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Johnny Weir: ‘I don’t celebrate being white so why should I celebrate being gay?’

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  1. Ok. If he doesn’t want to celebate it that’s fine, but I have to say that’s a rather silly statement. Of course people don’t celebrate being white, being white is not a minority, nor is being a man.

    White people have never – as a group – been oppressed, ignored, criminalised, hated, denied civil rights, ect, for who they are. LGBT have, and still are across the world.

    By making a noise about it (ie. celebrating it) you force people to acknowledge that LGBT people exist, and even in this day and age still face injustices. Rather than just being able to turn a blind eye to it.

  2. Mihangel apYrs 11 Jan 2011, 2:44pm

    because being white carries no stigma. Silly boy

  3. So long as ghetto gays insist on wallowing in the past and dwelling on historic injustices which no longer exist, then we’ll never get beyond injustice and stigma to full acceptance and the final barriers to equality that exist.

    Well said Johnny!

  4. He doesn’t really have a clue, has he?

  5. “So long as ghetto gays insist on wallowing in the past and dwelling on historic injustices which no longer exist, then we’ll never get beyond injustice and stigma to full acceptance and the final barriers to equality that exist.” – Chuckster

    So they’d be the same gays that have fought for decades to adorn people like you and Weir the rights you enjoy today because of ‘percieved injustices’?

    They’d be the same gays that were beaten up, abused, spat on and protested in the most hostile areans (and still do) to make sure that you, as a gay man or women have a voice and are at least kept safe from harm?

    Yes, silly gays indeed.

    You want to do a little reading and engane your brain before speaking if you’re ignorant of the subject.

  6. Danny, I never said ‘percieved injustices’, I said ‘historic injustices which no longer exist’.

    And yes, campaigners are beaten up, abused, spat on etc, but when the Tory Party of all groups is able to boast more openly gay MPs than all other Parliamentary parties put together, the idea that we have to celebrate our ‘otherness’ is just bull, and a barrier to final and complete acceptance.

  7. It’s not a matter of celebrating one’s sexual orientation, it about celebrating the continuing overturning of gay oppression which Chuckster is by no means over.
    Sad that he and Chuckster don’t realise this.

  8. It’s sad that the quasi-fascistic prescriptive ‘one size fits all’ approach to being gay is propogated by those who rightly demand freedom from oppression from others.

  9. As Ian has said Chuckster – it’s about overcoming oppression. Events like pride say to those would be sods that would curb our rights that we’re here to stay and we are a force to be reckoned with.

    It acts as a beacon for other countries who are still struggling to get acknowledged and accepted and it shows solidarity.

    Society will not just accept us in time. Our hand has been forced and should continue to be so.

  10. Hey Chuckster,
    Here’s a little mission for you. Go to a premiership football ground hand in hand with your partner and, when one of the teams scores a goal, give your partner a long kiss to celebrate. Then see if both of you get out of the ground in one piece. Then try the same thing a few times on just about any suburban street in the UK. If you survive until the end of the month without being hospitalised then I might, and I emphasis MIGHT believe that there is no need anymore for PRIDE, LGBT History Month, Stonewall, and all the other support groups and processes we have to keep us sane.

  11. Gay pride marches do not act as beacons to homophobic countries, any more than they change homophobic attitudes here.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/gaypride-parade-sets-mainstream-acceptance-of-gays,351/

    What acts as a beacon is gay people living the same ordinary lives as everyone else – gay Parliamentarians representing all their constituents, gay soldiers defending all their countrymen, gay clergy ministering to all their parishioners, civil partnerships celebrated in the news etc.

    Gay rights come on in leaps and bounds when people know gay individuals, you can see this at the increasing acceptance of gay rights on all sides in America.

  12. How many straight couples do you see snogging to celebrate goals? Silly example.

    Stonewall and other support groups? Great, voluntary and professional activists who choose that role. Just don’t demand that everyone has to fit that straitjacket and criticise the likes of Johnny Weir for chosing not to do so.

    But don’t pretend that PRIDE marches or wastes of money like LGBT History Month do more to promote gay acceptance than a family’s gay uncle and his partner.

    1. You obviously just don’t get it…

      I didn’t get it for a while too, but you will :)

  13. WAYNE SUNDAY 11 Jan 2011, 4:05pm

    Johnny does not adequately understand the concept of gay pride. And he says he does not want to be a gay activist, but he has done a lot to promote the Trevor Project, so I see a contradiction there. If he helps to save even one gay kid from suicide, then I think he is making a positive contribution.

  14. Actually, white is a minority – only around 9% of the world is white. Or were you just thinking of the Western microcosm? Whites have never been persecuted? Zimbabwe obviously hasn’t crossed your mind recently, then. Think of the bigger picture next time.

    Aside from that, it doesn’t matter what background/majority/minority you’re from, you shouldn’t celebrate it any more than anyone else – how unequal and prejudiced to save ‘celebration’ only for minorities. It smacks of hypocrisy. I agree with Weir, shouting loudly all the time in societies where it’s not necessary any more is pointless. We don’t all have to be gay activists – presumably what gay activists have attempted to achieve is a world in which gay people can go about their daily business without drawing attention to themselves. Just blending in and being considered the same as any other Joe Bloggs on the street. And that’s all Weir is doing, like myself. That’s his right and no-one has the right to criticise him for not being a millitant. He’s an ice skater, that’s his profession, why does he have to be a politician as well? If we were all millitants, gays would never be employed in normal jobs and living normal lives, would they? And then we really would be different to everyone else. We need some normal gays doing normal things out there in the world, otherwise no-one will view us as normal or acceptable.

    I equally find it weird when people say they are ‘proud’ to be gay. How can you be proud of something that you are born as? It’s a bit arrogant to take credit for genetics that you had no say over. It’s not as if you achieved ‘gaydom’ through hard work, study, dedication and dilligence. Proud of a degree you worked hard for, proud of the kids you raised on a tight budget but not proud to be gay, female, black, white or anything else. I’m not proud to be gay, I just am. It’s like celebrating your hair or eye colour, it’s pure biology that’s out of your hands. But then I don’t see myself as being different or unequal, perhaps that’s the problem we have here – too many gays who still think they are different because they like the attention it gives them. People base their whole identity on their sexuality and that doesn’t make sense – you’d laugh at someone who defined their personality on being ginger wouldn’t you? Same applies here.

    I’m perfectly happy to be another anonymous man on the street. And that is my right, like Mr Weir’s. If you don’t like that, tough tits.

  15. Nice to see a gay public figure who doesn’t feel obligated to link everything back to the fact that he takes it up the tailpipe. sometimes I get embarrassed by all these modern celebs swishing it up and making us look like a stereotypical bunch of Queens. It’s good that at least some of them can take an approach more similar to that of Stephen Fry or Ian Mckellen, rather than Graham Norton.

  16. Chuckster – so why are gay school children (or those perceived to be gay) 4 times more likely to be bullied than their straight peers?

