It’s an eye-catching slogan, for sure, plastered in white letters along trams and buses: ‘Some people are gay. Get over it!’
Thanks, I did.
Somewhere between Another One Bites the Dust and the Brookside kiss, I realised that Freddie Mercury and Beth Jordache quite fancied members of their same sex.
And that was that. Next up, track three, Killer Queen, and Jimmy Corkhill stealing from bins, or whatever else was happening in their Liverpool homes on Channel 4.
Who cares? There’s no great alarm about this state of affairs; I view it in the same way that some people like tea and others like coffee. Personal choice, nothing to do with me, why would I be offended?
That’s just the way it is; different folks, different strokes.
In my Utopian state, I like to imagine that we live in post-sexual, post-racial times where people can do what they want, be what they are and nobody bats an eyelid.
In reality, of course, we don’t live in such enlightened towns and certain sections of society get vexed about sex in a way I’ve never quite understood.
So when pro-gay campaign group Stonewall began running their adverts, Christian groups leapt into action, trying to get a rival message on buses in London when they first appeared there.
Strangely, they weren’t allowed.
After news of their own slogan – ‘Not gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get Over it!’ – broke, Transport for London banned it on the grounds it could cause ‘widespread offence’. TfL said it ‘could not ignore the public response’ . . . after 37 complaints. And therein, lies the rub.
Because the pro-gay lobby is always at a state of readiness, to take up arms over any perceived slight.
Thus, organisations are scared to do anything that may paint them in anything less than a gay-friendly light.
Of course, homosexual people should have exactly the same rights as straight people. No more, no less.
And vigilance is required to make sure those rights are protected. So much progress has rightly been made, it would be a crying shame to see an over-zealous approach undo years of good work.
But the day we’ll know the battle for gay rights is won is when their lobby is strong enough to accept there are two sides to the story, confident enough to let people make their own minds up and accept that not everyone is going to agree with them on the issue.
Tea, coffee? Gay, straight? Personal choice.
Live and let live, on both sides.
Now, my colleague Peter Rhodes is old enough, ugly enough and gobby enough to stick up for himself – he’s from Yorkshire, after all.
But he was targeted recently by a Shropshire reader who took a dislike to a short sharp piece about a pro-gay poster. Peter, the best writer I have ever encountered in regional newspapers, shares my deep admiration for Peter Tatchell (anyone who tries to arrest Robert Mugabe is a hero in my book) and is one of the most open-minded people I know.
But that counted for nothing when he had the temerity to take the Mickey out of a protest in Russia that involved a hand-written A4 piece of paper saying: ‘Gay OK’.
‘Hardly the Hungarian uprising is it?’ remarked Rhodesy in the same way he would have judged any similar event, no matter what the cause.
His view and he’s entitled to it.
And yet, no sooner had it appeared than the piece was spreading via social media, the Star was labelled as anti-gay, Pink News was running a hatchet-job and the trade press was asking the editor for a quote.
So how about this:
Columnist has opinion. Get over it.
And some people aren’t gay. Get over that too.