that a little flamboyance is a strength when you present a chat show.
I don’t object to camp gay people on the airwaves, but I have to agree with Tatchell to this extent, imagine a word where the only black people you saw on TV were gangster rappers or the only women you saw were Stepford style housewives.
Sure we have a lot of very camp people in the gay community, but sometimes it seems everyone else under the LGBT umbrella that doesn’t conform to stereotype is invisible. I really have to rack my brains to come up with a non-camp gay person who’s made it to the A-list on UK TV.
As Tatchell said, I have no objection to Graham Norton or Alan Carr as such, I just want to see other gay role models representing the other side of the gay spectrum. I mean what are non-camp gays? Chopped liver?
The best examples I can think of of non-stereotypical gays are David and Keith from Six Feet Under, and that’s a US series and they’re played by straight actors!
Can anyone name 5 current gay tv personalities who aren’t as camp as a row of tents?
I think Peter Tatchell has a very valid point. Also a very obvious one. Several things could also be said to make it more nuanced and sophisticated.
For a start, not only are camp gay men over-represented, it’s only gay men who are ever portrayed as camp, or as not conforming to traditional and outdated masculine stereotypes. As well as lots of non-camp gay men to better represent the diversity of the LGBT community, I think it would also send out a powerful message to have some camp or otherwise non-traditional STRAIGHT men too. Camp is not the issue, it is the yoking of camp entirely and exclusively to gay men that causes problems. EVERYONE should be free to act as camp or as non-camp as they like, irrespective of gender or sexuality. Straight men should be allowed to camp it up if they want to, and there should be no stigma attached to them doing so.
Also, there are sensitive, charming and amusing ways of presenting campness, and there are crude, unfunny and insulting ways. Alan Carr is very much the latter – his act smells terribly like a relic of the 1970s, and lacks all wit, sophistication and nuance. Take something like the BBC2 sitcom “Beautiful People” however, and it’s a completely different kettle of fish. It oozes high camp from every pore, but still portrays its gay main characters as charming, sweet, sensible, normal and well-adjusted. It has a knowing, almost self-parodic tinge, and is great fun as well – it actually does something clever and funny with the camp aesthetic, rather than pretending that being camp is, on its own, all you need to be funny, and making no further effort.
Woo, get her.
Non-camp A-listers? There is Stephen Fry. He does, I suppose, have something of the upper-class Oxbridge queen about him, which is another firm stereotype, but he really can’t be described as camp. Derren Brown? Richard Wilson? Evan Davis?
I’m with Tatchell on this. Camp is fine, but more varied images, please, so we can challenge the still pervasive notion that masculinity is straight copyright. And we need more out lesbians on the media full stop. More of Stephen Fry, David Starkey, Matthew Parris, etc, more highlighted as gay.
Now you mention it, there’s more non-stereotype gays on UK TV than I’d previously thought out there. I guess the problem boils down to the fact that either they camp up a storm or their sexuality goes completely unnoticed.
(Should really have remembered Derren Brown, I’m a big fan of his!)
Not to mention John Barryman, Derek Jacobi,hardly campers who present a positive image of gay males. I don’t mind camp in the right context but I do take Peter’s point, Alan Carr for instance is a classic stereotype,one that the public might construe as the norm for gay people. Personally, I find his accent and voice irritating.
Thatchell is spot on. Nothing wrong with camp and I find both Norton and Carr very funny, but when I think back to growing up watching John Inman and Larry Grayson with not a single representation of attractive gay men where their sexuality was not flown like a huge pink flag it definitely contributed to a negative self image. The issue is not with camp per se but the total lack of balance overall in prime time entertainment where gays and lesbians are presented as sexual and successful without resorting to stereotypes.
Actually, at the risk of undermining my initial argument, Simon Amstell, the presenter of “Never Mind the Buzzcocks” and former T4 presenter is an exception to the rule that all gays on light entertainment shows have to be uber-camp.
I guess we don’t give enough credit to the many non-camp TV personalities under our noses.
Peter Tatchell forgot to mention those lovely men in Jonathan Ross’ house band.
Don’t all you screaming Puffters talk a load of screaming Puffter nonsence?
From another screaming Puffter…My good self!
