heteronormative world

I don’t mind gay people just wish they wouldn’t be so gay.

The closet is a lonely place. Really lonely. If you aren’t true to yourself you will never find happiness or love. I spent the 80s and some of the 90s in the closet and it made me miserable. I felt I couldn’t tell anyone that I was gay because of the rejection and fear it would cause.

Footballers and pop stars are no exception. There is an underlining fear that if you do come out then somehow your life will never be the same and that’s true to a certain extent. There is a fear that you won’t be accepted in the wider world. Best to keep things quite and live a heteronormative life.

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I said it hundreds of time ‘Im not gay’ not only to others but to myself. Its speculation and enquiry that has lead to a lot of denials. Social media rushes to defend those who have publicly denied their sexuality. But as I always argue it’s not about whether someone is gay or straight it’s about honesty.

We value honesty above other virtues. Sometimes it can be brutal to hear but I would rather know in the end. Denial of sexuality isn’t be honest to others and most importantly yourself. I have experienced first hand the damage that it can do psychologically to someone who is struggling to come to terms with their sexuality.

I watched a programme about Liberace and how he was in utter denial about who he really was and his sexuality. Eventually his denial would lead to his death as he contracted HIV and refused medical treatment for the condition. This maybe an extreme example of denial but ultimately and sadly it’s consequences.

I think when you are mature enough and brave enough you should tell people who you are. The ones who stick around and are with you years later are the ones who love you. There is a reason why those people are in the past. Things do get better and it may not be great at first. My mother didn’t speak to me for days when I came out to her but it did get better and we were closer than before.

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Christian Institute

I got a pathetic response but hey at least it was a response. 

This week parents of a pupil removed their child from a school because a boy wanted to wear a dress and be known as a girl. In 2017 it might seem laughable and trivial but to a Christian couple it meant disrupting a child’s education.

I remember being hauled into the head’s office at school to help deal with a pupil who had been bullied. He wasn’t getting support or receiving praise for being different but my boss at the time was berating him for bringing in a school back that was different.

“Why can you bring something in that’s like everyone else?” She asked.

“Because I want to be me and this is who I am…” he replied.

There wasn’t a ‘Glee moment’ where the head teacher congratulates the pupil for their individuality and praises them for being who they are but tries to solve the intolerance and bullying by denying one person’s freedom of expression. All in a school bag.

My thoughts are clear on my former boss. She was a morally corrupt and bereft of humanity and empathy. She didn’t give a shit about her charges but was terrified that the  whole system would come down crashing at her feet.

My letter to the Christian Institute asking to speak about why their news feed was unbalanced was finally met with a response.

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Their opinion was that they just wouldn’t engage.

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Despite my years of experience dealing with church matters and education in this area.

The parents action which no doubt will be backed by the Christian Institute to further their growing sense of victimisation. But this is just the very reason why so many people now say that they have no religion. They are turning away from established religions in many parts of the world. The church and their non-sensical illogical beliefs have isolated themselves from the world. They will soon be made of mainly fanatical fringe belief systems. Where once the Church of England was the back bone of English society and culture soon it will become nothing more than Westboro Baptist lite.

 

 

Bletchley

They seemed like a group of WI or some nursing home had a day out … but it was very different. 

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These men and women were gathered to remember the outbreak of war in 1939. They all worked at Bletchley Park during the second world war and were part of a highly secretive group who were there to intercept the German communications and break codes that the enemy was using to keep their movements and plans secret.

To others they are heroes, a term quickly dismissed by some of the group who were in this reunion, which, to me, strengthens my belief that these people are unique and should be celebrated. They didn’t see that their work was in part bringing an end to the mass killing of millions of people. They didn’t need medals or adulation, they were simply doing their job.

The UK and the world would be a very different place had Hitler and the Nazi’s succeeded in their quest for dominance. I have the utmost respect and honour for these people and proud of the work that they did in breaking Germany’s secrets. In a time of uncertainty and ‘rumours of war’ I feel we can declare these people ‘heroes’.

Freedom of speech

Have we lost the ability to speak freely and have the right to say how we feel without offending?

As a committed ‘lefty loony’ and part of the ‘liberal establishment elite’ I’m aware that I am committed to equality for everyone and that hate speech has no place in a normal civilised world. But have we gone too far? Are we actually able to say what we feel?

