You may have read pop singer Will Young's Huffington Post blog recently in which he rightly railed against park wardens who refused to help him find his dog Esme due to 'health and safety rules'. Three times the worried singer asked wardens for a lift in their vehicles to help search for his errant pooch and three times he was refused on 'health and safety' grounds.
Gay Pride has changed largely due to the context it now operates in. Gay rights have evolved so much it is just wonderful to be a part of a country that celebrates difference. There are still prejudices to overcome. Young gay people can still not feel comfortable at school. With the word 'dyke' being used 1000 times a day on Twitter, 'faggot' 4,500 times a day. With 26% of young gay people attempting suicide and 52% self harming and the word 'gay' banded around as a pejorative description of something defunct and wrong, Gay Pride's message should be about sustaining what we have and looking to improve the lives of young gay people. To protect them through education and allow our young people to see that difference isn't bad, it is something to be celebrated.
Talking about feelings runs the risk of ridicule and rejection. The idea of finally plucking up the courage to talk to someone about what is emotionally going on lays ourselves open and bare to others opinions and in worst case scenario judgment and rejection. What is more excruciating than chastising oneself for harboring feelings that aren't seen as healthy? To share these feelings and be judged and rejected by a family member or partner of friend. Who would risk that?
If you continually cater towards the worst case scenario all sense of individuality and creativity is lost. In the arts community a defensive attitude is what leads to dull records, drab theatre and films that are so formulaic thought is not necessary. The fear factor spills over into all avenues of life. I want to remain optimistic. I want to be allowed to act with some suitable risk and courage and I want responsibility for my life...
The House of Lords debated the government bill on gay marriage and came out with an overwhelming majority. Brilliant. Well done men in robes and we all go home? Not quite. As I listened to Lord Dear spew out his old-fashioned views on what marriage is. I thought to myself... why is this person having any say on and a potential threat to legislation? My annoyance with Lord Dear's statements is that they represent an archaic notion of the sanctity of marriage that is delusional at best and at worst misleading and fuel for the fire of homophobic rhetoric.
I guess Father Christmas must feel this way when he puts on the red coat and climbs into his sleigh. I am talking about the warm glow that returns seasonally once a year when BBCMusic Entertainment get out the glitter cannons and the reindeer hats and send for the neon signs that say 'TOP OF THE POPS'.