| Saturday 17th July 2010 7:10MDT | → 0 Comments |
This blog has indeed been in extended and spontaneous hiatus. Nothing is to be gained by explaining why.
However, I felt the need to cover the recent Supreme Court ruling [PDF] regarding the gay men seeking asylum in the UK - or more specifically the complete misinformation and even more complete homophobia demonstrated by the British tabloids, ably assisted by a number of right-wing (and highly religious) politicans. The main reason for this post is the claim that the appellants wouldn’t face persecution for their sexuality in Cameroon if they just kept it quiet.
Now, to those who are critically-thinking impaired this sounds like an obviously sensible option - just hide your sexuality and you can live a long and happy life free of the danger of physical abuse or even death. What this is effectively saying is that you should stop being yourself and live a lie (as we have all had to do before we were ‘out’).
What the pundits don’t realise is that it goes far beyond just not showing any public affection to your boyfriend/partner. You have to construct an entire parallel life to the outside world that gives the impression you’re straight - and this is why a section of the Supreme Court ruling is such subtle genius:
In short, what is protected is the applicant’s right to live freely and openly as a gay man. That involves a wide spectrum of conduct, going well beyond conduct designed to attract sexual partners and maintain relationships with them. To illustrate the point with trivial stereotypical examples from British society: just as male heterosexuals are free to enjoy themselves playing rugby, drinking beer and talking about girls with their mates, so male homosexuals are to be free to enjoy themselves going to Kylie concerts, drinking exotically coloured cocktails and talking about boys with their straight female mates.
In other words, to hide their sexuality (or, to be more honest, their inherent personalities) they would have to employ completely absurd stereotypes about what it is to be straight - in exactly the same way that a straight man pretending to be gay would also be likely to employ the very worst tabloid/media-generated stereotype of queers. The thing about stereotypes is they aren’t real - they’re exaggerations and force people to categorise themselves in a way that is so false that no-one would want to live like that and should never have to. I know a lot of straight men who don’t play rugby or drink beer (to excess, is what I assume the reference means). Are they insufficiently hetrosexual? Is it about time they started acting ‘more straight’?
Needless to say, the self-same tabloids and pundits have completely misunderstood and misrepresented the judgement’s reasoning and Anne Widdecombe even revels in it without seeing the irony in her comments:
[they] seem to have wanted to come here merely so that they can be overt about their lifestyles.
She also seems to have missed a comment by one of the men who has claimed a lot of people in his village already know he’s gay, so I think fleeing to save your life is enough of a compelling reason, though Widdecombe seems to think his real intention is to come here to ‘act gay’ and threaten the social fabric.
Actually, I can’t waste any more time on her as she disgusts me. I think I’ve made my point.