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TV choirmaster experienced ‘juvenile’ gay rumours on entering media

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  1. Locus Solus 29 May 2012, 12:32pm

    Ugh, I can’t stand that bunch of singing hens. I’m glad he’s not gay, that way a gay/bi man can’t be blamed for inflicting those women upon us all. :p

    1. There is such a thing as an ‘off’ button, you know.

      1. Locus Solus 29 May 2012, 1:54pm

        Yes, I do. lol
        On/off they are still a bunch of old hens clucking off key.
        Why do people think that, because you can turn something over you shouldn’t complain? In spite of the fact that it was originally broadcast on the BBC ergo my licence paying money.
        The whole “Ohh those poor women have their men fighting abroad, how tragic/brave that they can sing!” angle which gets people paying to listen to them warble ticks me off. It also STINKS of misogynistic bullpoop…
        Oh well, people will do whatever I guess.

        1. Well, but your complaint wasn’t exactly relevant, was it? The article is about Gareth Malone’s comments in an interview, not a review of his output. (And in any event his first programme was forming a remarkably successful choir out of a bunch of schoolchildren.)

    2. Paddyswurds 29 May 2012, 1:27pm


      1. Paddyswurds 29 May 2012, 2:42pm

        My comment was for Locus Pocus above.

        1. Locus Solus 29 May 2012, 3:57pm

          lol “Locus Pocus” ^_^ x

  2. I’m rather offended by Mr Malone’s assertion that as a gay man I might be repressed because I’m not showy and have no interest in Julie Garland.

    I’ve never seen the programme or Mr Malone but have certainly met straight men who are flamboyant as I have gay men who are not. It’s sad that Mr Malone chooses to perpetuate a pernicious stereotype.

    1. I think you may be reading a little too much into a casual remark – I think his point is that stereotypes are tedious.

    2. It’s Judy Garland, dear x

      1. Oops. I kinda made my point there :-)

        1. I think you missed HIS point though. He was being sarcastic.

    3. Staircase2 29 May 2012, 3:23pm

      @Jaked – You’re missing the point

      Re-read the article (properly) – its clear that he’s saying that stereotypes don’t hold water…ie that not all camp men are gay and that not all gay men are camp, not all gay men are free and expressive and that not all str8 men are repressed and uptight…

    4. He was making the point that gay men do not conform to a stereotype.. Something that needs saying by people from the straight community as well as the LGBT community.

  3. There’s a peculiar perception among the average that anything to do with ‘art’ (in its broadest sense) must be ‘gay’ – “such creative people, don’t you know” – which is ironic given the noticeable underrepresentation of gay people among, especially, classical musicians and singers.

    1. Please. Classical music of the twentieth century would not exist without gay people. Samuel Barber, Benjamin Britten, Leonard Bernstein, Marc Blitzstein, Nadia Boulanger, Sylvano Bussotti, John Cage, Shura Cherkassky, Van Cliburn, John Corigliano, Henry Cowell, Sir Peter Davies, David Del Tredici, David Diamon, Manuel de Falla, Charles Tomlinson Griffes, Lou Harrison, Hans Werner Heinze, Vladimir Horowitz, Stephen Hough, Wanda Landowski, Colin McPhee, Dmitir Mitropoulos, Peter Pears, Francois Poulenc, Maurice Ravel, Ned Rorem, Camille Saint-Saens, Dame Ethel Smyth, Conrad Sousa, Karel Szymanowski, Virgil Thomson, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Michael Tippett, and these are just the tip of the iceberg. And that doesn’t even mention earlier composers such as Handel and Schubert and Tchaikowsky. To say nothing of all the one who are or were closeted.

      1. Please yourself. Put your neat alphabetical list into the context of all musicians of equal prominence (Colin McPhee, hardly a household name) on 2 continents over a century and do you seriously think it would even amount to 5%? I doubt it. I think you’ll find 20c music wouldn’t have been substantially different (unfortunately, perhaps) without gay people’s input.

        How many internationally-famous conductors today can you name who’re gay? Tilson Thomas and … erm…

        Pianists? Thibaudet, Hough and … erm …

        Opera or concert singers? Coote, Ainsley, Daniels and … erm …

        [You might want to note that Tchaikovsky isn’t ‘earlier’ than Saint-Saëns, nothing is conclusively known about Ravel’s sexuality, and Poulenc’s first name was spelt Francis.]

        1. Please yourself. My list was neither alphabetical (only roughly so) not was it meant to be complete. You seem to vastly overestimate the number of “household names” in classical music and underestimate the number of closeted people, as well as the homophobia in classical music. I am hardly the only person who has observed that American classical music of the twentieth century has been dominated by homosexual composers. Some have even complained of this.