Could it be that the only reason Alan Carr and Graham Norton are seen to be the only gay TV personalities on television is because they are camp? When I think about it, there quite a few non-camp gay men on television on a fairly regular basis – Derren Brown, Simon Amstell, Matt Lucas (far butcher than his heterosexual comedy partner, David Walliams), Stephen Fry, John Barrowman (admittedly has his moments!), Stephen K Amos, Anthony Crank. . . We just are not as aware of their sexuality when they are on screen.
Alan Carr and Graham Norton both have their routes in comedy, which plays on their flamboyant personalites. Peter Tatchell needs to stop finding something to complain about every week – does he have a book or something to flog?
” .. does he have a book or something to flog?”
I doubt it.
Peter Tatchell is getting to whiney about things
He’s Harriet Harperson, but gay
Gay comedians are brilliant when they can make people laugh without saying a word and laugh at who they are themselves
And Graham and Alan are the best of them
“Gay comedians are brilliant when they can make people laugh without saying a word and laugh at who they are themselves”
Yes – they’re gay. Very funny!
Christian Jessen and Kristian Digby are both non-camp gay TV presenters to add to the growing list. Not to mention all of the lesbians like Sandi, Claire Balding and her wife who’s a newsreader (Alice something). There’s also Phil Gayle.
I think thee are loads of non-camp presenters. As long as the camp ones are in a minority so that it is representative of the gay community I don’t think there’s a problem with a few screamers, as the public seems to love them and they are the friendly face of homosexuality for many a suburban housewife who sits at home in Rochdale dreaming of a more glamorous life in a big city with a witty, bitchy GBF.
i dont even think Norton is Camp..just repetitive and a bit of a bitch. Carr is irritating…voice wise, but quite popular out there in hetero land. its funny that some gay guys on here…the camper ones..think most gay men are made in there image. camp is an alternative not a majority gay thing. Most gay people are boringly normal like their straight counterparts.
When I red this, well as you would expect from a non-camp bi guy, I thought it was a good idea but in an ironic way there are plenty of non camp gay guys but they are just less well known thanks to them being non-camp. Maybe we should get them better known as great contributers to the non-straight community, like a “100 most successful non staight people”, book or something, ok my idea aint very good but something along those lines.
By the way, what’s with the associating feminity with camp-ness and masculinity with non-campness, I take pride in being a feminine non-camp bi guy.
camp and sexless, that’s what he should have said.
Let’s see Gay Skins, let’s see Uniform Fetishists, let’s see the whole fvck1ng community.
Blimey, I never thought I’d see the day when I actually agreed with Skeletor. The media continues to reinforce all these tired old stereotypes, and gay men continue to be seen by the general straight public as a bunch of effeminate old queens.
Like I said in an earlier post, we need a few decent, ordinary, dare I say it “straight-acting”, blokes who have more about them than constantly whinging on about gay rights and sexuality. Just get on with the job in hand, and “oh, did you know he’s gay?” might just happen to pop up in the conversation, but maybe the rest of the world might to see us just as ordinary people instead of something special.
So many people demand equality on here. Well being equal is often rather tired, dull, boring and uneventful. We can’t all be expected to mince about in frocks and tiaras.
Kenneth Williams diaries “they are all doing me nowadays”.
In the 80s they were called “pantomime Queen’s”.
They are nonsexual they do not have any sexual organs they are safe.
They are like children’s dollies dolls they are just smooth around the groin.
They are liked by old grannies because they are armless they talk a little bit naughty
but never practise any of that naughtiness.
Graham Norton, my “act is Kenneth Williams”. He does actually agree. That’s probably why he had no comment.
They don’t always have to be “homosexual” to be safe pantomime Queen’s
Dick Henry you are awful but I like you
Hello Honky Tonks!
I don’t think these people really meant to hurt anybody
it’s not easy to earn a living and people do things they don’t like to put the bread on the table.
It’s mainly a British phenomena Anglo-Saxon you can see the same thing in the United States
Charles Hawtrey, I met him real life when I was an adult he like to drink.
He was an old man, As a kid I hated him because he confused me so much caused me problems! as a child because I wasn’t like him.
When they pointed him out to me I was going to go over there and say you fxxxing cxxt.
but I didn’t… I looked at him for a bit and suddenly I just wasn’t so angry about him any more.
I don’t think with all the media and all these television channels that they have the same amount of power.
I don’t think they can hurt young gay teenagers anymore.
John Inman I am free!
Popular in the United States I felt a little sorry for him when
the gay magazines in Britain attacks his stereotype
because he didn’t know what to say to them.
