Saturday, March 25, 2006

Homophobia and...stuff

I thought of something to say.

Homophobia is still everywhere. I don’t even know whether it has improved much in the last 100 years or so, due to the all consuming simple fact, that I have only been around for twenty years, and my memory only stretches back to sixteen years or something. But it’s still enough to piss me off, on an almost daily basis. It never fails.

I think it’s much less explicit than it used to be. That’s not to say, that it is never that way, it’s just that it has become slightly more subtle. It has new shapes and forms, that you don’t even notice, unless you are looking. Homophobia can sometimes be a sneaky bastard.

And sometimes, it can be explicit, but just hard to see. Yes that does make sense. For an example of this, think about blood banks. Did you know that it is perfectly legal for a blood bank to turn away a male donor if they find out that he is gay? For no other reason, than he is a gay man? And they won’t get into trouble for this? It’s to do with AIDS. Because as we all know, God gave us fags AIDS, for our sins. And that’s where AIDS comes from. The gay men are the carriers. Gay blood, is not allowed. That’s unfair discrimination and it’s not illegal.

You complete fucknuckles. If you did even a little bit of research, you would know, that hetero females are the people most likely to carry, and contract, AIDS. Homosexuals are the group with the lowest transfer rate of STDs. Especially lesbians.

The entire connection between gay men and AIDS is leftover religious bigotry. Once again, Christianity fucks the world over and is allowed to do so.You stupid modern Christians can keep telling me that the bible does not promote homophobia, but we both know that’s a lie, and always will be no matter which millennia we are in, so tell it to someone with weaker principles than me. You know what I say to you? I say Ave Satanis, you wasting disease. Just shrivel up and die already, and leave the world to rectify all the shit that you have imposed on it.

But that aside, I feel the need to point out that homosexuality may not be illegal here, is sure is in other countries. Nigeria, for example, there, you can be imprisoned for five years for doing as little as being present at a gay wedding, or helping organise gay rights groups. And even in this country, it was only in the 80s that the DSM IV stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder. Before that, it was seen as a ‘deviation from the mental norm’ also known as, a mental disorder. Now that was relatively recent…it still stings.

Did you know that it is also legal for hotels to turn away people who book by phone, if they reveal themselves as a gay couple? They don’t always do it, because thankfully, some hotels don’t care, but some do. But the really sad thing? It’s not illegal. Hotels cannot get into trouble for refusing to accept gay couples into their rooms, because it’s not against the law. It’s discrimination. Again. And it’s NOT illegal. Again. This hurts my head.

Now homophobia comes in many other forms. The most common example, and the one that makes me want to kill things the most, is the following. “That test was so gay!” “Your football team are a bunch of gay boys” “My car is playing up, it’s being really gay.” All these are things that I have heard countless times and am still hearing everyday. This might well be the single example of homophobia that hurts and enrages me the most, because I hear it all the time, and the fact that people do it so flippantly, without thinking, completely oblivious to the way in which they hurt people, is just painful.

I almost always politely tell the person who says it in front of me, to not say it. And if they carry on, then I might snap at them. If you don’t understand why this is wrong and should not be allowed, then you are really dense. It hurts. Because it seems to be acceptable to substitute the words ‘shit/piss poor/crap’ with the word ‘gay’. Does that make sense yet? How would you feel, if what you were, was another word for crap? I bet you wouldn’t like it.

Imagine this, if someone said something like “Oh my god, that TV show is so bad, it’s black!” with reference to people’s skin colour. Outrage? Unnaceptable? I think so. Sure it doesn’t make much sense. Or any sense at all, really. But neither does the use of the word gay as an insult. Just don’t do it. Gay should not be an insult. Just stop it right now. You have no idea how many people who are seriously hurting by being such a dumbass.