          1. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but American classical music of the 20c does not represent ‘classical music’ as a whole.

            But my observation was in fact precisely to do with the homophobia in music, overt and covert, that frequently makes it difficult (I think) for gay people to make it to the top. Or even for a routine professional: I have a friend who’s a violinist and he has frequently toured with large orchestras where he is the only gay man: I think you’ll agree this rather undermines the popular notion that there’s something “gay” about the arts and those who’re part of them.

      2. despite this impressive (and yes, incomplete) list, my own experience in the world of classical music has been that there seems to be pretty much the same proportion of gays to straights as there is in any other field.

        And I actually work, 24/7 IN the field of classical music. I am constantly surrounded by classical musicians: performers, conductors, composers (of which I am), etc…

        I do remember my first years in college, being so earth-shatteringly disappointed that there seemed to be no gay guys in any of my classes, nor among my teachers. It turns out that almost ALL of my contacts with gay people were in school departments NOT related to the arts.

        But classical music in the 20th and 21st centuries would certainly “exist” without the slew of gay composers and musicians. It would be a very different musical landscape (a recent study appears to support the idea that one’s sexual orientation has a direct impact on one’s approach to composition, for example) but …

        1. it would exist nonetheless.

          I can certainly name as many composers and musicians as you have, that are heterosexual, and are as prominent in the field.

          1. And, perhaps even more to the point, I’m sure you could name at least 10 times as many.

      3. Hey Jay. Thanks so much for the bisexual erasure and misinformation Jay. There are quite a few bisexual people in your list. Probably at least one or two heterosexual and asexual people, and several misspelled names. Also some who are/were just the subject of persistent unconfirmed rumours. E.G. Vladimir Horowitz (married with one child) always denied he was homosexual. He may have been bisexual – although that doesn’t necessarily mean he ever had sex with another man. And indeed by that token Mr Malone (married with one child) might be bisexual too. What is really tedious is the monosexist mindset that insists on trying to label everyone and everything either “straight” or “gay”.

    2. Staircase2 29 May 2012, 3:26pm

      Mind you – Classical music is pretty dry (gay or str8 – theres precious few people who are into it; in large part because of its historic cultural snobbery)

      I constantly struggle with its elitism

      1. Do you struggle with elitism in athletics and sport (eg the Olympics) too, or does the fact that larger numbers of people get excited by it mitigate its dryness? (Give me a good concert over a race any day.)

      2. horse-pucky.

        There is nothing innately “snobby” about classical music.
        There is no such thing as “historic cultural snobbery”.
        YOU don’t get it. Fine. But don’t blame others for your not getting it.
        By your logic, ANY art is “dry” and snobby, whether it be literature, painting, theatre, etc… because any art requires a minimum of effort from the viewer to begin to appreciate. That’s not “snobbery”. It’s not “elitism”.

        It’s the difference between art that seeks to be universal and eternal (artists can dream, you know…), and art that is designed for mass-consumption and making as much money as possible before interest in it wains.

        If you want to see “snobbism” at its best, read the forums when there are discussions of Lady Gaga, or Madonna (or better yet, discussions involving both of them).

  4. Have to be honest, I thought that he was gay! Still, you live and learn and you would have at least thought that the media would not be as bad as a school playground!

    On another note, I was the opening of the Olympic Stadium a few weeks back, the Army Wives sung the national anthem. I have to say they were blooming awful, out of tune it really did sound like cats being strangled! Clearly they did not have the auto tune turned on!

  5. I am not sure how one is supposed to respond to a straight man complaining about people thinking he is gay. Is his point that he should be spared putting up what we have to put up with all the time because he really, really isn’t gay, so it isn’t fair to him? Not too much sympathy for him from me, partly because I remember an effeminate straight man claiming that people like him had it worse than gay men because they didn’t DESERVE to be treated that way since they really weren’t gay, while people like me (conventionally masculine gay men) could pass if we wanted to.

    1. Scott Lovely 29 May 2012, 2:58pm

      I read it that he has been homophobically bullied for being perceived to be gay, both at school and now at work. Homophobic bullying happens to people that are both gay, and those that are merely perceived to be gay.

    2. I haven’t read the interview itself but I get the impression he’s only complaining about the juvenility of the assumptions made (and their irrelevance). I don’t get the feeling he’s offended or wounded by the speculation, just bored.

    3. I sound English but I don’t like people assuming that I’m English because I am not. I’m Irish. My reluctance to be wrongly “labelled” holds no prejudice. Gareth seems like a decent, mature person. I am sure there is no slight in his remarks about people thinking he is gay.

