Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Am I the only person who is sick of the cry of HOMOPHOBIA - surely this is one of the most mis-used over-used labels around.

Apart from being etymologically rotten – strictly speaking it means “fear of same” – I hate the way it gets thrown around like a pot of tar.

It's supposed to mean an irrational fear of homosexuals/homosexuality, and as such was better known as “gay panic”. It has long been the defence of choice for gay bashers: “I was so horrified when he propositioned me that I panicked and bashed his head in, your worship.”

But when Jacinta Collins says the sight of bum-wagging woofters and boob-bobbling dykes at Mardi Gras doesn’t incline her to entrust us with marriage and children, that’s not fear of faggotry – that’s genuine distaste for the whole casual sex ethic that informs the event.

Where she errs is in assuming that such events are the epitome of gay culture. That we’re all aching to do it in the streets with whoever catches our eye. And asking the perfectly valid question, “Are these people ready for marriage and children? Are they responsible enough?”

This is the image press and television has fastened on and the one we gleefully collaborate with, serving it up year by year for their delectation. If it’s the only one most people see, and they find it distasteful, that’s not homophobia.

It’s as if all heterosexuals were judged on the basis of the shenanigans at Schoolies: if that’s all I knew about them, I’d be ripping kids out of prams at Chadstone and rushing them home to a nice responsible homo-home. Of course that would be unfair and a terrible distortion. But could you call it “heterophobia”? I think not – just honest concern based on lack of information.

But . . .we put that image out there. We are responsible for creating it. It’s no good crying, “It’s the media!” – as anyone involved with television knows, the instant image wins out over the considered thought every time.

So how about creating a new image this year? The media is fed up with the bums’n’boobs show anyway. Let’s make the Mardi Gras - and all the Pride celebrations this year - all black affairs. No sequins, no leather, no bare flesh, just black frocks and suits. No music, no dancing, just a slow muffled drumbeat. A funeral for our pride, mortally wounded by the Marriage Amendment Act.

What’s the betting that would make the front pages and the main news bulletins?

We can always stage the resurrection in private!!!!!

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