Now let’s talk about TV editing. Let’s take Buffy as an example, because to be honest it is the best one. TV editing and censorship. The watershed. You all know what these are. I am a huge Buffy fan, used to watch it religiously, and still do. I remember that when they were shown in England, they had a 6.45 showing, and a showing later on in the week late at night. Now the 6.45 showing was horribly mutilated, because it was edited. By that I mean, all the most offensive things were cut out of it, the strongest violence, the sex, the swear words, etc. Of course it made the episodes less enjoyable and it was annoying and there is no point in showing Buffy if you are going to edit it, but that’s not the point. The point is, the things that were deemed too controversial to show, were slightly, uh, revealing. It makes a reasonable statement as to our societies standards, acceptance, and tolerance. Or it might just be an indication that the BBC is weak and spineless and pandered to a minority, you decide.

Later on in Buffy, from season four onwards, they decided to develop a lesbian storyline, and turn one of the main characters gay. Now the complete ridiculousness that was this character doing such a U turn is not the issue, the issue was the censorship. As soon as the two lesbian characters got close to each other on the show, the complaints came pouring in. So in future, all love scenes between the two characters were completely edited out. This might not be a problem, if it were not for the fact that, the hetero love scenes, which were completely infinitely more ranchy than the gay ones, were left in. And no complaints were received, and they were allowed to stay. Add this fact, to the fact that, the show regularly showed people being killed, being brutally beaten up, having their necks broken, allsorts of similar things. And these things although edited somewhat, received no complaints, nor were they edited to the extent that the scenes involving two lesbians were. The scenes depicting hetero sex and brutal violence were allowed, but the scenes which consisted of two women kissing were not.

I think I have said enough on that matter.

Now for something completely different. Do you remember that band t.A.T.u? Did a few good songs, got to number one for a whole month, annoyed the entire nation whilst making the straight male population really horny, the usual. I’m not saying that they were a good band, nor do I think that they deserve any credibility as artists, or indeed lesbians. Because if they were lesbians, then I am in fact a Koala bear. Yes. Sorry to break it to anyone who didn’t already figure it out, but those two were as gay as a particularly strict Republican.

But the one and only thing that they deserve respect for, is exposing the BBC as being run by a load of complete fuckwads.

I want to talk about the BBC, again. And how infuriating and spineless they are. I used to watch Top of the Pops, that was before the music in this country had completely succumbed to a suicide inducing RnB hell that it is now. I remember that, TOTP refused to play the t.A.T.u video of All the Things she Said. We all know that it was because it featured two women kissing. And we all know that, when an artist is number one, TOTP has to play them. And if the artist is not able to come in and perform their song live, then they just play their video instead, that is they way it has always been.

I miiight, have been able to forgive them for their homophobia, if they had been able to provide a decent reason as to why they refused to show the video. Or at least admitted they were stinking homophobes. But they did neither one. Do you know what they did? They said that, the reason they did not show the video, was, and I quote “Because the video has already received a lot of airplay, and we thought that the audiences would be sick of it by now.”

……

Oh give us some credit please. TOTP has never ever used that excuse before, and never has, since. How often does TOTP refrain from completely overplaying songs or videos and annoying us all to heck? Never! Ever! So for the first time in history, they went and played some other recorded live performance and played it on screen in front of the studio audience. Which has never been done before, because it is just tragic.

And while we are on the subject, how many videos have TOTP played that featured almost completely inappropriate videos featuring raunchy scenes of a hetero nature, far more explicit than this one? Just think about people like Christina Aguilera, and her Dirty (no I’m not spelling it with three rs, you grammatically challenged losers) video? And Britney Spear’s Slave video? I know there are more besides. These were all shown on TOTP, and they are far more sexually explicit than t.A.T.u’s video. But of course, they are hetero videos, so I suppose that that is just alright then. You make me ill.

But this is not the bad part.

