Article Title:Two Dorothies all at sea: No place like homophobia
Author or Credit:Steve Attwood
Published on:23rd November 2011 - 08:58 am
Story ID:11070
Text:Not Remmers Two Dorothies all at sea By Steve Attwood An occasional blog detailing the experiences of a “straight” cruise by a couple of gay Kiwi boys aboard a cruise liner as it circumnavigates Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand – 15 October to 15 November 2011. Part five: There’s no place like homophobia Well, finally! Some good old fashioned, died in the wool, red necked homophobia. It’s almost a relief! At the time we’d been on board for four weeks and for most of that time our social radar has been running on the expectation that at least someone in this floating international metropolis would, at the very least, be a little uncomfortable with the presence of two “out ‘n proud” friends of Dorothy in their midst, perhaps even some open hostility. To date however (as previously blogged) the opposite has been true. From outback Aussie white fellas, to ebony Caribbeans (whose country has a fierce anti-gay reputation) the folk on this ship have been almost totally open, inclusive, curious and accepting. Almost . . . Somewhere outside remmers I thought the bubble was going to burst when a retired Aussie couple boarded at Melbourne and moved into the stateroom (that’s a fancy word for cabin) next door. We have a balcony room and the balconies adjoin. Leaning over the side watching the sunset is a great way to meet and gossip with the neigbours. Fred and Wilma (not their real names but if you met them you’d understand) were quick to introduce themselves and inquire after the ‘missus’. Fred was somewhat taken aback when I said that the ‘missus’ was a ‘mister’ and HE was fine thanks very much. But after a few second’s silence he rallied and said: “Well that’s alright then. So, when are we gonna meet for a beer?” No, the real homophobia was seated much closer to home. It took a fellow Kiwi to really put the knife in. He was, quite simply, appalled that the world should be so cruel as to foist a table of fags right next to him while sharing an idyllic sunset meal in the ship’s Japanese restaurant with his wife - a woman who was stunningly turned out and bejeweled but the saddest woman I have ever seen. Her face still haunts me. Not a Remmers resident He took it out, not on us, but on the waiter, who, he told the forbearing chap, should have known better than to seat them next to 'that kind of people'. I inwardly wondered if I should echo the complaint, about being seated at a table with a person like him, but tact prevailed. I am consoled by the fact that my fellow countryman took great pride in telling me that they never went out of Remuera unless it was to travel overseas; that they hadn’t even been to the Viaduct Harbour; that he also hated, in no particular order, Len Brown, Labour voters, centre left National voters, greenies, global warming alarmists, public transport, brown people, Manukau residents (he refused to call them Aucklanders), Asian people who don’t have money, and any part of New Zealand geographically located outside of Remmers. I felt we were lumped in with some good company. (Note: The author’s views are based on his own genuine experience. He booked and paid for his cruise privately. He has received no incentive or gratuities, financial or otherwise, from the cruise company or any travel or tourism agencies.)     Steve Attwood - 23rd November 2011
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