Sometimes people just have to earn a living.
what about the lesbians!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The problem as I see it is not the campness or cliches exhibited by such people as Carr or Norton, but the abysmal scripts they choose to read and rubbish they say that vilifies gays.
Watch a Graham Norton show and you’ll be treated to a variety of laugh-at-the-queer “humour”, either self-deprecating or at the expense of other gays, surely to satisfy and reassure the “straight” audience. The BBC is the worst offender for this commissioning.
It’s like black people on TV 50 years ago – it’s OK to have them as long as you can laugh at them, Sambo-style.
Normal gay people? NOT ON MY TV!
Oh My God, I never thought I’d ever agree with anything this man says but for once he speaks the truth!!
I used to Love camp in my teens and onward up to now. Now I find camp sick and very tiresome.
Really good points about the invisibility of queer actors and presenters if they’re not camp/butch (how to address this?), and the need for the portrayal of camp straight men whose campness is simply accepted and not used as a comedy device.
I agree with some of the above points that in the case of camp comedians, their flamboyance makes them in some ways more entertaining for an audience to watch. However, what about drama on TV? I can see no reason why there should not be far better representation of the diversity of gay people, especially in television dramas. Eastenders has taken a lead with their recent storyline involving a very non-camp asian gay man, but I’d like to see much more than Anthony Cotton (as good an actor as he is, not to detract one bit from it).
Part of the problem in dramas might also be the fact that currently, TV is favouring cheap to produce reality shows rather than high-quality drama that isn’t formulaic (even some of the lead actors of “Waterloo Road” have criticised how the storyline jumps around from one episode to the next with no continuity).
Peter Tatchell says that camp tv presenters are “mostly” the only ones that are on tv. But the list of gay men by previous contributors has shown that there are just as many non-camp gay men on telly. It seems that they can’t win, whatever they do. If they’re camp then they get it in the neck and if they’re not camp then they’re invisible and not gay enough. Do the non-camp guys have to wear a big badge saying “I’m gay!”
I agree. Last week I posed the very same question. Why is it John Barrowman and Christopher Biggins seem to be on every channel, presenting almost every other show. Surely they are not representative of the whole of gay society!
“Mark Walters”, wrote “Showing camp men on TV is simply a true representation of gay men more generally.”
UTTER BLOODY NONSENSE! Get yourself along to a Gay Pride march and just LOOK at all those gay men prepared to walk in public. Only a SMALL percentage of them are camp and queeny! Then remember the vast number of gay men who don’t do the gay pride marches, yes, the “boring accountants”, the “bank managers”, and so on, and so on!
There’s nothing wrong with behaving in an effeminate, camp, or queeny manner: what are so unfortunate for us are the low standards of humour that Carr and Norton subsist on. One can expect nothing genuinely witty from either of them. They choose the easiest routes: the gutter, the lavatorial, references to genitalia, constant diminishment of themselves or others.
Imagine the other extreme: a heavy-weight intellectual presenter of a serious programme like “Life” or “Horizon” but a presenter who happens to be camp or effeminate. Why don’t we have that? Or a seriously witty and verbally-gifted raconteur who happens to be camp or effeminate – and who doesn’t need to be constantly down there scraping the slime from the bottom of the filth-barrel. Why don’t we have this?
“Brian Burton” wrote “Don’t all you screaming Puffters talk a load of screaming Puffter nonsence? From another screaming Puffter…My good self!” Brian, YOU may well enjoy behaving at all times like “a screaming puffter”: fine, go ahead, but DO NOT insist that all gay men are by definition “screaming puffters”. You are in fact in a minority.
straight-acting aren’t boring and brian burton’s comment is stupid
I agree there needs to be more average people instead of the camp types as not everyone’s camp
Well there’s one good way to settle this argument once and for all… here’s a site I found with an A-Z of famous Gay people: whether celebrities, politicians, sports personalities, historical figures etc.
If you have the time or the inclination you sift through the list and check to see how many are on UK TV currently and whether they fit into the camp camp or the non-camp camp!
Though at the final analysis I think Anthony’s right. If you’re not overtly camp, you don’t tend to get identified by the public as being gay in the first place. Sad but true…
The Granfather Clock stopped suddenly and the Grandmother Clock said you’ve lost your tick, no Tock. Tick argued Grandmother Clock, no tick, no tock…tick!…Tock! Why all this talk of tick and tock? said Grandfather Clock…..You lot all remind me of this tale about tick and tock. I know Gays in Show-Biz are tallented, amusing etcetera, but honestly, I soon tire of them!
