Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Dear Stonewall, Some People are Closeted Get Over It

I make no apologies for twisting Sonewall's 'Some People are Gay Get Over It' slogan especially in light of reading Ed Fordham's opinion piece on Lib Dem Voice the other day. Like Ed said:

"I was appalled by the decision of Stonewall’s Chief Executive Ben Summerskill to take the airwaves and print media to launch his own mini-campaign against David [Laws]."

Not everyone finds it easy to be out and proud as Summerskill seems to make it. It they did where are the gay footballers and apart from Gareth Thomas the gay rugby players at the top end of our sports. Similarly in other high profile professions, the media in certain quarters still take great delight in finding out that some film, pop, sport star or public figure is caught in a possibly compromising position with someone of the same sex. Those same sectors absolutely revel in it if that same person comes out, and if there is tragedy like in the case of Stephen Gately they can even blame it all on sexuality.

It's not easy.

Indeed Stonewall seem to have in the shape of Summerskill become the arbiter of family circumstances as far as coming out is concerned. They seem to be saying that they and only they know when you should be out. I thought that was a person decision for every one of us, don't we decide how out and open we are with each individual we know?

I am not a number! I am me!

Of course none of us in the UK have it as hard as Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga had it in Malawi. Therefore the news that Monjeza has either due to the governmental pressure, family pressure or whatever has found himself a female lover and is renouncing his previous love for and engagement to Chimbalanga is sad.

But Chimbalanga is the sort of person who does not need the support of groups like Stonewall, he's said:

"But I am not worried. You cannot force love, and nobody forced him when we did our symbolic wedding in December.

"I will also marry because there are lots of good men around. I will remain a gay."

It is people who like Monjeza feel the pressure to conform to a so-called 'norm' that need the support not the derision that Summerskill is heaping upon people like David Laws. For whatever reason, wherever in the world they are some people are quiet about their homosexuality. I guess it is a fact of gay life.

So Stonewall some people are closeted, get over it.


Munguin said...

Some millionaires cheat the taxpayer in order to remain in the closet and then expect to be the arbiter of the public finances- get over it!

Stephen Glenn said...

There is the fact that he actually cost the taxpayer less while claiming what he did than what he was entitled to. So it is hardly cheating the tax payer not a full an open disclosure of the connection to the landlord.

However, there is still no excuse for a gay rights campaigning organisation to get so high and mighty about someone wishing to retain some element of privacy over thier private lifes (even if that could have been handled differently).

Munguin said...

Excuse me? Either he cheated the taxpayer or he didn’t and he clearly did because he resigned QED!

I think it is disingenuous of you and other Lib Dem bloggers (and other apologists for the Lib Dem sell out) to try to divert this issue onto one of solely outing a gay man. He is a millionaire and he could easily have afforded to simply pay his boyfriend the rent and not charge the public purse. And then it would have been none of our business.

Wasn’t it the Daily Telegraph that released the story? Hardly a bastion of gay rights. It wasn’t Stonewall that outed him. It is hardly appropriate for you to counsel others not to get high and mighty when arguably that is exactly what you are doing on this blog.

Stephen Glenn said...

I've already made comment earlier about the way the expenses issue was dealt with.

What I was dealing with in this blog post was that Ben Summerskill the chief executive is saying that not openly out gay men do not deserve support if they are outed for whatever reason. That IMHO makes me wonder is that going to encourage more openess or more closeting. If a gay campaigning organisation seems to be in charge of the standards of whether you get support, praise or whatever based on whether you were oun in your teens or 40s it seems like a regressive step.

Munguin said...

I’m sorry but David Laws chose to go into politics and public life while also being aware of his sexuality. There are some things that we can’t change like being gay or a woman or whatever but going into politics is a choice and he ought to have known that if he went for high office his private life would be fair game. Maybe that is what Mr Summerskill was meaning.

I take it from your curt first line that you do not wish to discuss the expenses aspect of this any further. That’s fine. However, in my mind the fact that he cheated the public purse is of considerably greater significance than his sexual orientation or his desire to keep it secret.

What I also think is of greater significance is the amount of time and effort that Lib Dem like yourself are devoting to diverting us from the real issue here. That of the cheating.


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