In the 80s I used to watch a programme called ‘Allo ‘Allo. It was a comedy programme set during the Second World War and was extremely funny. I mentioned it to a friend who said that she didn’t watch it as it perpetrated stereotypes of people from other countries. I thought it was a little harsh and over the years I realised I just couldn’t agree with her.

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If you look at comedies and other forms of humour a lot of characterisations are based on stereotypes. The slightly racist (Basil Fawlty – Germans) the homophobic (Jack – Will and Grace – Girl Trouble) where Jack makes derogatory remarks about a lesbian couple. We delight in characters that can make us laugh about our lives and try not to take things too seriously.

In the UK hate speech is defined if someone “Using threatening abusive, insult words or behaviour …” whether its spoken or written and likely to stir up racial hatred. So parody of someone with the intent of humour is certainly different from someone who intends to cause a reaction whereas it will inflame hatred amongst certain groups.

Free-Speech

I don’t like Milo Yiannopoulos. I think he is an appalling person with abhorrent views. But his right to free speech turns problematic when he like others of the ‘alt-right’ make gross generalisations of certain groups. It becomes more problematic as social media and similar platforms have allowed everyone to have their say and at the moment it’s a deafening cacophony of noise. Where no one hears anything or understands it.

In watching some reaction to protests in the USA it’s interesting to see that people seem to be ‘triggered’. That the minute that someone opens their mouths to speak it seems to offend.

A lot seem to be protesting that we cannot say anything without being censored. Although the above cartoon is a parody of this, there are numerous incidents when genuine free speech has been censored. This worries me greatly and I think this, like other trends that have come from the USA, will soon arrive in the UK and increase over next few years.

I know that a lot people don’t like gay people and marriage equality. I will defend the right of people to say that they don’t agree with it. But when you try and stop someone marrying or even having a relationship with someone of the same sex then it becomes a problem.

*Gay people shouldn’t be able to marry – no problem

*Gay people should be killed for who they are – Hate speech

*White, black, interracial, old, young.

 

I despise myself

I hate it’s the run up to Christmas. It always reminds me of what I don’t have.

I mention the word Christmas in September on social media and I know it usually gets a collective ‘pffft’ of contempt. But there is a reason for mentioning it and I hate myself for doing it. But I am hurting.

Usually it was a time for planning the run up to the season for mum and me. I would buy discounted Christmas cards and each month think about what presents to buy to spread out the costs. In the last few years of mums life this became more of a role I would fulfil entirely as she had lost the ability to write.

I miss my mother terribly. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her. When you spent a good proportion of your life looking after someone there death leaves a gap that you try to fill. It will never work, as the only thing that mends it is having the person back with you.

So if I mention Christmas don’t get too angry with me it’s my nervousness and loss coming through. It get’s worse as Christmas draw near.

I deliberately made the title of this blog post a click-bate one. I wanted to see if this actually improves the amount of people reading my blog. Just for another few posts I will be writing titles that encourages people to be readers.

Forward to the past

Despite being stored in a shed for fifteen years they are in surprisingly good condition.

I thought it was right time (along with the other 200 million people) to bring my vinyl collection back to life. At the moment I am listening to a vinyl LP from 1982. I am lucky enough to be old enough to say I lived through the eighties and enjoyed every moment of it. I have love music ever since I can remember and vinyl was the way.

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During my PGCE year I met and ridiculed a lovely friend Jeremy; berating him for having only vinyl in his collection. I was a CD/Cassette man. Technology = good – old vinyl shit = bad. I apologised to him recently and I publicly apologise to him now. I couldn’t be more wrong about something.

I did spend a large amount in the 90s driving long distances. I had to drive all the way from Oxford, if I wanted to visit home. According to google maps (I cannot leave other technology behind) it should take me five hours to drive there. In the 90s it use to take around about six. Music was via cassettes as having a turntable in the car would be a little silly.

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So now I am listening to those vinyl’s from the 80s. I got a Cliff Richard vinyl for my 19th birthday. Hey you can take the piss but I have always be alt-trendy. Goodness knows what my parents must have thought of me. Oooo don’t go there. That’s A WHOLE other story.