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Clare Balding says her grandmother told her she was ‘disgusting’ for being a lesbian

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  1. nixi otemba 1 Dec 2013, 9:26am

    how is this a life”style” choice, I wonder

    1. Agree 100% but then I’ve always found her odious.

  2. My ‘lifestyle choice’? Lifestyle choice?! I didn’t realise you could choose to be gay, or that it was a lifestyle. As a ‘gay icon’, she needs to choose her words more carefully whilst attempting to represent gay people in the superficial celebrity lifestyle that she has chosen to lead.

    As for her partner saying we need to tackle Britain’s homophobia before we turn to Russia’s. Why can’t we do both? And she has a clear conscious going to the Olympics as a commentator? Well, I’m sure the cheque must be very big.

    And as for the motorway analagy. Going against the traffic? Junctions that are not marked? It’s obviously different for all of us, but the ‘road of my sexuality’ was clearly marked with a big sign that said ‘GAY’ on it.

    These two really need to think about the messages they are putting out there if they are going to speak so publicly about being gay.

  3. Midnighter 1 Dec 2013, 12:11pm

    I disagree with the reported comment from Alice Arnold. We in the UK may not have conquered this particular mountain of prejudice and discrimination (which is clearly Alice’s concern) but it behoves us to offer assistance to those who follow so very far behind, just as we have learned from those who are ahead of us.

    As far as Claire’s Granny, what is truly “disgusting” is proudly rejecting your own family because of your own personal failings and not seeing the hypocrisy. What is truly disgusting to me is living through a period which has seen a holocaust and the struggle for women’s rights and racial equality, and STILL apparently having learned nothing from it.

  4. Along with nixi otemba above, I’m disappointed by Balding’s use of the term “lifestyle choice” – I was quite taken aback when I heard it half an hour ago. It’s difficult enough to try and stop the bigots using the term without gay people saying it too.

  5. Claire Balding is a national treasure and one of my favourite TV presenters. However, I can’t help but cringe when I read phrases such as “lifestyle choice”, a favourite of bigots everywhere. It is neither a lifestyle of a choice. It is an immutable characteristic of certain people in society. I hope the views of her grandmother have since evolved considerably.

  6. Christopher in Canada 1 Dec 2013, 2:14pm

    I’d say her grandmother was disgusting for not using the eyes/ears/brain she was born with and choosing to simply follow the herd in her prejudices, typical of the era. No wonder the ’60’s happened.

  7. I find Claire Balding’s use of the phrase “lifestyle choice” very disappointing.

    Furthermore, she says she has a clear conscience about Sochi while in the summer, she took a public stand against sexism when she refused to attend the Open golf tournament at a club which doesn’t allow women. It’s inconsistent to say the least.

    I wonder if Claire Balding is perhaps not 100% comfortable with her sexuality, given what she has said and her hypocritical attitude over the golf tournament and the winter olympics.

  8. What’s more “disgusting” is that Balding, who enjoys the freedom to live her “lifestyle choice” is happy to give support to an event in a country where, had she been one if its citizens, she would have been sacked for being gay. Disgraceful.

  9. soapbubblequeen 1 Dec 2013, 3:39pm

    Evil homophobic old bag. Hope she’s dead.

    1. Her granny?

  10. I’m going to ask the question everybody is thinking of but nobody will ask lest they be thought to be homophobic: Why do so many lesbians look like men?

    1. If you think it through, the converse of your fatuous question might be… why do so many men look like lesbians?
      I you looked like me, I’d look like you.
      Clare Balding just looks like Clare Balding to me.

    2. O Fnarr fnarr. Don’t be a dick.

  11. I listened to Claire this morning on Desert Island Discs and was moved by what she was saying. And lets take this thing in context. She has been with her partner Alice for 11 years. The Mail on Sunday outed her 10 years ago. She needed to talk to her grandmother about it and clearly was anxious about the hurtful reaction. I took the ‘lifestyle choice’ quote to be referring to the fact that she was then living with her partner. She could not choose her sexuality but she could choose to recognise her relationship with her partner in front of her grandmother. Its a traumatic event being outed by a national newspaper – I know I have been through it – so lets not jump up and down and get excited about a phrase that was very common at the time. Clare stuck to her guns and did not deny her partner.

    As to the Russian Olympics – I fervently believe we take our lead from the LGBT Groups in Russia who are clearly stating that they want people to go and not boycott.

  12. What a ridiculous berk Alice Arnold is to say let’s tackle britains homophobia before Russia’s. Presumably she is against all foreign aid too. She’s just trying to justify Baldings decision to put her career first. If Balding makes a bold statement when she’s there – FOR THE RUSSIANS TO HEAR – then fair enough. But will she????

  13. Strongfemme 1 Dec 2013, 7:10pm

    Boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014.
    Equally and Justice must prevail a tarnished gold medal.

  14. I remember when I said to my mother that some day I’d take someone home to meet the family. She said that she’d hope she never lived to see it. Fast forward 10 years. She read at my wedding, calls to talk to my husband almost more than to me, brags to everyone at how successful and talented her son-in-law is… She grew up in the Depression – a different time. It doesn’t however mean that she can’t change, if given the chance.

  15. Both my parents and my grandmother were very negative in their reactions to my coming out at the age of 21. My grandmother, born at the turn of the 19/20 Century, said, “You are more to be pitied than condemned”, whereas my mother said, “You will be damned”. However! … my grandmother died before my mother and father gradually transformed in their responses to me, and to my partner, because, I believe, they were initially simply afraid of what they had never had to know in any personal way until I faced them with it. Similar with my brother, who was intimidating to me when I went on tv in the 80s to say AIDS isn’t a gay disease… subsequently he learned by personal experience and now, I’m glad to say, my partner and I couldn’t ask for a more friendly relationship with him…. Takes people a long time, sometimes.

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