Yes, t.A.T.u were annoying exhibitionists. Yes they completely milked the whole ‘Ooo lesbianism sells’ thing. So they kissed in every performance, to get people’s attention. But I remember when watching the previously recorded performance that TOTP played for All the Things She Said, they did their usual thing, and went to kiss. Upon which, all the cameras completely cut away from them, and onto the studio audience. Think that’s bad? The cameras cut and focused on a hetero couple in the audience, groping each other with their tongues down each other’s throat.

…not only did I not need to see that, but I sincerely hope that the seriousness of this situation is not lost on anyone reading this. The camera cuts from two women kissing each other lightly, and focuses in on two hetero’s engaging in near pornographic activity. This was not just a mistake, they showed the same thing for the entire four weeks that t.A.T.u were number one. Over and over. In your face homophobia and hetero superiority.

This occasionally makes me want to break things, and occasionally cry at the injustice of it all.

Moving on.

When I say that homophobia is everywhere, where I really mean, is everywhere in our culture. From the fact that homophobia is both allowed and blatant in rap music, all the way to the dead/evil/gone gay person cliché. Have you ever heard of this cliché? If not, let me explain it to you. When it comes to TV series and films, almost all gay people, be they men or women, end up conforming to this cliché, because of dumbass writers, homophobia, and complete misrepresentation. Because when the gay people start to have good lives and happy endings on TV, that is when the complaints start to flood in. This is truth. This is why the cliché was invented, in order to pacify our societies desire to see the gay people get fucked over.

The evil/dead/gone cliché, is where gay characters in films and TV series, almost always die, go evil, or leave the show. Often they do more than one of these things.

Think hard. Can you name me one film about gay people, where they got a happy ending? I can only think of one. However, I can think of so, so many films where the cliché is applied. Over and over and over again…Here we go.

Buffy. - It happened repreatedly there. Tara died and Willow went evil.

Lost and Delirious. – the most unhappy ending ever. One lesbian went hetero, the other killed herself.

My Summer of Love. – another goddamned unhappy ending.

Eastenders. – will explain further on

Neighbours. – will explain further on

Brokeback Mountain. – I believe one of them dies. I have not seen it yet. Is the ending unhappy? I would bet money that it is.

There are other TV series where it applies, such as Ally McBeal and CSI, Xena, Dark Angel, and 24, to name a few examples. There are more films too. High Art. Heavenly Creatures. Basic Instinct, Mulholland Drive, to name a couple.

All these things and many more apply and enforce the cliché in all it’s glory. Which is that we cannot and will not have happy endings. Ever. Because when we do, people complain. Society does not want to see it.

Next.

The portrayal of gay characters in soap operas is…terrible at best. Boy George once said "Just because you have a few queers in Emmerdale, there is this myth that the world has become more tolerant. It doesn't understand us at all.” I concur whole heartedly. Now where soaps are concerned, ‘gay’ (I use the word loosely) storylines are used for one thing and one thing only. To boost ratings. This stinks. What we are is unacceptable to be shown in our culture, they edit us to near non existence, except, for when they need us to boost their ratings. Then they use us.

Think I am being harsh? I have examples. I pay attention to these things, even if I don’t regularly watch the soap. This sort of thing interests me. Take Eastenders for example, which I also used to watch, until it became…uhm…well here my lexicon woefully lacks the appropriate adjectives to describe just how much it this repetitive garbage sucks. But that is not the point.

A few years ago, Eastenders did what they deemed ‘a lesbian storyline’. Between the characters Zoe and Kelly. What really happened was, they were in a minibus that crashed somewhere, Zoe hurt her leg, they were stranded, they thought they were going to die, they kissed, and were later rescued. And then, they got home, were incredibly tense with each other, lots of “I’m not gay!” “You’re not?” “No, I thought you were going to die, I was kissing you goodbye!” *insert tears here* And then it was never spoken of again, and Zoe left a few episodes later.

