Mims' Musings

Archive for April 2011

On Thursday evening I was driving home from my boyfriend’s house when I heard Iain Dale on LBC talking about the gay couple who were ejected from the John Snow pub in Soho after they were seen kissing.

For those of you who haven’t heard, the two men were first confronted by a fellow customer asking them to stop kissing. To which they politely replied that they were sitting in a corner, and as he’d had to turn around to confront them, perhaps he could turn away if he was offended. They were then asked to leave by a uniformed member of staff, then forcibly removed.

Iain Dale covered this story in the context of whether public displays of affection are appropriate, between either straight or gay couples. When a caller representing a pro family organisation called the show, I braced myself for what she might say, yet found myself shocked by the pure hypocrisy of what followed.

She was asked whether she felt public displays of affection were appropriate, she responded that between “normal” people they are, then a few minutes later, when asked if public displays of affection were appropriate between same-sex couples, she said that they weren’t. Although I knew that her reaction would be something along those lines, I found myself getting really angry with her tone which was laced with disapproval and judgement. Her main line of argument was that homosexuality is simply “abnormal”. When Dale replied with scientific statistics regarding what percentage of the population are homosexual, she was very quick to dismiss him as having “contempt for the norm”.

To my dismay as the conversation with Dale continued, and he tried to make the caller realise how unreasonable she was being, she clearly crossed the line from judgemental to offensive by comparing  homosexuality to paedophillia. She then tried to argue that lesbianism was acceptable as women had always enjoyed each other’s companionship, but she then described homosexuality between males as ‘grotesque’ to watch as they are “sweaty and hairy”. She then went on to describe watching public displays of affection between a male gay couple as “unnatural”  and that any “normal” person feels their stomach drop if they see them kiss.

I felt furious that an educated woman living in 21st century Britain could still hold such beliefs. Especially when she began to compare homosexuality with being like a “mental illness” or “disorder” like paedophillia. I also found it strange that this could happen in Soho, which is a liberal part of London with several gay pubs where pretty much any lifestyle is accepted.

Although I’ve been raised in a Catholic family and I happen to be straight, my parents have always taught me that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of class, race or sexuality.There will always be prejudice passed down from generation to generation through ignorance, but if you don’t show tolerance towards a particular group, then what’s stopping them from harbouring hate towards some aspect of you? Then will there ever be an end towards the spiralling cycle of hate?

Ultimately, maybe the answer as suggested by the couple who were kicked out of the pub, for an act of love and affection, not violence, is to simply turn away if you’re offended. Why cause conflict in someone’s daily life when there’s so much conflict around the world already?

What do you think? Disagree or agree with me? Comment, discuss, let’s have an intelligent debate instead of everyone continuing to live in ignorance.


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