Reader comments · Billy Elliot author’s opera pulled after school objects to gay character · PinkNews

Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.


Billy Elliot author’s opera pulled after school objects to gay character

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Mumbo Jumbo 4 Jul 2011, 11:09am

    I take it any non-white characters are also to be written out in case they offend the racists.

    1. goodbyejohnnythunders 4 Jul 2011, 4:04pm

      I’m going to use that syllogism in the future, if that’s okay with you.

    2. Another Hannah 5 Jul 2011, 6:08pm

      Surely they should be suing the theatres that showed a pantomime at christmas? I mean the dame must surely turn small childrens heads?

    3. Another Hannah 5 Jul 2011, 6:09pm

      Are we going to see pantomimes banned now then?

  2. Jock S. Trap 4 Jul 2011, 11:20am

    Yet again as said nothing but “completely outdated hysteria”.
    Thought schools were for educating not dictating.

    Guess we’ll never tackle homophobia with councils and schools like this that refuse to act to stop such bullying etc.

    1. One wonders why they tried to engage with this project in the first place, knowing full well that it contained sexual themes.

      1. Jock S. Trap 5 Jul 2011, 12:00pm


        I guess they assumed they’d be able to rid of sexuality content easily.

  3. Another Hannah 4 Jul 2011, 11:22am

    I don’t know why your so surprised, as this is very close to what happened to me, and smashed my life to pieces. I’m trans. was in a production doing male parts and female in the chorus, was barred fro next production, NODA (national operatic and dramatic asociation agreed, Lloyd weber (thier president) allowed it to continue. To show how serious this is, I had put all my energies onto theatre and was on the No4 drama degree in the country. Had to stop. 8 years in limbo now, doing notrhing. local paper and national paper reported, pink paper and pink news didn’t. I still can’t do theatre.

  4. Mumbo Jumbo 4 Jul 2011, 11:23am

    You can e-mail Opera North at

  5. Another Hannah 4 Jul 2011, 11:27am

    Incidentally all of the local dramatic societies had members in common, and every one, five of them then stopped me from joining unless I did everything as a male, so I couldn’t do anything. I am now studying an open university music degree, which is great, but I don’t see why i can’t do theatre stuff. I said I’d do male parts as long as chorus stuff didn’t have to be male. Commonly in the north the kind of prejudice your describing seems to be regarded as OK. We have tothink about the sensitivies of this that and the other person, but no worries by even the gay or trans communities it seems that my life has been torn apart and ruined!

  6. Another Hannah 4 Jul 2011, 11:31am

    Full marks to the guy who wrote Billy Elliot the only decent humane human being there. I found something quite similar, with a few decent heterosexual people who supported me, were very kind, and thought it was outrageously cruel. as for the LGBT community, well……

  7. What are the school thinking? Its a bloody theatrical piece, its teaching kids about the world around them. You would think we were trying to brainwash them,I do object to the word queer being used though, all this recalim the word bollix they are using lately gets on my t!ts….


    1. Staircase2 4 Jul 2011, 6:35pm

      Does it? lol
      As I’ve said elsewhere: its a word which has been used in Gay Politics now for about 30 years – its not a ‘recent reclaim’ as you seem to believe – its been in use for around 30 years now – since the mid 80s at least.
      So its a little late in the day to be objecting to it – its probably older than you are! lol

      1. Agree with Luke. The word has been around far too long, and overstayed its welcome. Ditch it.

  8. I don’t see anything sensitive at all. The line all it is says he prefers lads to lass’s

    Wow that’s so bad >.>

    I swear the world is reverting to the 70’s

    1. Paddyswurds 4 Jul 2011, 12:36pm

      ….well the Law and Justice Tories are back in power so no change there. By the time we get rid of them at the next general election we will all be back in the closet “where we belong”

  9. I can’t see anything that anyone could sensibly object to. With the vast funding cuts to the Arts going on I am amazed that Opera North has funding. In order to receive funding they need to have an equal ops policy and to comply with it! In light of this their funding should be CUT!