‘Lesbian storyline’? I don’t think so. I haven’t felt more insulted by any other soap before. Guess what? The ratings went up when they kissed. Oh what a surprise. The thing that hurts, is they way in which this alleged ‘lesbian storyline’ was handled with all the creativity, skill, and dexterity of mentally retarded five year old. They made two of their girls kiss, in order to save their ratings, and then the bastards make a completely weak excuse and went back on the entire thing, like ‘Oh they’re gay. No wait we didn’t mean it!’ This complies with the evil/dead/gone lesbian cliché. Quite perfectly.

And we all know why the BBC did that, ladies and gentlemen, it’s because they have no backbone. They could not possibly actually make a lesbian storyline, that is just not allowed, for reasons stated above. Instead what they do do, is take lesbians in culture, use them, abuse them, and dump them, and go straight back into the hetero storyline. After previously editing them out of the world completely. We are naught but an abomination to be covered up, or a plot device that is not worthy of individual thought or attention or a substantial ending. Well thank you very much, we really appreciated that. You bastards.

They did a very similar thing in Neighbours, which I also paid attention to. This was terrible for similar reasons. Again, all the hype came, about the very first gay storyline ever in Neighbours. ‘Wow, first one in nineteen years, ooo, it’s going to be good, I bet the gay community will be so pleased for their representation…’

Here I am preventing myself from breaking things. Again.

Lana was…well, the actress sure tried hard, that is for sure. The fact that the writers were all hetero themselves, was so blindingly obvious I was almost rendered unconscious. Lana was just like a straight person pretending to be gay. She looked like a straight person, talked like one, acted like one…it was awful. She had a crush on Sky that made you want to weep. And they did exactly the same thing that they did in Eastenders. Unfulfilled, completely sad ending, which resulted in Lana leaving the show with her tail tucked between her legs. Oh my god, not again. The lesbian pops up, gets complaints, is badly represented, has a sad ending, and leaves. AFUCKINGGAIN! Evil/dead/gone lesbian cliché much? I think so!

Now there is another, ahem, ‘lesbian storyline’ in Eastenders right now, which I have not tuned into once. This is purely for the good of my mental health. Homicide is not something I would like on my CV, either. I know exactly what it going on without even watching it, thank you.

So yes, to conclude, I am an angry person and am particularly angry about this. The very idea that we will ever, ever achieve equality or anything close while things like these and more go on is preposterous. I don’t even really want equality any more. Why? Because it’s a stupid and unattainable goal and I want nothing more to do with the hetero world and people who have completely crushed us into the dirt and made us look like idiots for so long. You kill us, you make jokes about us, you use what we are as an insult, you edit us out of the media completely, and only bring us back into the media when you need to use us to boost your damned ratings. You say that what we feel is a mental disorder, you call us fags, you say that we bring AIDS, you make our lives hell, yet we still try to be like you.

I would rather distance myself from you and hate you then pander to be like you. Why should we want all the same things that you have? Why should we want gay marriage? Marriage is something that a man and a woman do. And we are not like you. Why should we make up some parody of marriage so that we can be like you? I for one want nothing more to do with you.

If you are still reading this, then kudos for reading my rant, you have some will power.

And oh my godd, I wish I could write things like this for my essays. I just wrote well into 3000 words in one session yet it takes me days to write a 2000 word essay. Sigh.

Oh well. My essay on fairytales in English Literature awaits.

EDIT: It's now May, and I have recently seen Brokeback Mountain. One of them dies. Unhappy ending. What did I tell you? It's so predictable.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Rose White said...

For your comment pleasure.....

Hey!

Wow, and I thought I could talk the hind leg off a donkey. There are fields full of three legged donkeys across the country hurling abuse in your direction right now!

Is it just me or did the Romans and Greeks have a much more enlightened attitude to homosexuality? Something seemed to happen in this country a few centuries back where all the enlightened people disappeared (probably to shouts of "burn the witch!") and we were left with a bunch of repressed conservatives who were frightened of anything different.

The only gay movie with a happy ending I can think of was Bound. Was that a happy ending? I can't remember now actually! And I would advise against watching Eastenders anyway, life is depressing enough without seeing other miserable people in the name of entertainment.