  17. Lillith

    I disagree on gay pride marches. At one stage, they were necessary – as a form of protest. Now, they are relics of a by-gone era and have been transformed into hideous displays of all that is wrong in the supposed ‘gay community’. Please tell me of any other daytime, supposedly family-oriented ‘celebration’ that involves men in rubber pants and sadomasochistic gear throwing vibrators, lube and jonnies to pill-popping crowd as they writhe around proffering their backsides in a sexually provocative manner atop a float. There are none – if there were, they’d be banned. Notting Hill carnival isn’t like that, so why should ours be? The sexual element is distastefully all-consuming and I understand why parents wouldn’t want their kids going to it. Quite frankly, it is embarrassing stuff – and I would say the same if it were straight people doing it. It reinforces all the stereotypes about gay men being obsessed by sex – and pervy sex at that. How stupid can gay men be? Why do they want this to be the image people have of us? Thrusting ones sexual behaviour on the general public is not on, at all. Like cruising and cottaging – keep it behind closed doors. Otherwise the remaining opponents will never come round. If people are to believe that the only difference between us and straight people is who we are attracted to, then this event has to stop.

    Now, if ‘pride’ meant film and music festivals with varying educational overtones minus the revolting overt sexualisation, then that would be more useful and inclusive. LGBT History Month is fine, I’m all for it. But Pride has to go, seriously.

  18. It is both. The Pride Month and Marchs and Stonewall and PFLAG and etc., etc. Also living quietly, openly. Allowing others to see you as you are, a normal part of society. Blow your Gay horn from the roof tops or quietly live an openly gay life. Either way you’ll show society who we are. Individuals.

  19. I agree with Weir. The irony of militant, paranoid gay rights activists is that by going on about their sexuality all the time, they’re the ones making an issue.

    Being gay is neither something to be attacked nor to be celebrated. It’s how we’re born. Move on.

    (And that’s the message we should give to everyone else, too.)

  20. Steve@GayWebHosting 11 Jan 2011, 6:08pm

    “It is both. The Pride Month and Marchs and Stonewall and PFLAG and etc., etc. Also living quietly, openly. Allowing others to see you as you are, a normal part of society. Blow your Gay horn from the roof tops or quietly live an openly gay life. Either way you’ll show society who we are. Individuals.”

    I completely agree. BOTH sides of the coin are correct.

  21. @Ace: By making a noise about it (ie. celebrating it) you force people to acknowledge that LGBT people exist

    No, you most certainly don’t. You just rub everybody else up the wrong way because today you are not, by and large, being oppressed, ignored, criminalized, etc. etc. By making a noise about who you sleep with, you are the very type of gay who is inciting the outpourings of violence and vitriol we are now experiencing from moronic and ignorant segments of the mainstream populace who don’t like to be constantly told that they have to love and respect us. There is a saying: live and let live, just don’t make a song and dance about it! Just chill.

  22. // Continuing, he said: “And I think that’s something that’s very important for anybody in this world, is to own who you are, regardless of what you’re born into.//

    As I said in a previous thread, Johnny Weir is an exceptionally talented, hard-working (OLYMPIC GOLD), and powerful young man….

    a role model for anyone and evryone.

    Kudos Johnny…Love you forever!!!

  23. I celebrate being white, a man and being gay. It’s me and I’m proud of it. I think everyone should celebrate themselves no matter what or who they are. People should rejoice in other people’s celebrations, even if they aren’t a certain skin colour, a certain gender or a certain sexuality.

  24. Being proud of something which isn’t achieved by your own hard work is just annoying…. Americans going on about how proud they are flag waving all the time is one of them… now you see how normal people feel of the gay community…

  25. @ahb

    Johnny Weir is a talented, hard-working (OLYMPIC GOLD), and powerful young man….

    a role model for anyone and evryone…and that includes you, ahb

    Kudos Johnny…Love you forever!!!

  26. David in Indy 12 Jan 2011, 4:53am

    He’s young. He’ll learn. After he’s been beat up on the street enough times, after he’s been fired from enough jobs for being gay, after getting kicked out of enough restaurants, forced to move from place to place because his neighbors don’t wish to live next to him, after he’s been kicked out of enough churches, scorned and laughed out by enough people, he’ll learn. He hasn’t had to walk the walk yet. Not like the rest of us. We’ve been around the block a few more times than he. He’ll learn.

  27. David Myers 12 Jan 2011, 7:04am

    Chuckster:

    “But don’t pretend that PRIDE marches or wastes of money like LGBT History Month do more to promote gay acceptance than a family’s gay uncle and his partner.”

    As many writers have said, it is a combination of both approaches that is responsible for the progress so far, but you are so deluded Chuckster, that you think the battle is over and we don’t need both approaches, then you need to look around you and to other countries. You and you ilk remind me of those who have made it in to upper class and now oppose trying to help people out of poverty and into the middle class, and exhibit the attitude of “I’m alright Jack , I got mine”. We need to continue to take all available approachs until homophobia, bullying, and the murder of gays and lebians because of their sexuality is a thing of the past. Any other approach is the same as the Ostrich sticking its head into the sand. Wake Up!

  28. “now you see how normal people feel of the gay community…”

    “Normal people”? So gay people are abnormal?

    A bigot is always caught out by their language. Gay people are normal. Its bigotry that is abnormal in a pluralist society.

  29. Paul 22

    Seriously, that sounded like something off Oprah Winfrey. Why do you need to celebrate yourself? I can’t figure out whether it’s deep-rooted insecurity or just being full of yourself. Either way, people will think you’re a prat and a drama queen – thus getting us all stereotyped all over again. You are not helping the cause.

    David in Indy

    You sound like a bitter man who has been through a lot. Possibly. But then again, you could just be making drama where there isn’t any for the sake of being a victim. Though passing off other people’s misfortune by implying it is your own is more than a little weird. It almost sounds like you are hoping he gets beaten up to justify your point, which I think is rather tasteless. How selfish of you. Even then, how do you know he’s never been beaten up for it? Not every gay in the world parades their history around to get attention and pity. Presumably you are that type of person, given the disturbing pararaph of ranting you just posted. Plus, you’ve failed to notice that all those things you listed are actually illegal in the UK (maybe you’re from the US) and he would have no problems winning in a courtroom were such events to befall him. We are very well protected – the only thing we cannot do is stop a hate crime happening, like with any crime. You can only enact laws to deter would-be offenders and serve justice to the victims. That is the same wth any crime from murder to shoplifting. Remember, this is the UK, not Algeria, so let’s not pretend it is for petty sob stories.

    I’m starting to feel that many people on here don’t want gay people to be able to lead normal, quiet lives. If that’s the case, please stay out of the discourse as you are doing us more harm than good.

  30. David Myers said:

    “As many writers have said, it is a combination of both approaches that is responsible for the progress so far, but you are so deluded Chuckster, that you think the battle is over and we don’t need both approaches, then you need to look around you and to other countries. You and you ilk remind me of those who have made it in to upper class and now oppose trying to help people out of poverty and into the middle class, and exhibit the attitude of “I’m alright Jack , I got mine”. We need to continue to take all available approachs until homophobia, bullying, and the murder of gays and lebians because of their sexuality is a thing of the past. Any other approach is the same as the Ostrich sticking its head into the sand. Wake Up!”

