Article Title:Philip Patston on... John Tamihere’s fascination with gay sex
Category:People
Author or Credit:Philip Patston
Published on:24th July 2006 - 12:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
Story ID:1351
Text:Philip Patston TO: John Tamihere @ Radio Live FROM: Philip Patston DATE: 18 July 2006 SUBJECT: Your fascination Dear John I was reading a transcript of a conversation you had with talkback callers on homosexuality recently. You said, "I just want gays to tolerate my views. I become intolerant of people who are not tolerant when I am.” I'd say you're an intelligent man, so I am appealing to your intellect on this matter. I'm confused. How does this next statement, from you also, equate to tolerance? “I still struggle getting my mind around how you adopt a young kid and he walks into a lounge and there's dad and dad having a pash up. I don't like it, I don't understand what impacts that'd have.” Doesn't sound very tolerant to me, mate. I've never heard a gay person say they judge or disapprove of heterosexual sex. I've only ever heard gay people object to the likes of you waxing lyrical about your morbid fascination with gay sex. Can you pick the difference? Sometimes thou doth protest too much, methinks. Philip Patston -------------- It's hard to know whether or not JT is pushing the gamut to get the nation talking, but I'd be surprised if what he said was not generally indicative of his personal conviction on the subject. I'm sure that he cannot even imagine what it would be like to walk into his childhood lounge and see his Dad kissing another man or his mother a woman. Nor does he know that, had that been the case, he would have shrugged and sat down to watch TV. My sense is that, as a heterosexual man, he feels a righteous duty to uphold the status quo: that hetero-norms are the “right” ones and somehow homo-norms, if let alone, will pervade, corrupting and extinguishing the former. It's interesting that people, the ilk of whom he represents (at least in his broadcasting role), are so doubting of the capacity of heterosexualilty to ward off such an attack, that they need to wage war on a behaviour statistically proven to be practiced only by a significant minority of the population. They truly believe that, if homosexuality were allowed to roam freely amongst us, it would threaten the entire future of mankind, by making procreational sex obsolete. Homosexuality, that big, bad recreational pastime, would defy the balance of Nature – the will of almighty God even – and render us extinct. Poor, misguided dears. We know it's nothing to do with who actually does it. It's actually about who wants to have sex, just because it's there to do and, as long as consent is mutual and age is appropriate, doesn't hurt anyone. It's all about personal choice, freedom and the impact they would have on equality and power in society. Now, I'm not saying JT's a closet case – that would be as sad as his desperate plea for our tolerance of his intolerance, which he cleverly reframes as tolerance, the sneaky devil. But I reckon if you put old John or any of his outraged contemporaries on a polygraph machine and asked them if they weren't just a little curious about what it felt like, or what it looked like, or even what it sounded like, they'd be hard-pressed to pass with an emphatic no. Sex is sex is sex, no matter the combination of whom, and everyone gets just a little inquisitive about it, even if they don't want to admit it. If only they could get over it and stop sweating the small stuff, they could set their minds to teaching their kids to be more tolerant. Or maybe I should say intolerant, JT? Speaking of sweating the small stuff, I think it's a bit rich for Rosemary McLeod to criticise gay MPs for attending to detail (Sunday Star Times, 17 July 2006), given her past affiliation with feminism (though goodness knows where her allegiances lie these days). Surely Rosemary wouldn't have lined up with the blokes against the suffragettes protesting women's right to vote. So, what's the difference? Sure, human rights and tolerance for gay men and lesbians may not have the same impact in terms of numbers (again, we are a mere minority), but did women get bashed to death by not having the vote? I think not. Perhaps Rosemary is really saying that fighting for principles is an exercise in quantity, not quality. So much for solidarity. Gay, disabled, vegetarian Philip Patston has performed professionally for fifteen years and is well-known for his live and broadcast comedy, including the stand-up comedy show “Pulp Comedy” between 1997 and 2003. The year of his ‘straight' role of Josh Sinclair on “Shortland Street” in 1999 he was named Queer of the Year by TV show “Queer Nation” and received a Billy T James award for comedy. He's a recovering social worker and human rights activist who spends his time running Diversityworks (http://www.diversityworks.co.nz/) and choosing his gigs. Philip offers his unique spin on the important things in life – including love, money, sex, peanut butter and anything else you suggest – every fortnight at GayNZ.com. He welcomes your comments, and may even comment on them, to: philip@gaynz.com     Philip Patston - 24th July 2006
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