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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Camping exhibition 

This is something I wrote a few days ago on the Newsshopper blog...

I am gay. I do not try to hide it nor, more importantly from my point of view, do I flaunt it. I only mention it now because it is relevant to the story and it uniquely qualifies me to make comments that men who walk on the straighter side of the street cannot make without angering the PC brigade.

Last night, I shared a carriage on the train with a young man who made sure no-one was in any doubt about his sexuality. His voice, the way he dressed and his whole body language screamed "I am gay" at the tops of their metaphorical voices.

This annoyed me.

Why did he make it everyone's business that he was gay? Did any of us care? Did he think the men in the carriage were interested in him? I certainly wasn't even though he tried making eye contact several times during his extremely loud conversation on his phone.

That probably would have annoyed me on its own. As you know, I'm not a great fan of people who need to share their conversations with the world. That he conducted the conversation in in one of those awful affected voices that sounds something like a cross between a navvy on helium or a lady who gargles with nails, annoyed me more.


I'm not sure why he annoyed me so much. I think maybe that I felt he was letting the side down by acting like a stereotype from the seventies.

OK, I suppose it is good that the guy felt comfortable enough with himself to be able to be so open in public and there is an argument that people should be themselves and not feel repressed but I can't help feeling that this boy was being nothing but selfish.

He was forcing people to see him as gay first and a human being second. How will that affect the way other gay men are seen?

It's people like him that make me want to hand in my membership card and ask for my money back.

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