    I’m sorry, but just because we are gay doesn’t mean we all have to swear allegiance to the fight and try to take on the battles of every other country in the world. People have different roles in society, that’s how we get things done. Charity starts at home. I have done my bit for gay rights in many ways (probably more than most on here), but it is not my life’s work. People in other countries have to take a stand themselves in the same way that British men and women did over the last century or so. Also, most of those countries are riddled with highly Conservative religious doctrine that has been woven into their legal systems – you would not only have to fight for gay rights, but you’d have to fight Islam and re-write the Koran and the Bible. Fancy that job? If all there was to do every day was fight for gay rights, that’d be fine. But there’s that small snag called ‘real life’ in the way. Do you think people don’t have other things to get on with in life? Some of us actually work, have families and other responsibilities, trying to keep our heads afloat in a time of recession. It’s quite petty to label it as some kind of ‘I’m alright Jack’ mentality. Why shouldn’t those of us who faced much worse discrimination than there is today sit back and actually enjoy life? You know, revel in the freedom we were striving for and indulge a bit in being carefree. Otherwise, what was the point in fighting for it if we aren’t allowed to enjoy it? Do you feel guilty about having freedom of choice or something? I mean, do you only eat grain and drink muddy water to show solidarity with your Ethiopian brethren? No, thought not. If you are going to take such a holier-than-thou attitude, then you need to apply it to every part of your life. Because I’m sure those plain-dwelling, emaciated Africans would probably say you had the I’m alright Jack attitude.

    Try and think like a human instead of a robot for once – maybe then you’ll understand that not everyone can have the same daily priorities as you.

  31. whatever the opinions about him – he is openly gay and that by the standards of many is already a great achievement- so from me that’s a well done and yes – it’s enough to become an established matter of fact gay.

    words count a lot. the article used ‘announced’ others like the Guardian sometimes use ‘reveal’ but too often one still reads -admitted- to being gay – as if a crime.

    global gay equality is a worthy cause and just being open and not accepting second class rights or abuse is a great role model

    some of the comments here hold a UK-centric attitude on acquired rights and yet these are not truly equal even in the UK and are certainly not in an international context so ….. work to be done before all being matter of fact.
    good luck to all !

  32. “(maybe you’re from the US)”

    Yeah, Indiana, I’d guess…..

    David in Indy’s’s points WERE relevant because he’s in the US as is Johnny Weir. I’m not sure why you keep mentioning the UK as the situation in the US is more relevant to this story surely?

    I see what you’re saying regarding ‘real life’ getting in the way of activism – I completely agree with that.

    I’m glad Johnny’s officially come out and I don’t think that behoves him to be an activist if he doesn’t want to. It’s up to him how he lives his life.

  33. Iris

    I see your point about the US, but he is exaggerating too much. Even in the US there are laws protecting gay people. It’s not a lawless society. Nothing annoys me more than scaremongerers who try to paint a skewed picture of real life in a country, it’s not helpful. If he had said that about Saudi Arabia or Uganda, fine, but the US just isn’t as bad as he’s making out in spite of the recent suicides and debates on DADT/gay marriage. Anyone would think every gay man or woman was decked on a daily basis if his views were taken seriously. It’s like crying rape, it just undermines real rape cases and leads to a greater deal of injustice. The US has gay prides, some states have gay marriage and then there’s Castro. It’s hardly Sudan.

    I keep mentioning the UK because this a UK-based web site, wth mainly British readers and markets itself as Europe’s Largest Gay News Service. The UK is therefore much more relevant than the US in this instance – and personally, that is why I’m on it, it’s more relevant to my own life. If I were on The Advocate or Tetu web sites having a discussion, I would clearly make it about the US and France respectively. But then, I rarely go on them as I am not American and have no plans to ever live there. If people on here are not from the UK, they need to make it clear where you’re from on here, otherwise people get confused.

    Still, I totally agree with you on Weir being able to live as he pleases. Just because he is in the spotlight, it doesn’t make him public property.

  34. Absolute ****ing idiot. What a silly, silly boy. He really has no clue, has he? He needs to get an education on LGBTQ history ASAP.

  35. “Gay rights come on in leaps and bounds when people know gay individuals, you can see this at the increasing acceptance of gay rights on all sides in America.”

    America is a big place with lots of different views that differ wildly from state to state. It’s a poor example to use at the best of times.

    There is a need for presence. Whether this be through marches, parties or just sitting back and being open with yourself and friends and family is enough – it’s a personal thing.

    However, the battle is far from over and gay men and women all across the world (save Denmark and Sweden who have little or no reported homophobic crime) put up with fear of being attacked and killed on a daily basis.

    To assume that society will quietly accept gay men and women is flawed. All big social changes in modern history around the world have been instigated from the grassroots level up. Never from the powers that be – never from the top down.

    That is why we need pride, that is why people like Weir (althoguh entitled to his opinion) are wrong.

  36. Jamaica, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, China..

    There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that we need to change attitudes. No-one is going to fight our battles for us.

  37. mmmmmmmm. thank you for your reply. Yes, the Us is far from the worst place in the world for LGBT people. However, my girlfriend’s American and she hates it there. She warned me before I visited her but I still didn’t get it till I saw the extent of the homophobia where she lives (South US) and the weird, weird churches and very different attitude to religion.

    I just thought it was a bit unfair of you to call David in Indy “bitter”. He’s one of the more moderate commenters here and I don’t think he was wrong to say what he did. I think he once said he’s lost a number of jobs due to his sexuality so he’s hardly making things up. My girlfriend lost a job due to hers – she did NOT have protection because of her sexuality. Laws vary from state to state and, of course, some states are much better than others, but it’s fair to say that OVERALL the US is more homophobic than the UK, in my opinion.

  38. Iris

    I agree with most of what you said, but I can only react to David on what he writes here – he is an anonymous contributor to an online forum, I can’t be expected to know his personal history or to have to trawl back through every article to find it out. If he has suffered attacks, that’s not good, but it’s not just about him, it’s about the frequency and type of attacks over the whole country. It’s like a rape victim saying all men are rapists just because it happened to them. Too much scaremongering and not enough embracing of the security that we have achieved for ourselves.

    Any homophobic attack is awful, but, as you imply, there is a need not to get hysterical where it is not necessary. As someone said in an earlier post, Sweden is a good example of maybe how we should do things. There are no gay streets or areas in Stockholm or other major cities. Why? Because they don’t need them, everyone is welcome everywhere – in every bar, club and restaurant. No ghettos, self-imposed or otherwise. Even in the UK we have cut ourselves off into ghettos – Soho, Canal Street etc. That will always hold people back where social movements are concerned. The US is much worse for ghettos – of any kind!

    It is saddening to hear that you have witnessed homophobia in the US. But, as you say, it was in the deep south. Presumably you would not be as fearful in NY or SF. Why? Because you will have thought rationally. A little like either going to Baghdad or Paris – risk assessment is essential, but you have a good idea where you may be able to hold hands or not. Now, by saying the US is really homophobic, you are tarring NY and SF with that brush. It’s a country of extremes brought about through social classes, rich-poor divides and a lack of legal consistency across the country. The UK is similar, but our welfare system and smaller rich-poor divide, not to mention greater anti-religious sentiment, have allowed more progress to be made.