  10. Opera North are receiving £100,60274 of public money from the Arts Council this year. In order to get this money they need to have an equal ops policy. I suggest we all complain to the Arts Council and ask for funding to be withdrawn immediately if this homophobia does not stop now.

  11. According to the Opera North website the school is Bay Primary School.

  12. Section 28’s legacy lives on!

    1. Jock S. Trap 4 Jul 2011, 12:53pm

      Actually worse with Labour’s Amendment 70.

  13. Sorry for misplaced comma. That should be £10,060,274

  14. I used to teach children at primary school and I can assure everyone here that practically all children today are fully aware of the existence of “gays”. What shocked me when I was teaching primary children was that they not only knew about gays but they also had very very strong feelings AGAINST THEM. All of these prejudices had been picked up in their homes. The children were merely aping the hatreds of their parents. It’s strange when you are a gay teacher and all your delightful little “kiddies” look up at you and inform you how vile queers are and what “dirty things they do to each other”.
    SHAME on the people who want this reference removed from the score.

  15. From Bay Primary website: ‘Promotes positive attitudes, progress and commitment to education’ Yeah, right.
    I bet there is some xtain fundie behind this, there usually is.

  16. zygo ville 4 Jul 2011, 2:00pm

    As Angie K (above) indicates, the school’s hypocritical message suggests tolerance where none exists in practice, at least as far as we’re concerned. There’s an anti-bullying policy too, which doesn’t say ‘except for gays’, so that’s more hypocrisy. Worryingly, there’s no indication on the website that Bay Primary is a faith school, which might at least explain the whole thing.

  17. zygo ville 4 Jul 2011, 2:01pm

    re above – I meant ‘might have explained’ – had Bay Primary been a faith school – just to clarify!

  18. Email sent to Opera North, Arts Council, East Riding Council, Bay Primary School (including governors), EHRC, Dept for Education and a few other interested parties.

    So far Opera North have sent me a holding reply and promised to reply personally in the future. Stating there is a volume of interest in this issue. Please increase the volume folks.

    1. Jock S. Trap 4 Jul 2011, 3:24pm

      Yep, done same!!

      1. Have emailed Opera North and asked about their efforts for equality and WHERE their back bone is …?

        I hope Lee Hall is able to stick to his guns on this issue, Mike Furbank sound a tad stupid asking for a “Sensitive reworking” of the scene.

        IF this is pulled and Opera North shows no attempt to back Lee Hall im sad to say it but that will be the last time i spend any of my money to go and see their productions and i shall make sure ALL the people i know stop !!!

    2. This also sounds like a case for “MediaWatch”
      Joins us on mypinknews

      1. Are you on facebook as well JohnK?

        1. I have quite a few references I would like to send you to show some of the appalling reporting on this

  19. Where is the Equality Minister’s voice in the mix? Anywhere? Nope. Thought not! Step up and do your job luv!

  20. I’ll bet if those lines were kept in the play none of the kids would even care. As usual it’s homohphobic parents using their kids as a shield to voice their own issues using the “wont somebody think of the children?” bulls**t. Kids pick up on what they’re taught, if no-one made a fuss of this then the kids wouldn’t either. Homophobia lives on from parents like this passing their issues on to the next generation.

  21. Another Hannah 4 Jul 2011, 5:58pm

    I’m glad this has been seen, because there is an awful lot of this up here in the north, and I’ve been saying for a long time that it isn’t just having the legislation support you. You’ve actually got to be able to have access too and be able to use the legislation or else it’s worthnothing and pointless. I’ve never seen an organisation given 10 million that blatantly supports discrimination before, but the volunteers organisation in Blackpool were supporting and helping the opera groups that dicriminsted against me, and it was obvious that the laws were being broken, but it was just allowed to carry on. There are many groups up here inthe north with accreditation and logos and all kinds of stuff there, and you know it’s all rubbish because you know of discrimination that’s happened, but it’s just been allowed to continue, and in the end it comes down to a very nasty business.