Shallow causes! Not surprising at all!
Brian, I never get tired of John Barrowman!!! And GH, he’s not on TV every week. There were three weeks in October when he wasn’t on at all! As for Christopher Biggins? Last time I saw him was on my DVD of Rocky Horror Picture Show. I mustn’t be watching the same TV as everyone else.
Peter Tatchell is spot on.
Note, he is not saying there is anything wrong with camping it cup, and challenging male stereotypes. That is fine. But at the same time, don’t just present that camp stereotype as the only available image for all Gay people.
All queer people need role models, including peoplem like Joe Bloggs who plays for the local the football team.
Yet again Tatchell demands clinical politically correct representation of himself (i.e. – his idea of what a gay man is not mine) by anyone who is gay on TV – quited frankly we’re all different and yes some of us are camp (and not alll camp men are gay – and theres plenty of camp str8 men on TV too – and there’s also lots of non camp gay men on tv like darren brown so why should we be yet again dicated to in order to grab publicity by Mr Tatchell. Get a grip man!
Whilst from time to time I have my issues with both of them, Norton and Carr, along other gay celebrities like Paul O’Grady have opened a door to homosexuality in millions of living rooms across the country.
The current generation of kids will grow up knowing what homosexuality is and the denial that older generations have grown up with at home is much more difficult to achieve.
‘Gay has been rebranded as a socially acceptable part of life, and gay comedians in prime time slots on TV have helped the process along enormously. I’m disappointed that Peter Tatchell has taken such a narrow view on this. Each of them has helped provide a platform on which a knowledge, understanding and acceptance of homosexuality can grow.
Sister Mary Clarence your reference to ‘socially acceptable’ reminded me when my late sister once said to me twenty odd years ago “it was not socially acceptable”. Looking back, although I never said anything at the time, I realise now the remark killed our relationship stone dead. I have never mourned her passing five years ago.
Rose John Barrowmn is spiffy. Who I ment was Norton and O Grady! John Barroman is all showmanship as expected the others are too ‘Qeeny’ for my taste.
Eddy, you are a screaming puffter! (Cann’t you take a joke you cretin?)
spiffy? Mmm. I’ll go with that. I bet RobN’s going to have something to say about it, though.
I’m not crazy about O’Grady, but I gather he had quite a hard time coming out and he might be over-compensating.
Spiffy!!!?? John Barrowman is a mouthy know-all Yank that never seems to have his fizzog off the box. He may not be that camp, but he is hardly the shy retiring type, and will drop a gay reference at any opportunity he can. He annoys me even more than the camp queens.
At least they couldn’t help their demeanour.
That should piss off the JB fan club president. (Rose)
“Love Thy Neighbour”
sambo or nig-nog
Little Black Sambo film 1935.
*Q: Why don’t Jewish mothers drink?
*A: Alcohol interferes with their suffering.
*Q: Have you seen the newest Jewish-American Princess horror movie ?
*A: It’s called “Debbie Does Dishes”.
*Q: Why do Jewish Mothers make great parole officers?
*A: They never let anyone finish a sentence.
*Q: What’s a Jewish American Princess’ favorite position?
*A: Facing Bloomingdale’s
Boys Beware . 1959 Anti Homosexual Film
Anti-Homosexual Film; Boys Beware (1961)
Topple Ayatollahs says Peter Tatchells plackard. Where to? A middle tollah or even lower tollah….Don’t bang too many heads with that dangerous weapon Peter dear!
Brian Burton dear! sweetie are you selling tickets have you got an audience Sweetie. No more from me cannot suffer trolls.
You are a card sir! Your description of Dear Rose’s JB is priceless. You never fail to have me rolling in the isle!
Phillip alias Synthia Bagwash,
To me the mirror of perfect friendship can never be dulled by any treachery, how ever mean, or disloyalty, however base. Inderviduals come and go like shadows. Like you dear sweet Phillip. Did you know sweet Phillip, Life goes faster than realisum but Romanticism is always in front of Life!
Oh that’s ok. me and RobN have been agreeing on too much lately. we had to have a little clash over John!
RobN, He’s not a mouthy know it all yank. He’s a mouthy know it all Scotsman.
