Longtime Tea Cosy readers will have heard of The Statistician. She’s the brilliantly snarky, smartass sumstress whose incredible baked creations have contributed a delightfully cinnamon-y layer to my more subcutaneous regions, while covering our apartment with pretty pieces of folded paper (check her out! There be geometry in them squares!)
Here, Eamon, I translated your article to make it a bit more to-the-point.
AS the cliche goes, some of my best friends are gay. I used to live in a very gay area, the West Village in New York. Indeed, enjoying their nightlife and cultural atmosphere, I was even accused of ‘trading’ off the fun, with my copycat denim jacket and tartan shirt, while not actually joining them.
“It’s okay that I’m opening with a sentence that almost always prefaces some serious homophobia, because – tee hee! – I’m AWARE of it!
However, like many, I’ve recently begun to get impatient with the endless trumpeting of gay ‘identity’, and the growing appetite for more and more rights and privileges.
I’m not being reactionary and I’m all for gay rights and an end to prejudice and discrimination, and always have, but at this stage it seems as if the tables have turned and a minority community — the gays — want to increasingly change mainstream culture to suit them.
For some reason, it bothers me that gay people might get close to having the same rights as me.
For example, why is civil partnership not enough, and why do gays also want marriage, a surely traditional heterosexual facility, which gays used to see as patriarchal, and ‘straight’?
It really bothers me that lots of gay people today want to get married. Why, some other gay people ages ago said they DIDN’T want to get married. What’s up with different people having different goals in life?
Many gays also feel this way and resist the increasing politicisation and institutionalising of gay life. Last week, in the Guardian, a newspaper almost obsessed with things gay and ‘progressive’, columnist Suzanne Moore objected to gay marriage on the basis that it was a conservative ‘selling-out’. Being gay should be edgy and experimental, she said.
If you like to have sex with people who have the same bits as you, it’s your job to be “edgy and experimental” – you’re not allowed want the same things as everyone else.
But isn’t this part of the problem? Many gays want to have it both ways. Thus gay magazines are full of ads endorsing late-night gyms, sex lines and a freewheeling sexual activity which would be dismissed as sleazy in heterosexual culture. But we also have articles that suggest a yearning for bourgeois respectability.
ARGH! Some gay people do want to settle down and get married and have jobs and babies. Other gay people want to go to lots of parties and are less enthusiastic about settling down. These two facts together are enough to break my brain! (Thank goodness straight people aren’t so confusing and variable, though.)
Likewise, travel books, such as the trendy Rough Guides, scold the mainstream ‘meat-market’ discos of foreign capitals but provide plenty of details for gay pick-up spots. Many red-blooded straight men might wish that society would endorse their own ambitions with such PC gusto.
Society does not expect straight men to be at all interested in sex. Let us all take a moment to pity them.
Also, on the issue of gays adopting, it makes many of us uneasy and impatient with the idea that raising a child with homosexual parents is totally equivalent to a child being raised by its natural heterosexual parents. It patently is not, and it is a crazy concession to PC culture to say that it is.
I’m just going to state that gay parents are terrible for the children. We all know it’s true, so I can skip the boring bit where I back up that statement with any actual facts or citations or references.
I watched a Frontline programme recently on the topic and I thought I was seeing things when I heard Ivana Bacik refusing to be happy with a societal acceptance of gay adoption but insisting on full equality with heterosexual parenting. David Quinn gave the other perspective, but he was almost falling over himself to be reasonable about it, just looking for that concession that the natural, or heterosexual, parents were not just the same as gay parents.
Those expressing opposition or even concerns were shouted down in the television studio. However, from where I was watching, in a local bar, the viewers were all of the contrary opinion, and were amazed by this departure in opinions but also blankly accepting of it as part of the growing gulf which now exists between mainstream society and the liberal elites and quango-led experts who want to change and improve our lives.
It’s really upsetting that an expert in law and human rights disagrees with me. Even the conservative Catholic arguing with her is not being hardline enough. The punters in the pub think I’m bang on the money, though, so it’s pretty clear that I’m in the right here.
For example, the Guardian now has a feature called The Three of Us in its family section, a weekly diary by one of two gay men raising a child with their female friend, the natural mother. Two dads, one mum — one family is the sub headline.
I don’t know about you but this strikes me as strange.
A liberal newspaper seems to think that a column about a two father/one mother family is of interest to their readers. Of course, their only reason for doing this is to upset me and the poor unfortunate privileged people like me.
And the counter-argument that divorced kids often have three parents knocking around is fatuous and nonsense. A child has two parents, whether separated or not. However, it is one thing to have such a diary, but it also seems almost designed to offend and irritate those who do not agree with this new radical departure in parenting. Thus, last week, the writer Charlie Condou questioned the whole convention of women being seen as naturally connected to their children. (Not for nothing is the Irish Independent’s weekly supplement called Mothers and Babies.)
This newspaper believes that the relationship between female parent and biological child is better and more important than any other parent/child relationship. Citation: this newspaper.
But no, Charlie went to the Alternative Families show in the UK and saw all the gay dads with their children. It’s just the same for him, it seems, and, he “stood around and chatted about the absurdity and irrelevance of the ‘biological question'”. Oh, please. What about breastfeeding?
There’s this guy, right, and he has the gall to say he thinks gay men can be parents. Like, what about the breastfeeding? That’s the most important thing you can do for an adoptive child (regardless of their age, I guess?) Heterosexual adoptive parents always breastfeed, you know.
And there are other things about the growing gay rights movement which make outsiders impatient and uneasy. Like, when did the gays and lesbian community become the ‘LGBT’, an acronym that also includes Bisexual and Transgender?
Sorry, but this is broadening the boundaries in a way that makes many of us understandably sceptical.
Bisexual? Isn’t that reminiscent of the loose Seventies sexual experimentation? How many bisexuals are there? And will the plain people of Ireland be happy with legalising rights for, and spending money on, all of this?
Yikes, I’ve gone fourteen whole paragraphs without bashing bisexuals and transgender people. What’s up with them? Do they even exist? Sheesh. Okay, prejudice on record, moving on.
The new Human Rights Commissioner for Northern Ireland, Michael O’Flaherty, is a gay rights advocate and says that he sees all of this as part of his rights agenda. Again, I raise all these things, not out of reactionary resistance but just to question the direction and motivation of the whole sexual rights agenda.
Now, the Human Rights Commissioner for Northern Ireland confirms that “gay rights” issues are indeed human rights issues. You might not think this supports my position, but since I’m clearly right it must do, yes?
There is also the danger surely that this insatiable demand for more and more recognition and identity (gay quotas?), will eventually alienate mainstream opinion and undo some of the valuable gains made in this country by, for example, David Norris and others, in eliminating prejudice and discrimination.
Lastly, let me point out that the inevitable consequence of treating gay people like people will be mandatory gay quotas. Now watch as I smooth over this lovely exercise in small-minded prejudice by namedropping a gay activist without bashing him. That’s how it’s done, folks.
Thanks to The Statistician! She blogs about folding pieces of paper into big complicated geometries over at Mostly Modular, but not often enough for my liking. Pop over there and tell her to post more!
For more reactions to the Sindo piece, check out alfla’s defence of bi and trans folks as well as same-sex parents, or pop over to LGBT Lib Dems NI for a hefty dose of reality.