Here's my dilemma - I'd like to poke Anne Widdecombe in the eye for being so ridiculously stupid. My problem is that I'm not sure what for, for being so unbelievably naive or for treating her readers with the contempt that only a small number of them deserve.
Anne's article in the Express comment section today, titled 'Helping those who aren't glad to be gay' attempts to create a idiotic argument weaved into 'matter of fact' language. It's arrogance floors me.
The premise is that there are gay people in the world who 'don't want to be gay' and there is no place for them to go to get 'help'.
You mean gay people exist who aren't entirely happy with who they are? Zut alors! You wouldn't have guessed from the dance floor at GAY bar or at your local sex orgy (the only places I imagine Anne thinks gays exist). Of course, Anne doesn't proffer any reasons why gay people would, at some point during their lives, wish they weren't gay. That doesn't matter. Reasoning is for liberal softies. Nothing to do with society norms, views, discrimination, inability to show feelings in public, the possibility of loss of family, friends or work colleagues.
She uses this ropey opening to attack journalist Patrick Strudwick who did some interesting investigation into the practice of counseling gay people. Anne attempts to bottom out (no pun intended) her argument by giving an example of when she was (apparently) a "trained" Samaritan - "If a man rang in and said he was gay we should never say, oh, that doesn't matter, it's OK to be gay, if he took the opposite view." Remind an depressed overweight woman never to ring the Samaritans, otherwise they might get the response "yeah, I agree you ARE fat, we should totally do something about that".
Anne Widdecombe has no concept of how it feels to be a second class citizen, because she doesn't accept that it exists. Everyone is the same, class, colour, sexuality doesn't really matter or exist. Everyone starts at the same place so what's the problem - it's the kind of simplistic equal that only exists in a small suburban bubble in Devon. The reality is that these things do matter - because of the attitudes of people like Anne Widdecombe. It's the real and very obvious irony of her argument.
And if that didn't get the Four Horses of the Apocalypse bolting then she turns to her good friend Islam as an example. Apparently, muslims are only homophobic because they can get away with it, and they can get away with it because the "gay lobby" (which is not, FYI Anne, the reception area at the local Chariots Sauna) only persecute Christians. Poor Christians. I mean, I guess they're not that bad, at least they don't advocate an intensive programme of therapy to try and convince gay people that everything they naturally feel is disgusting and wrong and that they'll go to hell.
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