And yeah...the blood thing....don't lynch me but....there is a good reason for that. Yes, rates of HIV are rising fastest in hetero women, but overall gay men still have the highest percentage of blood borne viruses per head, so to speak. And they have the fastest rising rate of Syphilis in the UK, which is also a worry. I am a microbiologist, so I have to go with the Blood service on this one. Statistically, they are a riskier group and it's not worth it. Hey, they hate me at the minute because of my tattoo. And if you sleep with a prostitute they won't take you either. But there you go.

So that's my opinion. Anyway. I have ranted on here too much already me thinks. Bye!

PS You have the most entertaining blog!

8:29 pm  
Anonymous Soapy said...

Just had a read through some of your rant. Trying to remember some of the things I was going to say....

Oh, yes. The BBC, i'm not exactly a fan and I agree with you about the TOTP thing, totally wrong and stupid but they have done some pro-homo stuff. They made Tipping the Velvet into a drama, something which positively presented gay women and was written by a gay woman. It was pretty raunchy too, and although it was put on after the watershed (as most things that explicit would've) it certainly didn't shy away, IMO. It's doesn't involve an unhappy ending, either.

If you want to see a good(ish) lesbian film where the characters don't end up dead or running away have a look at Imagine You and Me which is quite realistic and what i'd describe as 'sweet'.

As for My Summer of Love, I watched that thinking it was going to be a positive film. All it did was portray us as mentally screwed up, hated it. Bad bad film.

And yeah, Jack dies in Brokeback but it did at least emphasise with the characters.

One more thing - add The OC to the list of stupid endings - Alex turns into an Angry Lesbian, throws a beer can at Ryan and fucks off.

Actually, another more important thing, do you know much about Section 28? It was this piece of legislation that was only removed a few years ago forbidding schools to talk about homosexuality in any positive way at all. They were only allowed to portray it as negative. Now that's homophobia!

2:42 pm  
Anonymous Jamie said...

I've just finnished reading what you describe as your rant. And the only feeling i'm getting from it is that its one of the most one sided pieces of writings on the subject i've read in a long time.

I think you generally have a "them and us" attitude and by generalising all 'heteros' as evil people isnt helping the idea of prejudice in any way shape or form.

I do agree with you about the image cutting between tatu and a straight couple on totp, but of course, in your anger when writing, your choice of language is over exaggerated and in my opinion melodramatic, in the two extremes of kissing.

And as for Brokeback Mountain.......You cant argue with a TRUE STORY!!!! this makes me angry!!! And i cant speak for everyone, but i'd much rather a true story than a fake hollywood happy ending just for the sake of it.

You obviously object to using the word gay as an insult yet you quite willingly use the word retarded. This is clearly having double standards.

I can see why you get annoyed when people use the word gay as an insult, because it used to annoy me too. But the majority of people dont mean it to be used so. And makes me think that maybe you just need to, for better choice of phrasing, chill out a bit with it.

Good on you for putting your opinion out there, but in doing so you have to allow for criticism, so dont hate me!

12:12 am  
Anonymous bobbert_ said...

I've just got back from a "Fellowships" trip with a religious jewish group called Aish. I was the token queer on the trip :-(

We had a talk about why other races died out and Judaism survived. According to them, the Greeks died out because they encouraged homosexuality.

... I wanted to shoot the guy. How can you encourage homosexuality? And what a lame excuse for a nation to die out. I highly doubt there were more gays then than now, they were probably just more accepted and because of the paintings the Greeks did seem like there were more of them because today it's, as you said, edited out.

I want to be Greek.

6:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, well I have to say that was the longest rant ever. Then again if I enjoy your rants. You are most amusing. However, in this rant I kinda felt like you were attacking me instead of simply sharing your opinion. I think Jamie says it best in her statment above.

Still, I love your rants. Keep them coming. I love that you are not afraid to put your opinion out there.

10:24 am  

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