At the stag it was on the level of supposedly non-homophobic name calling, where people make out it’s not homophobia at all, where objects or concepts are gay if you don’t like them, where people are fags if you think they’re stupid, where homosexuality is a byword for badness. Morons like this. Chris Moyles liked this, spreading his family-friendly homophobia to millions of listeners because he’s a cock. That earned him Stonewall’s Bully of the Year award. Like they said, ‘Chris Moyles is not helping young LGBT people struggling to come out through his comments’. But it’s not just charmless ex-DJs who indulge in this shit. A teacher in Mrs Zero’s old school used to call stuff gay to sound down with the kids. The straight kids. Presumably the gay kids and the bisexual kids and the kids who hadn’t quite figured themselves out were less keen to get down with him on account of him being an arsehole.
If you know anything about wedges you’ll recognise that as the thin end of one, the other end being homophobic threats, homophobic violence and vandalism, homophobic murder, homophobic politics, religions and laws backed up by a homophobic media. Back in 2008, Stonewall, the campaigning charity that looks to even things up a bit, ran a survey of homophobic crimes in the UK. It reckoned one in five lesbians and gay men had been on the receiving end of a homophobic incident or hate crime in the preceding three years, that one in six of these incidents involved physical assault, that one in eight involved unwanted sexual contact. Occasionally these things make the headlines. There was the guy in Edinburgh beaten by four men and a woman. There were the two men in Coventry punched in the face and kicked in the chest because one of them looked wrong to their attacker. There was Stuart Walker, murdered. And although the world seems to be getting its shit together and it seems like every generation looks back at the last thinking it was in the stone age, the Stonewall survey found people aged 18-24 were far more likely to be abused and harassed than were old people, and that young men seemed to be the most common perpetrators. As level as society’s getting – which isn’t very – it’s headed wrong here.
A look around the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill tells you how the world’s working, people talking about ‘gay marriage’ as opposed to ‘marriage equality’ like people are asking for something special as opposed to what the straight part of the world’s always had. Without the bill, straight people getting married is like people playing golf in a country club that doesn’t allow Jews. A look at the bill’s debate tells you everything you need to know about the people working to keep it that way. People like David Burrowes who reckons “the state is trying to divide and rule the meaning of marriage”. People like Ian Paisley who reckons marriage equality is killing heterosexual marriages in Spain and Portugal. People like Tony Baldry, who chipped in some wisdom from Christianity and Islam to say how much the idea sucked. People like Roger Gale, who reckoned the bill was almost Orwellian, that same-sex marriage had the whiff of Alice in Wonderland about it and who made a helpful reference to incest. Twats, all of them. The bill got through, obviously, and progress is on its way. But these poisonous people still think these poisonous things, and millions of poisonous people agree with them.
We need a Chazza of the Month that’s going to fix all this. A charity that campaigns for equality in law, that points to inequalities in politics and the media, a charity that works in schools to help gay and lesbian kids with what they’re going through and shouldn’t be, that tells other kids to not be assholes, that will make stag nights of the future halfway bearable for people who aren’t galactic twats. I’m thinking maybe Stonewall. They take money right here.