Dear Anna – A Response to a Concerned (homophobic) Reader

Conchita-Wurst

I apologise for the personal nature of this post, but I hope my regular readers who are uninterested in such matters will forgive this indulgence and come back soon for a nice juicy film review!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post for the blog about Eurovision, and the possible importance of Conchita Wurst winning the competition.  Today I received the following comment on that post (I have left spelling/grammar etc as is):

There is a huge cognitive dissonance at play. The media as well as the “gay community” have completely lost their touch to reality. Aks anyone on the street about the whole “Wurst” thing and you get at the very least 80% negative comments about it. Ppl are fed up by this endless promtion of gays etc., there are only 1-3% of the pop. who are not hetero sexual, yet that at best 3% is trying t indoctrinate the 97%!
my advice is to take it a whole lot slower, because if you gay activists keep pushing just a little more, ppl will have enough of that nonsense and they will be openly opposed to the whole gay thing and to call ppl who dont want to call a gay lifestyle good as mentaly ill (homophobe= irrational fear, ergo a mental illness) is not helping at all.
As far as I am concerned, pls go ahead with what you are doing, you are digging your own grave.

*

Dear Anna

It’s sometimes difficult to know where to start when one receives such comments (which is, thankfully, rarely).  However, you clearly think your voice is not being heard, so let’s give you some time in the sun and take your comments seriously.  After all, you have been spending your valuable time standing in the street asking people what they think of the “Wurst thing” and getting 80% negative comments about it.

This seems odd considering Eurovision is a  contest partly decided by public vote and Ms Wurst won.  Add to that the fact that statistics that appeared after the show tell us that the public vote was hugely in favour of Wurst.  The vote on the occasion was split in most countries between a televote and a jury decision.  In over twenty of the countries that voted, Austria was in the top 3 by the public vote.  In only four countries was Austria voted outside of the top 5.

Meanwhile, one has to wonder just where you have been conducting her poll.  Your email address is German, and yet recent polls from Germany show that 70% of the population support same-sex marriage.  Bearing that in mind, would the same people really care about a “bearded lady” winning Eurovision?  I doubt it.

Now, let’s get down to the whole indoctrination thing.  All the 3% want, Anna (and I hope you don’t mind me calling you Anna), is to be treated as equals. We’re not trying to convert you – heaven help us, looking at your comments most of the LGBT population are no doubt quite glad you’re straight.   What’s interesting though, is you don’t want us to “indoctrinate” you, but you are happy to give us the advice of taking it a “whole lot slower.”   My dear girl, it’s taken 2000 years to get where we are now, how slowly do you want us to take it?

Your definition of homophobia as a mental illness is indeed that – yours, not mine.  Either way, you clearly don’t spend much time reading my posts if you think that I view having a mental illness as somehow demeaning or offensive.  Homophobia is an irrational fear simply because it IS a fear.  What are you scared of?  So what if we finally persuade all of the Annas of the world that we simply want equality?  Are you scared of thatEquality?  I doubt that.

Your final sentence shows exactly where you’re really coming from – sheer vindictiveness.   After all, you do tell us to “pls go ahead with what you are doing, you are digging your own grave.”  You want us to dig our own graves?  This is nothing about you wanting us to take things slower – you simply don’t want us to exist.  Well, my dear concerned reader, I would like to confirm that I do not feel the same way about you.   Every time somebody like yourself writes a comment like yours, more people get outraged and realise that you’re in the wrong here – or, at the very least, irrational.  I’d like to assume that your issue here is simply a lack of education – but considering the nature of your comments and your choice of language, that simply isn’t the case.

Do I get angry with people like you?  Not really.  I feel sorry for you, Anna.  Sorry that you can’t live your life without being outraged by someone singing a song – and even more sorry that, four weeks on, you were still on the internet looking for articles on the singer you were outraged by and feeling the urge to write a comment.  Really and truly, have you nothing better to do? You call me a “gay activist,” something I would say is really not true.   I may well use my blog and twitter for political purposes from time to time and to put the LGBT viewpoint across, but that hardly makes me an activist.   You, on the other hand, seem far more “active” putting your point across than I am.

Now, I’m off to live my life, and I sincerely hope that you manage to find a way to live yours without worrying about the shocking behaviour of  1-3% of the population.

Best wishes

Shane x

Eurovision – some thoughts

contest

 

The most shocking thing about the winning Eurovision entry this evening was the fact that the contest suddenly became relevant and, bizarrely, important. I doubt this will be a regular occurrence, so we shouldn’t get too excited.

Prior to tonight’s final there were calls from at least three countries for the Austrian entry to be withdrawn. Why? Well, because it was sung by a transvestite with a beard. The Russian politician behind the anti-gay propaganda law called her a “pervert” and said the performance showed that the competition was a “hotbed of sodomy.” A little odd, then, that he didn’t withdraw the Russian entry consisting of two 17 year old girls to protect them. Conchita Wurst, the singer in question, responded by saying that she was just “a singer in a fabulous dress, with great hair and a beard.” Well, her beard’s better than mine. I only get a five o’clock shadow after 7 days.

However, she was much more than that – and it’s clear that she was well aware of it. The song was clearly calculated to be a universal (well, European) “fuck you” to those behind the anti-gay laws in Russia and those supporting them. Entering such an artist was a risk, but a calculated one. Eurovision has a huge gay following to start with, so support was always going to be there. However, the risk turned into triumph thanks to the fact that the song was not only sending out a message, but because it was actually extremely good. Shirley Bassey must be seething that she didn’t get her hands on it first.

It’s interesting that many people tell us how things were much better when they were growing up. I don’t believe them. Equality and acceptance of race, gender, and sexuality is greater now than it ever was (at least in the Western world). Many reading this will wonder what the fuss is about, but it’s yet another important rung on the ladder. We’ve had LGBT winners of popularity contests in the UK for fifteen years or so (Pop Idol, Big Brother etc), so for Brits to vote for the Austrian entry was no big surprise. For the people of 37 countries in Europe to do the same and finally show solidarity to the LGBT people of Russia in a very public way is a huge step. The boos for Russia at the show were unfortunate – the Russians in the audience were probably rebelling against the State, not supporting them.

The thing that will get lost here is that, even if the song wasn’t sung by a transvestite, it still would have won in all probability – and maybe by a bigger margin – but, in the end it’s the voting (and the political voting at that) which was important.

And America has a lot to learn.

Twitter has been afire tonight over two stories. in America, gay NFL player Michael Sam was photographed kissing his boyfriend and was met on twitter with a barrage of abuse. In Europe, a bearded transvestite wins a contest watched by 125million people and the tweets are 95% positive. One that wasn’t came from the Sunday people tweeted this:

Zoom in (real dimensions: 599 x 337)BnTvTBRCIAAM4Em

Unsurprisingly, the tweet quickly got deleted. Ironically, the only other negative tweet I found asked “why vote for a freak?” And this from someone who is a campaigner against abuse of women and children!

In around 75% of the countries that voted, civil partnerships and same-sex weddings are still banned.   In others, well, we know the situation in some other countries.  Let’s hope that, finally, the message of the people kickstarts some change. But, in all likelihood, the hubbub will be forgotten in a matter of days, but just for tonight people spoke with their hearts.