I've experienced homophobic abuse in London three times. The first happened when I was 22, and I was caught in a heaving Friday night crowd outside Tottenham Court Road tube station. Across a sea of faces, I made eye contact with a young, white male with a shaven head. He snarled at me: 'fucking poof!'
For a 16 year old who is confused about their sexuality, to hear, "...that's so gay" on a daily basis in the classroom, they look to their teachers to take a stand and stamp out any behaviour, with absolutely no hesitation. I know that the majority of our teachers would do this, however all teachers must be more confident to tackle this issue straight away.
The word "tradition" is so often misunderstood to mean the dragging heels of a conservative past, whereas modern traditions actually include our calendar customs such as Halloween and April Fools, our music and dance, our games and sports, almost all the foods we eat, the stories we tell, and so much more.
The sex positions are drawn as cartoons. It's worth pointing out that the pictures which feature alongside many of Cosmo's sex tips for straight couples are of real-life people. The fact they've used cartoons to illustrate these "mind-blowing" lesbian sex positions is cringe-worthy, creepy and actually quite offensive.
What I'm saying to Sam Smith is that he might not want to be a spokesperson for gay rights, but as far as I care he doesn't really have a choice in the matter. If he wants to sit next to Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus at the VMAs, then he's going to have to face up to the fact that his words have weight to them now.
It's 2014 and there are still no openly LGBT people in English football. Not a manager, a player, nor even a physio. Other sporting organisations in the traditionally more conservative United States such as the NFL and the WWE and even Rugby Union and cricket here are streets ahead of 'the beautiful game' when it comes to equality.
I am gay and I am Christian, and to most people, that's okay... But the problem I've faced is telling Christians. In theory this should be fine: you go on classic theology and teaching to "love your neighbour as yourself", feed the hungry, care for those in need. The list goes on. In reality there have been times where the teachings I've heard have felt like a condemnation.