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‘Be sceptical and daring’: Peter Tatchell’s honorary doctorate acceptance speech

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  1. Mr Tatchell: a hero and inspiration for any young gay man such as me!!! Not all take for granted what took much hard struggle to achieve. While there is much to do (not just regarding gay rights), this man will always be in my mind as the one the resolute figures that make me proud to be gay!!!! More than deserving honorary doctorate from a greatly esteemed institution.

  2. ChutneyBear 26 Jul 2010, 3:32pm

    Sorry Peter you dont represent me at all…

  3. I am delighted that the institution where I was awarded my first degree bestowed an honorary doctorate on Peter Tatchell. Whatever some people may think of him, he is more than worthy of such an honour.

  4. What a common, vulgar, little man Spanner is. Perhaps, to stoop to his level for a moment, he should use his spanner to tighten his nuts to screeching point, for screeching is what he most commonly does!

  5. I work for one of the largest Real Estate Investment Trusts in the UK and face blatant homophobia everyday, if there were more people like Peter this would not continue to go unchecked.

  6. A well-deserved recognition of a man whose occasional moments of idiocy are totally outweighed by his courage and his deep and unswerving sense of fairness and equality for all – and not just his own particular minority. I’d rather have him on my side than some of the drips in some of the other so-called campaigning gay groups.

  7. Did really like the end of that speech and he ended on a quote I am very fond of. This said, I’m not sure whether the doctor thing was proof that one of the bishops was gay, maybe that bishop is gay but it seemed like something a straight person could of said.

  8. ChutneyBear said on July 26, 2010: ‘Sorry Peter you dont (sic) represent me at all…’

    No one has claimed that Peter Tatchell represents you – least of all Peter himself. Why does it have to be about you anyway? This is a story about Peter Tatchell receiving an honorary doctorate for his human rights work, not for speaking on behalf of ChutneyBear.

  9. Dr Boycock 27 Jul 2010, 2:39am

    @10, Ahhh, out comes the true self… My dear, one can be ´little´ in moral stature, nothing to do with your physical size. You do very ably demonstrate though that some of our greatest idiots (and enemies) come from within.

    To Peter: Congratulations on this honour. I guess that sometimes, reading things like that from the prat above, you wonder if it has all been worth it… (even at a cost to your own health).. My answer is YEAH.. ITS BEEN WORTH IT.

    You are appreciated by many, and you have helped many more… (yes, even those too dumb to know or admit it!)

  10. What a bore!!

  11. ChutneyBear 27 Jul 2010, 10:26am

    Spanner is right very valid point and Randall, as a matter of interest what constitutes the homophobic abuse you get each day? There is mechanisims in place in the UK Im sure for dealing with it

  12. Dr Boycock is quite right, but I fear that Spanner is too intellectually challenged to understand the point. He is also an incorrigible bully. To quote T.S. Eliot in ‘The Wasteland’, he is ‘One of the low’.

  13. Well done, Peter T; you will go down in history for your rugged condemnation of all that is unfair, unjust or simply unacceptable.
    Your past deeds is your own, personal but unseen reward.

    Be proud ofr yourself – and thank you for making many many other less vocal gay people proud of themselves.

  14. Many congrats Peter. Well deserved. Let’s not forget, (though we can all forget the likes of ‘spanner’ who wouldn’t be able to say or do a thing if it hadn’t been for the likes of Peter T et al campaigning for soo many years and ongoing etc), Peter’s human rights work across the board, the latest of which saw his having a ‘close personal’ swipe at the bnp’s Griffin.
    Since when did spanner have the guts to use his supposed ‘size’ on such ghastly gits and others.

  15. @17 “Ray: I have no desire to publicise myself like people such as Peter Tatchell. He was a problem when he was with Outrage, and now he is just a loose cannon that stirs up trouble and confrontation.”

    Yeah right… Much better to keep out of sight, be quiet and don´t scare the horses.

    “I find it far better to discuss things with people rather than threaten them.”

    Lovely, how nice for you… and you reach an audience of how many exactly?

    “I can also state that gay rights would have almost certainly come about inevitably with or without these tub-thumpers, and all they have managed to do is antagonise people and give the less vociferous amongst us a bad reputation.”

    ´Almost certainly´? ´inevitably´? Yeah right. Not in MY lifetime!

    ALL advances in human rights of minorities have been achieved through direct action and protest. How the hell can ´sit down, be quiet and stay in the closet minority´ get the issues out there? Oh yeah, I forgot… Majorities just ALWAYS want to consider the needs and rights of minorities, (even hidden ones)… silly me.

    Unfortunately, that means SOMEONE standing up to make sure we are all counted. That means SOMEONE making sure the issues are out there. Making sure that the majority are talking about the issues and considering the needs and rights of the minority. Not just because they WANT to, but because they have no fuc-ing choice!

