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Queen outmanoeuvres king December 22, 2005

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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With the simple utterance of the words, “I, Reg, take thee, David“, (Ooh I betcha do Elt) Elton John yesterday formally contracted the country’s first celebrity gay marriage, so so much for the low profile. Now it seems a bit rude to outdo Chaz and Caz in the Queen’s backyard – same registrar, the works – but the Grauniad article certainly underlines that that was the case. I’m afraid to say that some of the quotes actually brought the beginnings of a tear to my eye: Carole Hewett from Maidenhead said, “This is living in the 21st century.” “I hope he has a good life,” Luke, 11, added solemnly.

This nicely reflects what I more and more firmly believe, i.e. that most people couldn’t give a toss about gayery. Of course it’s possible to get skewed world views. Living in Berlin and only knowing fairly young types (to my chagrin), I never come across anyone who gives a flying fuck one way or the other and even if, at a guess, the fairly religious Catholic 60-something father of a friend might, at some level, think being a friend of Dorothy isn’t ideal, that certainly hasn’t stopped him making me welcome in his home or telling me about what life was like for the Sudeten Germans. Yes, in Paris, one old cunt on the street asked me if I was one of those men that thought he was a woman, but a quick swerve soon had him out of view (and more or less out of mind). Russia was obviously a different world, but not, actually, in terms of reaction when the subject came up. Again, no-one really gave a toss. And in London, of course, I was practically applauded for being a poof at every turn. (I find this a bit embarrassing, between me and you.)

At the other end of skewed world views, I tend to read a lot of blogs. Obviously the talk of uphill gardeners and sodomites disappoints, and annoys, a bit, but it also mystifies. I can half-understand straightforwardly hating gay folk, if that’s your bag, but why get it mixed up with a million other things? That this is a threat to the sanctity of marriage. It isn’t, obviously, and isn’t the same as marriage anyway. That this is pandering to militant gay rights loonie lefty can’t-say-manhole activists. It, again, obviously isn’t. Surely no-one is suggesting gays have actually somehow got a better lot than anyone else, are they? That we’ve pulled a fast one? That this is just another sign of our society’s degradation and is there no end to it and my god soon there’ll be uphill gardening lessons in schools. Well, that’s again, clearly, bollocks. How could legalised homosexuality without these rights be morally any superior to the new situation? For god’s sake, go and have a cup of tea or repair a fence or something. Why bother with all the effort of fomenting ill-will to your fellow omi? There aren’t that fucking many of us. Worry about something worth the trouble.

Which isn’t to say that gays haven’t got a job to do. We need our good ambassadors. We need types that show we are fairly normal folk. Different, perhaps, but pretty normal. Elton has been a good ambassador. He’s got (sort of) married, for fuck’s sake. And I’ve met many a type who told me I’d done some good PR for woofterdom myself. Not by doing anything wondrous, you understand, like darning their socks or bellowing out a complete repertoire of Shirley Bassey numbers. But just by being normal(ish). The biggest single success I had was, oddly, with a Finnish Lutheran pastor in London for some conference at my university. He asked if I was married and I said, “No, I’m a poof.” I wouldn’t always do this, actually, but thought it was OK with a Finn in the hallowed surroundings of some academic conference. But he looked horrified, and didn’t initially believe me. But after further chat, he told me that I’d single-handedly, (more or less) instantaneously and irrevocably changed his view of queendom. Hurrah!

Anyway, which is why it’s nice to read in the Graun that ordinary people went to cheer on Elton not really because it was cool or political or anything to do so, but just because he’s another star and they wanted to wish him well. I find that nice.

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