    The main thing is that we show ourselves to be respectable human beings. Work hard, show common decency, reach out to the straight community and our opponents – be the bigger man/woman. But that means abandoning anachronistic behaviour, like cottaging, cruising and the hideous displays of sexuality that are offered at Pride marches. They are extreme forms of behaviour that the straight community do not even appreciate from other straight people. By indulging in them, we are implying that we have less moral fibre. And thus we play right into the hands of the enemy.

  39. “But that means abandoning anachronistic behaviour, like cottaging, cruising and the hideous displays of sexuality that are offered at Pride marches.” – mmmmmmm

    Ok, that answers one of my questions. No need to ask it now.

    Secondly, every festival that I’ve been too in my life has got some display of sexuality. Pretty girls in Rio, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, even Woodstock was famous for naked girls getting their bits out.

    Oh, cottaging in no different from dogging for straight people is it? Perhaps we should argue that straight people should perhaps make in-roads with us and limit their own sexual endeavours?

    For the record sex and sexuality isn’t hideous..or disgusting. It’s prudishness that is. Perhaps that’s why the Swedes have it correct and we have it so wrong.

  40. “The main thing is that we show ourselves to be respectable human beings. Work hard, show common decency, reach out to the straight community and our opponents – be the bigger man/woman”

    ABSOLUTELY, mmmmmmmm. That works best, I’ve found – for most people at least (I believe that a few people you just can’t reason with). I also agree that ghettos are bad for all minorities and do nothing for understanding.

    I’m not getting into the sex argument simply because in a way I agree with both you and Danny, but I do think gay people suffer from being seen as solely the sum of their sexual habits in a way straight people don’t and that’s not fair. I don’t think that’s the fault of Pride particularly, I think it probably stems from an earlier idea and started because of ignorance or scare-mongering just as people do about any minority.

    My ideal world is one where no-one cares what other consenting adults do in bed or whom they love. But I’m not such an idealist that I don’t realise that that will be some way off sadly.

    I think that was something like Johnny Weir was trying to say – that it shouldn’t matter. Unfortunately, the very fact he had to say that shows that it still does to some extent. None of that it meant to be a moan – I very much appreciate the progress in LGBT rights over the last decades – only a hope for the future.

  41. Danny

    Where did I say I approved of dogging? I don’t and it should be condemned as much as cottaging or cruising. Having sex in public is not acceptable by any rational standards. But, dogging is less prevalent and it doesn’t get the same attention. Whether that’s fair or not doesn’t matter, it’s just a fact that you’ll have to live with. If straight people knew that dogging went on, there would be more fuss. The thing is, they aren’t as aware of it as we are, simply because gay men engage in much more public sex than straight men, straight women and lesbians do.

    Rio carnival is based around dance, music and food. It’s cultural, not sexual, which is essentially what gay pride has become. And I’ve been to it in five countries. Show me someone throwing vibrators and lube around in Rio (who isn’t being arrested) and then maybe I’ll consider it to be comparable. Not forgetting that wearing skimpy outfits doesn’t necessarily mean sexualised behaviour. A woman in a bikini sat on the beach isn’t sexual, but the same woman gyrating and boddy-popping whilst caressing her body, licking her lips and directing herself at others very much is. That’s the difference – can you see that?

    Woodstock wasn’t in the middle of a city centre where young people and old ladies out shopping were going to have this all thrust on them. It was on a farm, far away from the civilised world – which is exactly why it was held there. Unlike gay pride which is held in city centres. Even then, Woodstock was chiefly about the music, the sex and drugs that accompanied it were just a by-product. Gay pride is about expressing ones sexuality, despite the fact that it doesn’t have to be anything more than a march just to reiterate our freedom to associate. And to most people it is pretty tatsteless.

    As much as you think your interests should be served above anyone else’s, it is not a human right to inflict YOUR sex life on everyone else in a public place. It is tasteless, uncivilised and anti-social. And I say that for EVERYONE of all sexualities. Now that this phenomenon is becoming more common in the straight world as well, the backlash against it has started. Why? Well why do you bloody think!

    “For the record sex and sexuality isn’t hideous..or disgusting. It’s prudishness that is. Perhaps that’s why the Swedes have it correct and we have it so wrong.”

    I’m not sure what that statement is supposed to show, but it’s pretty obvious to the rational thinker that neither sex or sexuality are disgusting. Flaunting it, procuring it in public facilities (toilets, parks, car parks), rubbing it in everyone’s faces at public events and then leaving the leftover rubbers for all to see IS revolting. Are you honestly trying to tell me you think that it’s fine? Or that it has a positive effect on society and leaves a good impression on those who see it? I don’t think you understand the meaning of prudishness – that would mean people think just TALKING about REFERRING to sex and sexuality is disgusting. I don’t agree with that, I am happy to talk about the finer details of anything. For a better understanding of basic biological processes, it is essential.That stil doesn’t mean I have to have people proffering their backsides and tits at me in a vulgar reproduction of a slutty Pussy Cat Dolls video when I want to party in the street. Or anywhere else for that matter. Nor should have to wonder whether someone is peering at me through a glory hole while I’m taking a dump at the M25 servcies. If a straight man was doing that in a unisex toilet to women, there would be uproar. If more straight people knew about cottaging, then we’d be getting attacked a lot more than we are now.

    As for the Swedes….since when has liking to take a sauna naked been equated to having sex in public places. They are comfortable with their biology, part of the reason why they don’t go around shoving their bits in people’s faces. I don’t know what Swedes you know, but I certainly haven’t seen this all-naked, all-hedonistic, all-dogging in public nation that you apparently have. Do elaborate, I’m all ears.

    This world isn’t all about YOU and your ‘rights’, it’s about compromise and earning mutual respect through civilised behaviour. It’s about time you (and a few others on here) realised that.

  42. Iris

    “I’m not getting into the sex argument simply because in a way I agree with both you and Danny, but I do think gay people suffer from being seen as solely the sum of their sexual habits in a way straight people don’t and that’s not fair. I don’t think that’s the fault of Pride particularly, I think it probably stems from an earlier idea and started because of ignorance or scare-mongering just as people do about any minority.”

    I agree in part. Namely that gay people have been seen as a sum of their sexual habits in the past due to social ignorance. Now, things are very different and people are much more aware and accepting of gay people. The reasons why today gay poeple are still seen to be the sum of their sexual habits is precisely because of Gay Pride events. It is the last bastion of gay men holding an event that defines them purely because of their sexual behaviour. With all the leather, bondage gear, rubber jock straps, baby oil, near-nude men gyrating on floats pretending to poke each other up the bum with dildos, displaying sex aids, flogging poppers, chrystal meth and everything else. It is not an event about understanding and respecting sexuality, it is a public display of the act of sex, pure and simple. Any attemps to educate people on the subject at the same time (usually on the stalls) are drowned out by the general sexual freak show. No other community does such a thing.

    It’s partly our own fault that we get negative attention because at pride events we behave in a way that is unacceptable and contrary to mainstream social norms. And, no, that doesn’t include just sleeping with your own gender. Being gay isn’t a problem for most people to handle, but getting them to see that we are more than just sex-obsessed hooligans is impossible when our annual events are so sexually explicit and graphic.