  22. Another Hannah 4 Jul 2011, 6:02pm

    (cont) what I find amazing is that Opera North are very clearly not obeying the law, but are allowing discrimination, and now seem to have gone even further down that line, by siding with the school, and saying they think it’s reasonable to censor this innocuous line. Yet they are still getting 10 million of public money. What happened to these equality policies are they all worth nothing, and whan are we going to get a body that checks and regulates on these issues?

  23. The opera and aclu, advocates glaad, all lgbt families organizations must get that school for discrimination, half of the kids in schools are gay in or out of the closet, half of the families or gay and all families have gay famiily immediate or down the line, gay families pay alot of money to go to operas the same as they do shopping in business stores, you take their money , and you had better start respecting their famiilies you start putting gay characters in all entityies from tv, to other activities, we dont want to just see hetersexual key figures around us , they are a disgrace and we must have diversity we dont want to see all of one color in our face everyday either, you get the racism and bigotryr out of those sschools and make su;re the gay children no who those gay fig;ures are in those roles and operas, so they can see mentors of themselves and its good for their self esteem and goal in life , this sschool must be reprimanded for the insults and discrination and horrific

  24. we want the sschools reprimanded and sued for abuse of childrens self esteem, gay role models in different fields are paramount for gay children everywhere, you do not tell a gay child that we only like hetersexual opera actors to be seen not your families, action must be taken we all know we are sick of the hetersexual evils they are nobodys role models they are in divorce court for pediphilia and sex crimes against children everyday, they are sending the wrong message to gay children and gay advocates and glaad , aclu had better take action on this matter immediately and make this school take those kids back and see the opera with gay people in them also, you must diviersify the entire system in the insane bigoted nation, with hetesexual instigators

  25. Staircase2 4 Jul 2011, 6:22pm

    This is illegal surely?

  26. This shows the mental illness homophobic people have clearly. The show is about a boy who wants to dance. A boy who likes to dance people, it happens all the time, boys dance, really it is going to be ok. Not all boys will see this and start dancing, LOL.

  27. Mike Furbank, East Riding council’s head of improvement and learning, told the newspaper he hoped the project could be salvaged by “sensitive reworking” of the scene.

    “sensitively” pretending that gay people don’t exist more like!

  28. I wonder – if this could be seen as political campaigning, it could be construed as a contravention of Charity Commission guidelines ‘Speaking out: Guidance on Campaigning and Political Activity by Charities’ (Document reference CC9 There is also the guidance from ‘Promotion of Equality and Diversity for the benefit of the public’ (here and publication RR12 (here, clause 21 of which is possibly of importance to this discussion (as could be 26, 27 and 28).

    Perhaps Opera North would be minded to give up it’s Charitable status in return for being able to censor productions in this way.

  29. Incidentally, Opera North is also based at the Leeds Grand Theatre, which is owned by Leeds City Council. I don’t imagine that the exorcism of LGBT characters from ON’s productions would be in line with LCC’s policies on equality.

  30. Check this out ….

    Some of the commentary afterwards is more interesting …

    Not just mine …

      1. Thanks Stu, Very interesting
        “Opera North does not consider the subject matter to require censorship nor do we feel that the inclusion of the themes was inappropriate to the intended audience and participants; and there was no attempt to excise a gay character from the piece.”
        There so was an attempt to excise a gay character, who are they trying to kid

  31. douglas in canada 4 Jul 2011, 11:35pm

    I once commented on something similar back in August 2010. The comment still applies…

    “hmm, I have a book here at home, which includes stories of:
    – sisters having sex with their dad,
    – parents not only beating their children, but also killing them,
    – children killing their parents,
    – leader-sanctioned rape and genocide,
    – societal-sanctioned polygamy,
    – and a bunch of other things.