  6. i prefer george clooney’s handling of gay rumours

    ‘…George Clooney has said he will never deny rumours that he might be gay because it would be ‘unfair and unkind’ to the gay community to give someone the opportunity to make it ‘seem like being gay is a bad thing’…’

    1. I do too but Malone, bless him, is hardly in Clooney’s class when it comes to influence.

      I also think his observations are to do with the fact that his sexuality is and should be irrelevant in what he does: the same cannot be said of Clooney, who at times plays romantic (non-gay) leads.

      1. to paraphrase Times’ legal manager Alastair Brett at leveson inquiry

        “My Lord, we’re being fantastically precise.”

        1. And shouldn’t we be? :-)

  7. Archbishop Cranberry 29 May 2012, 3:03pm

    Effeminacy is condemned by St Paul as a sin, so it is a violation of my civil rights if I am not permitted to relentlessly bully effeminate types until they mend their ways. Not!

  8. Archbishop Caries 29 May 2012, 3:06pm

    I wonder if effeminate people are allowed to stay in “Christian” hotels, even if they are married to women?

    1. Archbishop Cant 29 May 2012, 3:54pm

      Well if they are allowed to stay then it’s about time they were banned. Who are these people who dare call themselves Christian?

  9. Spanner1960 29 May 2012, 3:23pm

    Well I for one had my doubts for some time about him. He does fit a lot of the stereotypes, it has to be said, and on top of that, I think he’s rather cute too.

    Oh OK. Anybody can make a mistake, as the Dalek said climbing off the dustbin.

  10. Gareth who? Yawn.
    I’m astonished to find myself agreeing with Quentin Crisp. A modicum of talent was once necessary to celebrity; television has changed all that.

    1. Heh – well, Quentin Crisp should know, lacking even a modicum of talent himself, except for self-promotion (as I think he’d have admitted)!

      1. I think he could turn a phrase, at times brilliantly – and he was a pretty good writer. But (as is often not realised) he was a reactionary and was pretty contemptuous of the struggle for gay rights.

  11. Art Pearson 29 May 2012, 3:46pm

    It’s an unfortunate fact of life that if you walk like a duck, quack like a duck, people will thing you’re a duck. The only person that matters in all of this, is you yourself because you are the only person who knows who you realy are, married or not. (and I know lots of gay men who are married to women). Just don’t protest too much.

    1. Is it not the point, though, that being a little flamboyant, perhaps a little camp, and a musician have nothing necessarily to do with being gay?

      1. Spanner1960 29 May 2012, 7:36pm

        No, but you get a bloody good idea. One could say the same about male cabin crew or hair stylists.

        1. And all young black men are criminals and all South Asians are shopkeepers. What simple little worlds people who accept and promote stereotypes must live in!

          The two most successful and well-known UK hair stylists by far were/are Vidal Sassoon and Nicky Clarke, neither of them gay: does that upset your neatly ordered world-view?

          1. Spanner1960 30 May 2012, 8:55am

            Stereotypes are generalisations, that is true, but they don’t just appear out of the blue. Most are based on general concepts that have some basis in fact.

            Go ahead and pick out exceptions to the rule.
            I’m sure there are gay supportive Catholic priests, socialist American politicians and maybe there were even some decent N@zis, but that doesn’t mean the general belief doesn’t hold true.

          2. The danger is that generalisations are not only (obviously) narrow-minded but they encourage prejudice. And the corollary of the assumption that a slightly fey manner = gay is the belief that any gay person who is not so is only “straight-acting“. You may be comfortable with that, many people today are not.

            By the same token, the belief of many that all young black men are criminals does nothing for those who are not, does it? People in a civilised society generally strive to rise above facile stereotyping.

          3. Spanner1960 30 May 2012, 2:56pm

            Narrow-minded they may be, but I always judge a book by its cover and people are guilty until proven innocent. We may like to think life is perfect, but it isn’t, so I use my instinct and intellect to make guided personal judgements. I would rather be wrong and accused of narrow-mindedness, than right and been taken to the cleaners. Like I said, there are exceptions to the rule, but generally they invariably never fail me.

          4. If you used your intellect, you would know better than to judge a book by its cover. (Or perhaps you just don’t read many books!)

          5. Spanner1960 31 May 2012, 2:13am

            Metaphorically speaking, this is true. I dislike people even more than I do most books. All that bollocks about “loved and lost” – Alfred Lord Tennyson obviously never encountered the sort of c*nts I’ve ended up meeting.

          6. Could that possibly be because you [used to] seek, consciously or otherwise, people who perpetuate disappointing stereotypes? :-)

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