    Straight people have often asked me why I think gay people feel the need to parade their sex lives out like this. My answer: I haven’t a clue. It’s just vile and I cannot condone it in any way. It is not the political march it once was and therefore it’s time should have been up a while ago.

  43. “The thing is, they aren’t as aware of it as we are, simply because gay men engage in much more public sex than straight men, straight women and lesbians do.”

    I’m sorry but that is a pretty sweeping statement – have you got the evidence to back it up? Gay men may have done in the past because of the nature of the beast. There were no bars or accepted and open meeting place. Straight people don’t know that dogging goes on? Have you read the tabloids? Been on some fo those straight sex sites? Trust me, it goes on a lot mroe than you think.

    “Show me someone throwing vibrators and lube around in Rio (who isn’t being arrested) and then maybe I’ll consider it to be comparable. Not forgetting that wearing skimpy outfits doesn’t necessarily mean sexualised behaviour.”

    Firstly, I can only advocate safe sex and lube is always accompanied by condoms when given out on the gay scene. Perhaps we should let the dirty gays contract HIV instead? Also, you’re right, skimpy outfits don’t automatically intiniate sexualised behaviour. Neither does someone wearing a harness, or a leather queen or twinks in shorts. It means nothign more than being ‘part of the show’.

    “Woodstock wasn’t in the middle of a city centre where young people and old ladies out shopping were going to have this all thrust on them.”

    You’re serious right? Using the old ‘we can’t be seen to thrust is upon the vulnerable’ argument? I don’t see many people complaining when the march takes place in London or Brighton. They often look on, and even cheer.

    My statement is designed to show that a prudish attitude to such things does more harm than good. Look at the Catholic church and Victorian England.

    “That stil doesn’t mean I have to have people proffering their backsides and tits at me in a vulgar reproduction of a slutty Pussy Cat Dolls video when I want to party in the street. Or anywhere else for that matter.”

    Oh my god, you’ve basically given me a complete idea of your views with that statement on so many levels. Apart from being spiteful towards women I can see that there is some serious repression issues there.

    i’m going to pull out because I can’t in all fairness have a conversation with someone so damn*d repressed, hateful and naive.

  44. Danny

    “Trust me, it goes on a lot mroe than you think.”

    Do you have any evidence to back that up? If you are going to demand proof from me, you have to practice what you preach. Or are the rules different for you, because you are special? Fool.

    “Firstly, I can only advocate safe sex and lube is always accompanied by condoms when given out on the gay scene. Perhaps we should let the dirty gays contract HIV instead?”

    Erm, why do gay men need to be spoon-fed? I buy my own, you should just bloody well buy your own too instead of expecting the world to protect you, it’s your responsibility. Like it is for everyone else. If they don’t, it’s their own fault if they get something. It’s called Darwinsim. I’ve never seen jonnies and femidoms being handed out at non-gay establishments, clearly straight people are thinking about contraception/protection more than gay men. Plus, safe sex is advocated in every gay publication, not to mention it’s taught in schools for all students. If you need someone to throw jonnies and lube at you when you go out in the evening, then you are a very dim bloke. The ‘dirty gays’ wouldn’t get HIV if they weren’t, erm, being dirty, would they?

    “Also, you’re right, skimpy outfits don’t automatically intiniate sexualised behaviour. Neither does someone wearing a harness, or a leather queen or twinks in shorts. It means nothign more than being ‘part of the show’.”

    Rubber pants and studded harnesses are sex aids, not casual beach wear. That’s why they’re sold in specialised shops. Prat. And more to the point, they aren’t just wearing them as if they were posting a letter or paying at the checkout, they’re gyrating around and proffering themselves, which makes it even more sexualised. That is why it’s uncivilised, it is overtly sexual behaviour AND in overtly sexual clothing AND in public. Strewth, you don’t understand much do you!

    “I don’t see many people complaining when the march takes place in London or Brighton. They often look on, and even cheer.”

    Oh, hilarious. Can you imagine if they did say something? You’d be the first to brand them all homophobes in some vitriolic, irrational outburst. People don’t like making life difficult for themselves and, as it’s for just on day, they’ll put up with it. If it was once a week, you’d see more of a backlash. It is tolerance at it’s most obvious – and tolerance isn’t an ideal I aspire to, it’s just patronising and offensive. People don’t like Islam much, but they’ll still allow their events to go ahead because the consequences of protesting will bring them grief. And let’s not forget, London and Brighton have huge gay communities, there is clearly going to be more support for such a thing there than if it were held in Melton Mowbray just on sheer numbers of gay people alone.

    “My statement is designed to show that a prudish attitude to such things does more harm than good. Look at the Catholic church and Victorian England.”

    How is that applicable to our lives today? Stop living in the past for the sake of picking a fight. Victorian England doesn’t exist anymore – for a start it was bloody illegal to be a gay man! Even then, I don’t know why you’re saying this, I already agreed with you that prudishness wasn’t helpful. No need to repeat it.

    “Oh my god, you’ve basically given me a complete idea of your views with that statement on so many levels. Apart from being spiteful towards women I can see that there is some serious repression issues there.”

    How unusual for you to blow things out of proportion without actually saying anything at all. Erm, anywhere, where exactly did I insult women? Could you please point out the exact text so that we are under no illusions. You need evidence to back up your criticism. Ah, I see, YOUR brain associated Pussy Cat Dolls with women, right? Prat. Do you think men can’t gyrate like the Pussy Cat Dolls? Now, who’s nave! I was referring to BOTH men and women. That kind of over-sexualised behaviour in public is not attractive or respectable from either gender. Talk about deliberately misinterpreting something to suit your own view. Very cheap shot and very much backfired. You plonker!

    “i’m going to pull out because I can’t in all fairness have a conversation with someone so damn*d repressed, hateful and naive.”

    Ah, la piece de resistance. Nothing like a hackneyed expression from someone who can’t hold their own – ‘I can’t find legitimate arguments against his views, so I’ll tell him that he is repressed and has issues and then run away’. That is the oldest trick in the book – ‘you must hate yourself because you don’t agree with me’. Yawn-bloody-yawn. And it makes you look incredibly full of yourself, but in that borderline self-loving, self-hating way. It makes you look insecure, especially as, if you read between the lines of what you have written, you are obviously quite fond of all the things that I find hideous at gay pride – particularly exhbitionism. Now, any good psychiatrist will tell you that those who flaunt it the most are the most insecure of all. Gay men, insecure? What a revelation!

    There’s a reason why you won’t find me on a gay pride float – it’s called being self-confident and self-respecting. I would never demean my body in such a way as to grease it up in baby oil for the titilation of a few sad men. You are a fool if you think that to be seen as credible you have to join mainstream thought on what is acceptable behaviour at a gay pride event. I never will. Accept it, I don’t want to act or even perceived to be like one of those hideous grinding twinks on a podium.

    Anyway, run along now, if it’s too rational in here, then maybe you had better stay out. People like you will NOT help us achieve full equality, you are just holding us back with this insufferable self-interested codswallop.