    And the book is my public library and probably in many school libraries, even accessible to young children. What should I do to get it banned?

    The title?
    ‘The Holy Bible’ “

  32. If he can’t tell the story the way that it needs to be told, then he needs to take it somewhere else. He should NOT have to compromise. Forget the kids, forget the school- why should he be forced to change his work and something that he deems relevant to the story?

  33. TrollFromGaza reported as: Hate speach, inflammatory and offensive language against minority group: Religious hatred, offensive portrayal of religious and racial group, implied threat.

    1. The comments on are un-moderated, I have seen worse not removed, so dont hold your breath about anything being removed as its his opinion and view, of which e is entitled to.

      1. I see the Troll has left the building…. and not a moment too soon.

  34. Not every tv show, theatre play, etc has to have a gay person or reference in it they are allowed not to have one. There is nothing wrong with this.

    It is not compusary, and it is their choice to pull if they are not happy with the matter.

    I wish people would stop meddling and just get on with their lives, clearly have too much time on their hands complaining about every single thing.

    This doesn’t effect you personally.

    1. So you are saying that the writer should be censored and stopped from having a gay character?


    2. “Not every tv show, theatre play, etc has to have a gay person or reference in it they are allowed not to have one. There is nothing wrong with this.”
      This peice has a gay character
      The writer wanted to keep his gay character
      This is clearly an attempt to excise a gay character
      Matt, I find it also bizzare that you cannot see this

  35. I’m a primary school teacher and there’s a definite fear in many schools of having to discuss sexuality with the children. There’s a sort of ‘head in the sand’ attitude, as if, if we don’t talk about sexuality, it isn’t homophobia. I think it stems from a fear of offending religious parents. I’ve taught in (non-religious) mainstream schools where halloween isn’t mentioned because there are evangelical parents who would complain.

  36. poeticgirl 5 Jul 2011, 9:09am

    Yes we fear now that Tories are running the country thanks to the assistance given by the Lib Dems (who used to believe in equality for all remember) now are reversing many equality legislation and we won’t see LGBT awareness in schools so long as tories are still in power

    1. In terms of LGBT rights in the first 13 months of this government – lots … seems local government especially East Riding Council take a different view

  37. Just noted someone is miss using my name “myself” and have reported it. Some people can’t even manage their own opinion to be attached to their name. How sad.

  38. OperaNorth 6 Jul 2011, 12:36pm

    An update on Bridlington, progress has been made but discussions continue

  39. Andrew Wells 4 Jul 2011, 11:23am

    ROFL! You call yourself “TrollFromGaza” and yet you put the Jyllands-Posten cartoon of Muhammed as your pic? You really need to sort yourself out dear xD.

  40. Why on earth would you be viewing PInk News dear – maybe its gaydar you require?


  41. I really wish they would keep a closer eye on these ‘care in the community’ folk

  42. Jock S. Trap 4 Jul 2011, 11:48am

    With all that bullsh!t, does anyone else smell a “Rich”?

  43. I think its more ironic than moronic?

  44. I certainly do smell a Rich – and not a very clever one at that

  45. Yep, its Rich the animal – trying out yet another persona, this time with the good English hat on. Fool that he is.

  46. Troll is telling lies and being offensive …

    He also thinks he can call us names and boss us about

    Whats he doing on a gay site anyway … deranged fool

  47. “Your infidel lies will cease.”

    Yeah, what are you going to do about it Rich/Troll? Oh, yes, that’s right, absolutely nothing at all.

  48. Jock S. Trap 5 Jul 2011, 8:07am

    Clearly he’s been given the wrong medication!

  49. See how these muppets hijack a thread with a view to stifling the oxygen of debate.
    Simple – Cut off their (O2 tube) !!!

  50. Jock S. Trap 5 Jul 2011, 11:59am

    Yep JohnK, it’ll never work.

    Thinking his medication will kick in soon, poor deluded fella.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.