Always the holder of unpopular thoughts, a response has been written to my article on the ‘Pride’ parade which passed through Birmingham two weekends ago.
The article, which you can read here, is well written and thought provoking but is not what it seems to me to set out to be: a response.
The author, Joe Porter, (Conservative Party) Parish Councillor for Endon & Stanley since 2014, kicks off with this: ‘Unlike the article published last week, I believe that the increasing acceptance of sexuality and gender identity across society is something we should all celebrate.’
Why unlike? Had Mr. Porter read just the second paragraph of my article, he would have found the following point, stated (I think) quite clearly: ‘There certainly is something to be proud of and to applaud; I know of no one (including myself) who is unpleased by the increasing acceptance of homosexuals in society over the last century.’
I do not claim that ‘increasing acceptance’ is not ‘something we should all celebrate’; to the contrary, I claim that the ‘”Pride” parade did more to bring shame, as opposed to celebration, to this cause,’ a point which is not responded to in the response.
This is not to say that ‘Pride’ should not take place at all, just that it would do better without such scenes (which I mention in my article and which again received no response) as ‘old men, wearing no more than leather dog masks and leather underwear and with whips in hands’.
In the next paragraph, the author talks of how increasing acceptance in society has made it possible for him to openly express his sexuality. I am very glad he ‘felt able to come out as a gay Tory’, and wrote nothing in my article (nor believe anything) which would suggest otherwise.
The response then goes on to detailing anti-LGBT bullying in schools and the lack of acceptance across the world. I, like the author, am wholly opposed to bullying and discrimination of any kind – and, once again, have not said otherwise. I too look forward to the day when being gay is seen as ‘normal’ and can do nothing but condemn those 37 Commonwealth countries mentioned which still haven’t legalised homosexuality.
It is later written that ‘there are some who believe that Pride no longer has a relevance’ – I presume this comment is targeted against me, since the article is a response to my own. But again, where have I written that I am one of these people?
To the contrary, I say it is a shame that people are turned away from the Pride event by the scenes I described relating to men clad in leather and to ‘both men and women, again wearing very little, who were dancing on each other and (how should one put this?) ‘jiggling’ areas which are better to be kept private.’ As I write, this ‘only turns people away who would otherwise happily accept and embrace the cause.’ This is an awful shame, as I make quite clear.
As to the story the author references of a homosexual man having rocks thrown at him in London: I was shocked to read this and cannot find words to highlight how distressing this is. Why it is mentioned in a response to my article on Birmingham’s ‘Pride’ parade though, I do not know.
Just as I believe that the ‘Pride’ parade I witnessed did little to persuade more to join in with a celebration of wider societal acceptance (as it should), I am afraid it seems that Mr. Porter has done little to respond to my article; indeed, I happen to agree with a lot that he has written. Other than this, it seems a number of my arguments have either been purposefully misconstrued or/and (worse) willfully ignored.