  45. Here’s right. This young kid shouldn’t be celebrating that he’s gay. He should be celebrating those of us a generation or two older than he is who have fought for his luxurious position, wherein he can say this to the world and shrug and be too shortsighted and ignorant to know why it’s a big deal.

  46. Rufusread

    You’re only making him out to be ignorant because you want him to become a militant, gay rights activist (like you were?). How on Earth do you know what he knows about the gay rights movement and how important activism can be? It’s not as if you know him personally. Give him the benefit of the doubt until you do, it’s only fair. There are plenty of assumptions that could be made about you, I’m sure, but I don’t think it would be right.

    But then, if being an activist has turned you into this bitter-sounding old man (sorry, that is how you have come across), then why become one at all. If you were very active in achieving those rights, it is very honourable. But it doesn’t mean you have to brand those who don’t feel being gay restricts their lives as turncoats or ignorant. And it doesn’t mean you have to award yourself hero status either.

    You might bear in mind a lot of us in the ‘younger generation’ have done a lot of awareness raising and political activism on this too, it isn’t just the reserve of your age group.

    Perhaps you should enjoy the luxury of the freedom you have now, instead of lamenting on how bad it once was. After all, wasn’t that the point of fighting in the first place?

  47. Rufusred:
    Just like your generation that should acknowledge the sacrifices made in two World Wars.

    One thing I’ve learned from my time on this planet is that youngsters have to figure it out for themselves, because they sure as hell won’t listen to others.

    So yeah, you did good, but stop wearing it like a badge and let them enjoy being what they are, and not having to worry about equality. Isn’t that what you fought for in the first place?

  48. Dear mmmmmmmmm and spanner. I actually agree with what you say. I believe that young gay people SHOULD have a better time of it than we had, and yes, that is precisely what we fought for. What I dislike is the refusal to remember not only how bad it was but still is for so many young people. And Spanner, your only gratuitous point needs a ddressing. I come from a military family (naval) Much of my father’s family perished in the Second World War. I do not require lessons in gratitude or lazy comments about it from you.

  49. David in Indy 12 Jan 2011, 8:44pm

    Yes mmmmmmmmmm, I live in the US – Indiana to be exact. Iris was correct. Indiana, a state where it is still perfectly legal to fire an employee for being gay. A state where it is still perfectly legal to kick a gay person out of a restaurant or other place of business.

    I’m glad the UK has moved forward on gay rights the way it has. But Indiana is not the UK and the UK remains light years ahead of the American Midwest and South. Don’t believe me? Come on over and see for yourself. Things are slowly getting better here, but we have a very long way to go in many parts of this country. Part of what I was alluding to in my previous “rant” as you called it, was my experiences here in the 1970s as I was growing up. That’s what I meant when I said some of us had “been around the block a few more times than Johnny”. So yes, it is better, but many of those things I described still happen in many parts ot this country. Maybe things will be better for Johnny once he reaches my age. I certainly hope so.

  50. Danny

    I think it’s quite patronising to keep referring to his age and, in general, that those of us who aren’t in their 40s are somehow ignorant to LGBT history or less understanding of human emotions and world politics. It is awful that life was more difficult when you were growing up and you should have never had to go through that. But that doesn’t give you the right to claim some superiority because of your age. Since when has being older made you a better judge of character or morality? Or more rational? I can think of plenty of immoral nutjobs in their 40s, many of whom have had top-rate education and are now in positions of power. I would expect to be told to get stuffed if I tried to guilt trip a 21 year old by saying he has no idea how bad it was growing up in the 80s and 90s. Technically it was worse, but he can’t help how old he is. It’s just not constructive to use age as a weapon.

    Whilst I think it is unjust that for you who live in Indiana to be subjected to such discrimination, I will not apologise for enjoying the freedom I have here. It’s great and I intend to live life to the fullest because I have no idea how long it will last. On the other hand, you do highlight something that the UK resident scaremongerers and drama queens on here should take not of – it could be worse, you could live in Indiana, so appreciate what you have and enjoy it before it gets taken away again! As much as I would love to join the gay rights fight of your home state, as an individual I cannot be expected to be a martyr to all causes across the globe. Gay people are evenly spread across the globe and it is up to us to fight out own corners intensely otherwise we will dilute the effects. It’s about pragmatism, not a lack of empathy.

  51. Sports admirer 13 Jan 2011, 12:10am

    Well, well ! Why does not one of you talk about yourselves ??? Ashamed, afraid, too Proud, too Closeted ????? Judging someone under anonimoty is certainly easy, right folks ???? Judge yourselves before casting stones ! I am a white gay Canadian male and am proud of them all – no need to shout it off every rooftop !!! I am with same partner for 20 years and living life like every other Canadian couple !!!! Give Johnny his due : three times American Gold figure skating champion and a great guy !! Let him live life the way he sees fit… Give him the break he deserves !!!!!!

  52. Sports admirer 13 Jan 2011, 12:14am

    That`s anonymity…..

  53. David in Indy 13 Jan 2011, 5:44am

    @ mmmmmmmmm – Wow. Really? Anyhow, I’m used to these sorts of comments. Not on this board though. People here seem to be very nice for the most part. So if it is the shock value you were going for you’ve failed. I’d still like to give you the benefit of the doubt however, because I’m sure you are a nice person and these posts can often be misunderstood because we cannot hear the poster’s voice inflection. Reading one’s post and then hearing them actually speak the words can often make a huge difference. So that is what I am doing with you – giving you the benefit of the doubt, like I said.

    I never asked you to come over here and become a martyr. Nor did I expect you to somehow feel guilty because things are better for you over there in the UK. I was simply explaining my position, that’s all. So you would understand why I said what I said. Nor am I trying to degrade Johnny Weir. But younger people can often benefit from those who’ve walked the same path before them. That’s called imparting wisdom. He’s free not to take it. In the long run it really doesn’t matter to me.

    That said, I won’t post in this particular article any longer. It seems pointless and fruitless to me. I’m sorry I angered you so much.

  54. David

    I apreciate where you’re coming from. However, If you were the only one criticising young people or the decisions made by gay men who don’t align themselves with stereotypical gay thought and behviour in a blanket fashion, then I wouldn’t care. But you aren’t alone, it happens frequently. This whole site functions on one-upmanship – it’s all about proving how much wiser, experienced, cultured, educated or more intellectual you are in comparison to the other posters. And that arrogance and self-congratulation is a great source of annoyance to me – it is the one trait in certain humans that almost brings me to blows. Then there is the daily sport of competing for the prize of who is the greatest victim – who has been beaten up the most, who has suffered at the hands of homophobes the most. The endless stream of cat-calling and bitterness towards either the straight world or other gay men who don’t hate themselves and actually allow themselves to enjoy life achieves nothing. If one dares to criticise the gay scene and its related exploits, the one will be in receipt of a tirade of abuse. All I am trying to do is redress the balance and make people try and consider their points more realistically instead of playing the minority or hard-done-by cards by default. It seems few on here want to acknowledge that what one person labels gross homophobia is considered an off-the-cuff joke by someone else. And it’s fine to do that. Plus, if we don’t consider something homphobic or we aren’t offended by the even the midlest criticism of gay people, then we are labelled self-hating gays with ‘issues’ who need to see a psychiatrist. Everything is so defensive and spiteful just for the sake of causing a melodrama, which, again, I hate. I often wonder why I read this site, but then I also think that if I didn’t offer my alternative perspective, no-one else would and the Pink News ghetto massive would just carry on living in their goldfish bowl. It would be overwhelmingly one-sided and skewed, which is never good for democratic debate. I make no apologies for all of this, after all it’s also in my own interest that gay people are viewed more positively as I am as likely to suffer any backlash as much as anyone else. There are lots of things that gay people do that make life more difficult for all of us, which is just plain selfish. Sadly, selfishness is one of the traits I see most in the world of gay men – why do you think HIV cases are still so high among gay men? It’s nothing to do with education, we are the most aware group in the world on this subject, but some still think it is their right to blame everyone else. It’s just selfish.