    And we are not talking about the ´I don´t mind puffs, as long as they are quiet, stay in the closet, and keep themselves to themselves´ brigade. F-ck ´em! I don´t care WHAT they think. I do not want to be considered a second class citizen. I do not want to be considered okay ´as long as I keep quiet and know my place´. So, outward signs of homosexuality ´offend´ some people? Gays talking about the issues that concern them offend some people? Gays demanding to be treated equally to everyone else and not discriminated against ´offends´ some people?

    TOUGH, aint life a bitch!

    Perhaps now they know how we have felt for years, being told that having a wife and 2.4 kids is the only ´normal´ way to be? That walking down the road hand in hand with your wife is okay, but if two men do it, then it is equally okay to beat them to a pulp and leave them for dead. That it is okay to be sacked from a job you are perfectly good at, merely because the boss does not like ´shirt lifters´. That it is normal and okay for straights to f-ck like rabbits from the age of 16, but ´those gays´ must be stopped from engaging in their filthy activities until they are at least 21… Yeah, some of us remember the ´good old days´! But yeah… if we had only kept quiet, we could obviously have counted on the hetties to do the right thing all on their lonesome… even when they could not see there was a problem?

    SOMEONE had to stand up and raise the uncomfortable issues, to DEMAND our rights. To make themselves the subject of public vilification if needed in order to get fair play for the rest of us eventually.

    But for some in our community, two little words, just two little words are far too much to offer.. To expensive, way too much to personally offer to someone who has given so much himself..

    And those two little words? Fu-king THANK YOU!

    Well, I´m not one of them….

    Thank you Peter

  16. George Broadhead, PTT 28 Jul 2010, 8:30am

    Warm congratulations Peter on receiving this prestigious award.

    Your message “Be sceptical, question authority, be a rebel. All human progress is the result of far-sighted people challenging orthodoxy, tradition and powerful, vested interests” is very much in the Humanist tradition.

  17. Dr Boycock
    Get PTs tel. Number – he could do with the support of people like you!

  18. I totally agree with the sentiments expressed by Dr Boycock and with the decision by Sussex University to award the honorary doctorate.

  19. Jess Conrad 30 Jul 2010, 12:52pm


  20. I absolutely agree that Peter Tatchell is a true inspiration and the honour he has received is well deserved.

    The only thing I’d have reservations about in his speech is his opposition to ‘free market capitalism’. It depends what you mean by ‘free market capitalism’ of course, but I think there’s a case for saying that there’s a psychological connection between the individualism of capitalism and the demand for personal rights. Historically, nominally socialist economies have been associated with authoritarian regimes that have not been fertile ground for movements in favour of personal autonomy.

    I certainly believe in social justice and the role of the state in redistributing the fruits of capitalist enterprise, as well as safeguarding the interests of future generations, but I don’t see something called ‘capitalism’ as the enemy. Authoritarianism and injustice are the enemy everywhere, and they can flourish under supposedly left-wing, ‘people’s’ governments as much as under the democratic capitalist regimes of the west.

    Global social justice surely requires *more* capitalistic enterprise, and freer trade, to lift the poor out of poverty. The US, the EU and Japan all maintain trade barriers against African countries, thus contributing significantly to their poverty.

    What is the alternative to capitalistic development? Promoting the supposed virtues of self-sufficiency (i.e. preaching self-help) to the world’s poor? Reliance on western charity, whenever our fitful consciences are pricked into action? If capitalism is responsible for the abundance enjoyed by the rich then it is surely a lack of capitalism that is responsible for the poverty of the poor.

  21. “If capitalism is responsible for the abundance enjoyed by the rich then it is surely a lack of capitalism that is responsible for the poverty of the poor.”
    This is utterly false logic. Converting the worlds resources into things that can improve people’s lives is not dependant on a capitalist system. Capitalism is responsible for unequal distribution of wealth and resources. Capitalism is responsible for the rich trading on wheat futures, inflating the price and starving millions of people.

    @15 Dr Boycock Well said. Progress comes through refusal to be silenced or to know your (supposed) place.

    Thank you Peter.

  22. Interesting. I must admit I don’t completely understand the futures markets! But if someone bought up futures at an inflated price – and supply and demand didn’t change – then wouldn’t they be headed for a massive loss?

    And do not the futures markets bring benefits as well? E.g. a farmer can sell his future crops at a fixed price, effectively offloading the risk of failure to some corporation.

    It seems that most of the problems with markets spring from one player being in too powerful or monopoly a position. Obviously, I wouldn’t defend that.

    Capitalism is responsible for an unequal distribution of wealth, but it is also responsible for creating that wealth in the first place. I suppose what I’m thinking is: what is the *alternative* on offer? How would a ‘socialist’ economy work, and could it deliver the same range of products we currently enjoy? I wonder.

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