Isn't it amazing when you stop and think that it is only forty years since it was a crime to be openly homosexual? The church condemned homosexuality as immoral, the medical profession spoke of it as a disorder - in fact it was a criminal offence. What a long way we have come in those forty years, when now there are practising homosexuals in the church, in government, in every day life - and nobody bats an eyelid. Or do they?
There is an interesting article in this weekend's Guardian about yesterday's Gay Pride march in London to celebrate those forty years. In it Peter Tatchell writes
of the terrible injustices of the past - he speaks of how Malcolm Muggeridge (remember him?) spoke at the Festival of Light and when asked about homosexuals, answered, 'I just don't like them.' And how Eyesenck advised shock-aversion therapy. In these enlightened times it all seems bizarre.
But I have always thought there is still one 'stumbling block' and Thatchell ends his piece with this. The real battle has only been won when we no longer need to us the word 'gay'. If we have a dinner party we may very well tell people that our gay friends are coming - but would we say our heterosexual friends were coming? No we would not and as Thatchell rightly says - and here I quote:-
"In a completely #queer-friendly society the differences between homo and hetero lose their significance. When no-one cares who is gay and who is straight there will be no point in maintaining the distinction." I wonder how long that will be. Sadly I don't think it will be in my life time. What do you think?
# 'queer' is not a word I would ever use - I think of it as a derogatary word - but I have quoted Tatchell - maybe if one is gay it is alright to use it - but it is a word I hate.