And, RobN, you protest too much. I just know you were watching Children in Need just this last hour to see John singing in his shirt and spotty shorts. Admit it, you just couldn’t resist!
By hte way, i just figured out Christopher Biggins. he’s on the One Show, isn’t he! No wonder people are sick of him. that programme is the pits.
Leave Alan alone! :D
Forget the queers, where are all the funny lesbians on TV? I think this is an even bigger problem.
never mind comedy.where are the positive role models in serious drama?
Through your TVs out the window and your problems are solved!
Haha. Good point, Brian. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. Besides, John Barrowman in shorts and socks… TV gave me that at least….
Rose, a little ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for thee!
My Queen in silence sad,
Trip we after night’s shade.
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wandering moon.
Brian, you sweetie. :)
mmm – Midsummer Nights dream . . . what a dream
I agree, there is always time for a little bit of Shakespeare
AdrianT, good point. Alongside carpenter Craig from Liverpool from the first series of Big Brother (the cheeky Liverpudlian who said live on TV that he and another guy had had s*x with three or four girls all at the same time), there needs to be other cheeky carpenters from Liverpool or some such place who are just as competent at their trade but who happen to express themselves in a manner which is butch-gay or effeminate-gay.
he and another guy had had s*x with three or four girls all at the same time
That’s the sort of bragging you hear on Monday morning in any factory, office or six form college from people who probably have trouble finding one partner. And how is that clever, anyway when STD’s are so easily spread through promiscuous behaviour?
And how does it relate to this issue? Even our daft meanderings about gay celebs in their socks was slightly on topic.
You are on the button there dear. There are braggards in the work-place or in the social group. The fisherman always catches huge fish. Some even say their ‘watsit’ touches the ground (mind you, they’ve probably had their legs amputated) Do you know what they call a man with no legs?…Low Bum!
Mark Gatiss from The League of Gentleman represents the ‘non-camp’ Tatchell-approved side of the coin, he just needs to look a bit closer. Camp/Not camp, who cares as long as they’re being themselves, Graham Norton sold his soul to the BBC and he’s not funny anymore but I think Carr is an absolute genius. Eddie Izzard, Russell Brand & David Walliams aren’t your stereotypical straight males so there – can we just call it quits!?
As for the lesbians – Rhona Cameron, Sue Perkins and…. well… but I agree they’re extremely under-represented. I think Ellen & Rosie, Wanda Sykes and the yet-to-be-out Queen Latifah are doing a great job in America..
Let’s face it though, TV is utter crap these days on so many levels, this is the least of our worries….
Rose: “RobN, He’s not a mouthy know it all yank. He’s a mouthy know it all Scotsman.”
He might have born there, but he is a fully paid-up member of the Western Atlantic Idiots club. (ie: USA), so don’t split hairs.
As for watching “Children in Need”, I didn’t bother, I just donated some English language books and a cane for the teacher. ;)
And Alan Carr is kissed on the lips by Chris Moyles on telly this evening. Someone out to prove a point methinks…Mind you, Moyles did seem to be wiping his mouth afterwards.
Hmmm. Don’t know if it counts but Matt Lucas is gay in real life and doesn’t come across as camp when interviewed at least. Another is the character Aaron from Emerdale, who most definitely doesn’t camp it up.
Agreed there are more camp gay men on TV than not. But surely the public aren’t so naive to think all gay men are camp? The only common ground most gay men share, is their desire to be in same sex relationships regardless of the depth of such relationships. To think otherwise is idiocy.
These types of outbursts are ridiculous and seriously undermine Thatchell’s credibility. There are plenty of gay men on British television and I’d say it’s a pretty diverse crowd. If there is a problem with representation it’s that there aren’t enough lesbians, but of course gays don’t care about that. The fact that a lot of people don’t realise that half these people are gay (as many of them don’t conform to gay stereotypes and don’t wear signs around their necks stating they’re gay) might give them the impression that there are more camp gay profiles on tv as there is no questions about Graham Norton’s sexuality. That does not make it a valid argument.
This is just another reason why I don’t like Tatchell. He’s another one of these “only me” brigade. Alan Carr and Graham Norton have prime time shows because they’ve earned them through being funny and bloody hard work. There are loads of gay people in tv, film and radio and how many camp men do we all know? Tons I’m betting, as well as lots of “straight acting” gay men you woudn’t even think we’re gay, but don’t we all fit some kind of stereotype, either by facts of life or choice?