The Straights Are Coming! by Paul Featherstone

This week, “12 Years A Slave” led the way in the Oscars nominations- which is somewhat appropriate as white, Christian men looked to corral another minority group into virtual slavery. I say a minority group, but really gays, homosexuals or label them as you will, are all around us. They are only minority groups in areas where they are not common place, such as the past.

The mounting and offensive nature in which the gay community is treat within not only the press, but also the wider global community is verging on the great offenses of our generation.

We stand here, as we revel in the idea of a black man as a US President and the sainthood of Nelson Mandela, as something of a great indicator of how far we have we have come as a human race. In truth, we pat ourselves on the back and turn a blind eye to what is not only in danger of becoming something of a social holocaust, we are so far back in the stone ages it is frightening.

If we are still of the belief that someone’s sexuality is their choice rather pure genetics, circumstance or fate (such as their colour or nation), we continue to enslave the people of our world in a way that is so far beyond their control, we are condemning them to the shadows at birth.

Yet, it shames me, as it does you, that is about where we stand today. Look towards the current rhetoric in society towards the gay community and tell me that if it was towards a race, there would not be the pumping of fists to resolve it?

In a short amount of time we have had-

* the blaming of the recent UK floods on gays and gay marriage

*Putin equating gays to predatory paedophiles in Russia

*the idea that gay lifestyle is linked to smoking

*Jeremy Clarkson happily tweeting a photo of him asleep with “Gay Cunt” and an arrow next to his head

and on and on…..

Yet none of it ever reported as horrific by the press, just a case of “Look at what they gone and said!”.

Clarkson himself, in his own afterbirth-of-Thatcher kind of way, semi-apologised for being asleep when the photo was taken. He of course missed the point- being that he had made the photo somewhat acceptable by releasing it to his followers. In the infantile world that he inhabits, in which he is surrounded by prepubescent over-achievers such as Richard Hammond, it is fine to use such a phrase as an affront. To be a gay is to be something of ridicule, certainly to a man like Clarkson.

One has to wonder if someone had written on his forehead “Big Lipped Fucking Nigger”, as he had slumbered, if he would have been so eager to tweet it?

I bet my choice to not asterisk the last sentence shocked you in a way didn’t it? “If he is such an advocate of censorship, why use the N-word in such a casual manner?”. Did anyone bat an eyelid at the full use of “Gay Cunt” though? Very few, I fear to tread. Maybe, none. Certainly more about the good old C-word.

Should that not be as offensive a phrase as any in the English language?

Now, lets confess shall we? We have all used homosexuality as a slur. Many as younger, less educated people. That is why Football is so straight- they are all still in school, scared to come out, for fear of ridicule. I would like to think that my offense at homophobia comes with getting older, having more gay friends but really, society just grew up. I’d always held my views on the gay community, it was just okay to say them out loud without being labelled gay and beaten in the street for it. I was a coward.

If I had waited just a few years for that voice, imagine the agony of being gay? Now imagine the slow decline of that still muted voice being muffled by the hands of those in society that have no real justification for their cause?

I respect religion. I often wish I had it’s comfort to support me through the times that defy logic in this world, but as doctrines that have elements that abuse children, women and human rights as common practice continue to point the finger at the gay community, they cannot expect legitimacy in my eyes.

I could defend homosexuality by pointing out the various ills of the religious community, but that would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Instead, let us end with the simple idea that we not be judged by anyone on this earth but the one’s in the heavens. If we are truly to be judged by them for our time on this earth, should we not be judged on the pureness of our souls?

If that truly is the case, then every gay person I know has the given right to pass unhindered into a peaceful afterlife (should it exist). None of them are perfect, nor do any of them get a free pass for their choice of bedfellow. They have faults and qualities upon which I judge them as human beings and as to how close, if at all, I involve them in my life.

Isn’t it time that we, as a collective society, chose to define people by how they treat their fellow man and the kindness of their heart, rather than the adult they choose to give their soul to?

I get married in under two months to the person I love the most in the world. I chose her without a seconds thought and with a determination unknown in my life, as did she. We are adults and we are fully aware of the huge choice we are undertaking. If that is not a basic human right and something we do not deserve to be nailed to a post for, then what is?

We cannot hail the strenuous work of the likes of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, JFK and Lincoln as they battled to redeem one element of society, whilst we refuse to learn from the lessons of history against another.

Society cannot bathe in the past waters of its river, as it continues to wash such murky waves over the face of itself in the present.

Paul FeatherstonePaul Featherstone is 32 years old and lives in Hull. Most people call him “Fev.” He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of football and music and uses the word “c*nt” far too much in everyday conversation. He spends a lot of his time blagging his way into celebrity parties. He is to be commended for once meeting Jo Whiley and refraining from beating her to death with a big stick. You can read more of his vitirolic comments on