There's been a lot of people asking a stupid question this week, so please join me on this little soapbox as I have a little rant about the damage of "just asking the question". OR: Why pretending gays don't exist just leads to even more blowjobs.
Earlier this year, there was a huge ‘discussion’ around 5-years-old kids learning about LGBT families at school as part of their relationships education syllabus.
The whole thing came about because some parents didn’t think it appropriate that their kids learn that homos exist in case it ruined their fragile childhood innocence or something. As if knowing that gays are a thing might somehow convert them. Being gay isn’t like when you hear the ice cream van. Like, if you don’t hear the bingly bingly noise as it drives through your neighbourhood, you might happily go all day or weeks, or even years without thinking about sucking a lolly but then once you hear that fucking tune, it’s all you can think about.
No-one wanders through life, happily enjoying boobs and lady parts until someone goes “Oh, by the way, gays?” And suddenly EVERYTHING CHANGES. “I was quite into boobs until you mentioned it, but now all I can do is crave a great big willy right up my bum hole.”
It’s not like that. We know we’re different, from always, and actually having someone say “Hey, it’s ok - there’s loads of people like you, you’re not alone” would be incredibly fucking beneficial.
It’s like when they taught us about pythagoras’ theorem at school and I spent the next five years thinking I was a triangle, said no-one ever because that’s not how it fucking works.
The parents argument was “We’re not homophobic, we just don’t want to expose our kids to this way of life.” To which, the only acceptable answer is “Yeaaah, ya are tho.” If you don’t want your children to know that gay people exist and can be happy in a family, then yeah, you’re homophobic.
I love the idea that by saying “I’m not homophobic but…” in front of your blatantly homophobic statement, you can undo the problem. I hate to bring it back to that stupid test, but if you’re about to say something about any minority, swap it for a different minority and try again. Like this: “I’m not racist, but I just don’t want my kids being exposed to black people.” If it sounds wrong when you swap ‘gay’ for ‘black’ then it’s just as wrong in the first place. I don’t like that test because it’s a bit reductive and facile, but fuck me, it works.
In fact, the only time you should use the words “I’m not homophobic, but…” is if you immediately follow them with something completely unrelated. I’m not racist, but I slept really well last night. What’s that got to do with being racist? Nothing. I said, I’m not racist. Weren’t you listening?
I also love the way the person saying the thing gets to decide if it’s homphobic or not. You do not get to decide if what you say is offensive. That comes from the people affected by the thing you say.
Imagine being a policeman, finding a guy stood over a dead body, holding the knife that killed him, and the guy says “I”m not a murderer, but I really like killing people” “Yeah, sorry Sarge, thought we had him until he said he wasn’t a murderer. Then we had to let him go. “Yes, ok, I drug people and then once they’re unconscious, have sex with them without their consent, but I’m not a rapist.” As if, somehow, for you and you alone, everyone should separate the person from the act. Other people are homophobes, but you’re not. You just said something homphobic, that doesn’t made you a homophobe. And again, the answer is “yeeeah, it does” and “yeeeah, ya are.”
Think about Liam Neeson. Remember when he casually threw into an interview that he went out at night looking for a black man to kill? Didn’t matter which black man, as long as he got to kill one? So? He’s not racist! Wanting to kill someone because they’re black doesn’t make him racist!
It kinda does.
Anyway. Back to the kids in schools being taught that gays exist and that that’s ok. Happily, the whole thing ended up with a discussion in parliament and a vote that LGBTQ relationships SHOULD be taught alongside the boring ones, which is nice. Bit of a change there from how things went 30 years ago. Check out last year’s episode “Section”, if you need a bit more background on how things went the first time around.
But then the fuckening happened. If you’re not familiar, ‘the fuckening’ is when, however good or bad something is going, you can feel something fucky coming to mess it all up even more. That’s the fuckening.
And in this case, the fuckening was BBC Question Time (the BBC! ) asking the question: Is it morally right for children to learn about LGBTQ issues in school?” Morally right. Don’t get sucked into that. It’s the same question, but someone wants a way to be able to disagree with it without feeling like they’re the bad guy. “I’m not against queer people existing, I just don’t think it’s morally right…”
Should we teach our kids to treat everyone equally and respectfully? Yes. Ah, but is it morally right? OH WELL NOW YOU’VE PUT IT LIKE THAT. Get in the bin.
The question itself implies that there’s something morally iffy about being queer in the first place. Morals are a choice. Your actions are a choice. It’s what you do with it that counts.
And it’s obvious that whoever wrote that question knew that, because they’re covering their backs. “Oh, we’re not judging one way or the other. We’re just asking the question…” Except ya are, because you asked the question in the first place. Like this:
Slavery: Should we bring it back? I’m not judging one way or the other, I’m just asking the question.
The other frustrating thing about that, is that because it came from the BBC, I paid them to do all that. It’s all due to the unique way the BBC is funded, where my TV licence got spent, in part, on asking if it’s morally right to admit to 5-year olds that I exist.
Here’s one, then. What if I stop paying my licence fee, and instead spend the same money on jaffa cakes and pornography for myself? I’m not saying I should, I’m just asking the question.
You can’t justify hiding the entire existence of gay men and women because you’re worried your child might turn out gay. There are no brochures, it’s not a choice.
Speaking as someone who never had anyone explain what being gay was, or that it was an acceptable, valid and equal way of life, it didn’t stop me sucking a lot of dick. In fact, if anything, had I known those things as a younger man, I might have had a better relationship with my own sexual desires, I might not have tried to equate sex with emotional intimacy, and I might have been less promiscuous in my 20s.
So, yeah. Teach your kids that gay people exist and can be happy. If they’re not gay, it won’t bother them, and if they are, they might not suck off quite so many strangers in pub toilets. For example.