Well I said there was a risk of the last post being viewed as offensive and it proved to be. My daughter E gave me a right lambasting when I popped over this afternoon. She thought the posting was homophobic and just not worthy. Yep fair enough, possibly guilty m’lud. It is clearly being viewed that way which disappoints me hugely, not least because after writing it I reflected and immediately added a para to clarify my thinking which I thought helped articulate where I was coming from. Whether people have read that I don’t know. If not please check out this link again and then decide.
You see I think homophobic means anti-homosexual and I am not that. Members of my family are lesbian/gay and I love them with all my heart. I work alongside gay people and I can honestly say that I admire and respect them for their talent, work ethic, achievements and welcoming attitude. Their gayness is not an issue in the office; nor is my heterosexuality. I’ve had several close friends who were gay and miss them terribly. I was the first (and as far as I know still the only) person to employ an openly gay man as my secretary in that business, back in the 90’s, because he was the best candidate for the job. It was a major organisation, technology-based and 80% engineer-led so you can imagine a few of the sniggering responses. But I didn’t give a frig; he was great and I’d employ him again in a second if the opportunity ever arose.
So my issue with Strictly is not having gay people take part, far from it, it’s the way the programme presents them. And this is where I don’t have a strong enough command of the most appropriate words. I believe the producers ramp up the campness/gayness (if there are better words please tell me because I’m struggling to explain this!) till it reaches absurd levels, thus rendering the people, be they judges, dancers, guests, or after show advisers, as objects of amusement ie people to be laughed at. I get it that’s it’s funny to many people but I just don’t believe that it’s terribly dignified nor do I particularly enjoy it. And I’m as entitled to my opinion as the next man.
I can imagine, and I am not a spokesman of course, that the attitude of the LGBT community towards Strictly might be ambivalent at best. I have another beautiful daughter R who is Down’s syndrome and I rail against people like Ricky Gervais who thinks it’s amusing to use words like mongo and who gets commissioned to produce a whole series, Derek, giving a distasteful impression of a disadvantaged man. So I know what minority consciousness is all about. People just shouldn’t be ridiculed and the BBC (and to be fair other broadcasters) tread a very narrow path sometimes on what is acceptable and what is really offensive IMHO.
That’s all I’m saying folks. Apologies if I caused offence out there. It wasn’t the intent. But I shalln’t hold back in the next posting! Ah ha.