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Friday, March 06, 2009

"Openly gay" 

On Tuesday in Bickley (an area not far from where I live and near to David's house) a gay man and his partner were stabbed on their doorstep. One of the couple died and the other was very badly injured.

There were countless news stories about the crime: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/7923868.stm

While this is a shocking crime, what annoyed me enough to write this piece was the shameful use by some of the press (The Daily Mail mainly) of the statement, apparently from the Police, that the men were apparently attacked because of their "openly gay lifestyle".

I absolutely hate that phrase.

Saying that someone is openly gay implies that they are supposed to hide it, to keep it secret. To say that it is a reason for an attack implies that we only had ourselves to blame. If only we'd pretended to be straight. If only we'd hid ourselves away. If only we lied, butched up, married, caused decades of hell for some poor cow dragged into marriage to act as a beard. If only.

No-one is ever labelled as being "openly straight" are they?

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