    I do agree with you on the interpretation of posts. It’s true, we have no sense of voice pitch or intonation. And that, as you say, can make all the difference.

    But, at the end of the day, this is only a web site forum, I am never going to meet any of you in person and it’s not worth getting worked up about someone on a personal level. I’m only interested in their viewpoint on that particular thread; any new threads are taken to be just that, there are so many names on here I can hardly remember who wrote what yesterday, let alone last week. The same should apply to you – though if you aren’t able to stand your views being dissected, then you shouldn’t enter the lion’s den. I may get very passionate about giving my opinion like everyone else, but I never view anything as a personal attack. Why would I? Judging someone as a whole based on their opinons on ONE subject is like….judging someone purely on their sexual orientation.

    And that would be just plain stupid :)

  55. David in Indy :( Do keep posting wherever you want. I like to read everyone’s views and your experiences are relevant here. I defended you because I thought I remembered you saying about losing jobs – thank you for confirming that. I sympathise with you greatly.

    mmmmmmmm – you’ve made some good points, many of which I agree with. Even when I don’t agree, I do appreciate your eloquency and passion and your willingness to enter into an intelligent discussion.

    I’ve re-read David in Indy’s initial post that seemed to start all this off, and, OK, maybe I can see that you misread it through no fault of your own, and not being familiar with David’s previous posts. Completely understandable. Yet when David explains himself politely, you still leap on him. I don’t get it. If you misjudged him, blame the limits of this comment site, but why have a go when David’s clarified what he meant? There are a number of people on here that I have to steel myself not to lose my patience with, but David hasn’t ever been one of them.

  56. mmmmmmmm – our posts crossed. A genuine think you for explaining your motivation so clearly. You may think I’m a sad bore but I do like to understand where people are coming from as far as possible, and your post there was very welcome. I feel that I DO get it better now.

  57. Iris

    Thanks for the reply. I agree that things should be done eloquently, though of course, being only human, I am clearly not immune from going awry due to too much passion! At least I substantiate my views as much as possible though, that should be mandatory. I agree that David in Indy should keep posting, it’s his democratic right. And, to be honest, it’s just a forum, no-one is going to club him round the head for saying anything on here.

    I’m glad you see my motivation as well. I get so sick of all the petty, pointless comments that have no substance at all – they just bore the wider public. You know, the usual hissing outrage and shock: ‘oh, yeah, typical Tory wan*ers, I knew they’d do that!!!’ or ‘well they’re all just out to get us, we’re all doomed!’. It’s repetetive, boring and a bit like a far-left version of the Daily Mail – just sweeping generalisations and self-interest (normally coming from people who are condemning other groups for making generalisations about gay people). It’s about the quality of opinions, not the quantity – an opinion should be, first and foremost, a constructive statement, not a repetition of unfounded, hackneyed claims and hysteria. It’s a science – there has to be some kind of evidence to support what you are saying, though obviously we can’t attach endless stats to our posts. Still, there is a lot to be said for personal accounts and qualitative analysis of historical and contemporary events. But it’s how you communicate it that determines how well it will be received.

    And, no, I don’t think you are bore in the slightest. I think you have a very mature attitude to resolving social conflicts of interest. You ask all the right questions and you only seem to judge people’s statements, not their whole character. Understanding each other is more successful when one knows the origin of the opinion and thought processes. You are right to ask for that, it clarifies many things. Simply saying ‘I hate Tories’ without saying why is just meaningless and it will quite rightly be dismissed by the more proactive and constructive in society. If Prime Mnister’s Question Time was conducted in the same way as debate on here, there’d be chaos!

    I guess my real strength is that I am not afraid of being criticised, taking responsibility for my comments or annoyed by being asked to clarify my points. Moreover, I know a lot of gay men, I know what characteristics I don’t like in the ‘gay community’ and I can point out all the reasons why I feel that way. Minorities seem to hate having to take on their civic responsibilities of not letting their behaviour impact upon other people. And gay people are no exception, particularly the men. I see things in the wider context. Personally, I hate religion as it’s based on fiction. However, being democratically-minded, I am happy for it to exists provided that it doesn’t impact on me. If that’s achieved through religious groups making concessions, then it’s only fair that gay people stop their practices that impact on other people too.

    Now, I dare you to take on the challenge of telling them that! :)

  58. I don’t know if I’m the right one to take on your challenge, mmmmmmmm :D But I too find some aspects of ‘gay behaviour’ rather unpleasant. I’m not a prude but some things, to me at least, show a lack of respect for oneself aswell as others. I never want to get into a sexual behaviour argument, because, as you say, there are many people who will leap on you if you do. I’ve also stopped saying that some kinds of behaviour are ‘wrong’ because I’ve realised it’s up to the individual(s) concerned, but I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say that we’re all entitled to do as we like as consenting adults *as long as it doesn’t impact on others* – so like you said :D

    Forgive me for my one note of dissent though: I still don’t think David in Indy is a victim or involved in oneupmanship, although I can see that looking at just the one post you might have thought that. I’ve done it before myself – read a post and thought “Oh, no, it’s one of those XXXX!”. Then had a go at them and realised they’re not. That’s one reason why I concentrate on people’s names – the other is I can’t escape from my teacher brain that only has to see a name and stores it forever! :D

  59. Despite having been a teacher at one point, I tend to only retain names when they are thrust at me on a daily basis. Give it a week and they’re gone :)

    Re David in Indy, it may have come across that way, but I wasn’t referring to him personally as being a one-upmanship type. However, I felt his comment fell into the bracket of being patronising – which is how the usual one-upmanship brigade tend to operate. From his other replies, he seems pretty sincere, even if I don’t agree with some of his points. It was maybe that one post that made me think the way I did.

    As for the sexual behaviour argument, I have no fear of being leaped on by angry mobsters. Bring ‘em on! Everyone’s behaviour can be called into question, these types have to stop thinking they are exempt and claiming that it’s some kind of victimisation. But then, within any community, there will always be a proportion who are unabashedly selfish and are psychologically unable to process the idea that their behaviour is neither desirable nor healthy for our image as a whole. Of course, when any of us say that, we are lablled immediately as prudes and self-haters, but it applies to all behaviour in life, regardless of who you are. Take the Muslim communities in the UK, only a handful are terrorists and yet it besmirches the rest of them. Hardly fair is it (even if I don’t like their religion). My advice to them? Sort out your community. I am just doing my small bit in the same way, I don’t want people thinking badly of us and these are the only reasons I can see for it still being justified. It’s not the church crackpots I worry about, they are always going to be there in their minority and it’s not as if most people in the UK listen to them anyway. It’s the people who are between supporting us and hating us, they are the people we have to convince. Doing that in the past is what has got us so much more support and it’s something we have to keep doing.

    I was taught by my wonderful parents (heterosexual, I might add!) to have self-respect for my mind and body, not to pop my cherry until I met someone worth losing it to and be mindful not to force my ways and habits on anyone else. And they said exactly the same to my straight brother (not that this fact would shut up any critics). It would take an awful lot for me to feel guilty about being a confident, self-assured, strong man who is happy with who he is…..but there are a few who will do their hardest to try and make you.

    I am glad you seem happy in yourself and being a teacher means that someone will benefit from that strength. Not to mention your sincerity :)

  60. David in Indy 14 Jan 2011, 6:45am

    Thank you Iris for backing me up. I appreciate it.

    And no hard feelings, okay mmmmmmm?

  61. David

    Corse not, this is just a forum, holding a grudge against someone or judging them purely on a couple of posts would be madness. It is more than likely we’d agree on most other things. Debate is healthy, even if a little too passionate sometimes :)

  62. No problem, David in Indy.

    mmmmmmmm, thank you for taking the time to reply and explain. When I stuck up for David at first, I thought you and I would disagree about everything, but actually I think we agree about a lot. Just shows how first impressions can be wrong. :D

    Your comment about persuading the people unsure about us is very true. I think it applies in everyday life too. Getting to know more about someone makes it harder to hate them. You see past your initial impression and start to see the person underneath. That’s why I take the time to talk to religious fundies here – the ones who are willing to have a proper discussion, at least. I think that if you’re just abusive, they won’t learn anything and you’ll reinforce their negative impression of LGBT people. My hope is once they realise we’re people much like them – no better, no worse – they’ll be more accepting.

    I look forward to reading further posts from you both on PN. :)

  63. Iris

    I agree again with you on the talking to fundies idea. If a Jehova’s Witness or lay preacher knocks on my door, I tell them that I am agnostic and that I think it is inappopriate for either myself or them to force our views on people in their homes. However, in the right setting, I very happily engage. At university, I used to to chat to Muslims and devout Christians on my course and at Union Council. They disagreed with homosexuality completely, it was engrained in them, but because they behaved respectfully and didn’t insult me with barbs, I was able to converse with them for hours on end and put my arguments across in a way that made them feel at least a little differently. I’m not saying I changed their minds completely, but they certainly lost a lot of their ‘fear of the unknown’ and saw the huge amount of common ground between us. We agreed on many things – from the war in Iraq or the welfare state to what it means to behave in a dignified manner or how Muslims should be pleased they have fewer alocholics. Some of them even met my then boyfriend and, seeing that he was a lot like me, it showed I wasn’t’ just an exception to the stereotype. The fact that I criticised my own community – as well as inviting myself to criticise theirs – showed I was prepared to see both sides. But then, these were reasonable people I was dealing with and we clearly had other things to talk about than just the gay issue. If I had put half of the PN contributors here with their religious equivalents in a room, there would be no reasoned, dignified discussion. There would have been too much resistance to the other group’s views and it would fail completely. That’s where I differ, I’m all ears until someone insults me, I don’t go looking to be offended. Moroever, even those who appear to hold bigotted views may not be all that bad, they don;t necessarily deserve a total character assassination. They may just be unintentionally ignorant, but on explaining our side to them, may be much more understanding than first thought. As humans, we have to give people the benefit of the doubt and presume them innocent until proven guilty.

    Most importantly, actually meeting a real, live member of a community makes all the difference to your perception.

    Anyway, you should know better than to ask my opinon on these things, once my neurones kick in, I find it hard to stop :) I’m just interested in everything in life and finding ways for us to all get on as best we can.

    I look forward to seeing more from you on here too (and Danny in Indy too, of course) :)

  64. Iris, you are a sweetheart…

    …and I do love Johnny Weir..just as he is..

    I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him..

  65. mmmmmmmm “As humans, we have to give people the benefit of the doubt and presume them innocent until proven guilty.”

    Why? We are animals like all the others, we respond to base instincts in exactly the same way. We are all inherently selfish. I do not trust anybody until they prove otherwise. trust and respect is earned, not just expected as some inalienable right.

  66. Spanner

    “Why? We are animals like all the others, we respond to base instincts in exactly the same way. We are all inherently selfish. I do not trust anybody until they prove otherwise. trust and respect is earned, not just expected as some inalienable right.”

    Firstly, we are clearly not like other animals, I shouldn’t even have to explain that. Secondly, by all means, don’t trust anyone, but you can’t condemn them or give them grief when they have yet to do anything to you. That’s why humans are different, our societies value trust and the freedom from prejudgement. Thirdly, we are not all inherently selfish to the same extent. I am no Bernie Madoff or Lord Young and I would resent someone tarring me with the same brush.

    If you feel everyone must prove to you that they are trustworthy, then they can demand the same of you. Seems a bit cold and calculating don’t you think? Plus, if there was no benefit of the doubt or trust, we’d have a horribly paranoid society, fearing everyone from the old lady at the bus stop to the bloke on the next table in the pub. I’m happy to give people chances and not prejudge them wherever possible.

  67. Mmmmmmmmm

    The classroom bully!

    Wow, reading this thread your relentless made this a boring argument of Johnny lovers. More the pity.

    Saying that not sure why so many gays have so much self hate and would want that twit to be part of the gay community? Can’t they pick descent people and stick with them?

    There are so many allies who do more the johnny weir has will ever do, like Charles Barkley-a black, straight ex NBA legend-who spoke out amongst jocks on national tv for gay rights but little of the gay media bar Towleroad picked it up.

    Surely THAT is the kind of person you want onside and to dedicate time to shape the minds of Midwest jocks??

    Why waste it on Johnny blaming weir??

    We’re not as backwards in rights as the USA but I’m always seeing gay bashing and I dont see straight bashing. Mmmmmmm must live in Midsummer were the sun shines bright and the birds are chirping, back here in the real world mates of mine hit based up in Manchester-they are NOT camp-when I was at uni, the bloke in trafalger square who got killed, that Liverpool officer who got killed, that man who got beaten up by a bunch of youths calling him faggot, the daily hate-mail on a daily basis demeaning gay people, the Tory party and anything they say!

    The only reason we have more Tory gays out is because those buyers were all threatened to come out, especially that last one. A labour MP was spreading lots of stuff about him because he voted against so many gay rights in parliament.

    Personally, I’d rather no gay labour MP’s who vote FOR gay rights, then lots of gay Tory MP’s who vote against! Doh!

    Lastly, people are always kissing and smacking lips on football terraces, havent you been to any??? Ew. I hate any kind of PDA and ALWAYS see it!

    Straight folk mind you and no one minds but this sweet teen couple held hands and were girls, murmurs of ‘muff diver’ etc between all the people standing in the bus stop.

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