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Life - But not as we know it

Mon 26 Nov 2001 In: Comment

Looking at society with a gay and lesbian political perspective can be a stressful activity. Every day we are presented with ideas and images that bemuse and anger us. Picking up a newspaper, or logging onto the internet reminds us that as gays and lesbians we still have a long way to go before we can claim full equality. We may have anti-discrimination laws, but the attitudes of some sections of society have not yet reached the same level of maturity. Recently I have come across three media items that New Zealand could have done without. 1. The first was on the XTRA news website on 16 November 2001. It was a political commentary by that 'good old kiwi bloke' Barry Soper. He was discussing the 2002 fundraising calendar put out by Young Labour, which features Labour MPs dressed in the costumes of their fantasies. Soper referred to gay MPs Chris Carter and Tim Barnett as Prissy Chrissy Carter and Tippy Toes Tim Barnett. It does not take a rocket scientist to guess what he was alluding to and making fun of. Thanks Barry, it is good to know that 1950s thinking is still alive and well. 2. On 4 November 2001, the Sunday Star Times published a strange little column by that 'good old kiwi girl' Rosemary McLeod. The article was titled, 'Relax, it's a gay kind of thing', and apart from using it to take a swipe at us in the gay and lesbian community, I'm not sure what the point of it was. It seemed to involve McLeod getting upset about a new gay magazine featuring sportsmen in Ireland, and then prattling on about a straight woman marrying a gay man in England. Next will she be getting upset about gay tiddly-winks players in Botswana? McLeod seems to come over all queer when she writes about us. 3. The Weekend Herald on 17/18 November 2001 came up with another 'horror' when it produced an interview with Helen Clark's PR guru, and hand-bag carrier, Dr Brian Edwards. Edwards sprung to Clark's defence because - shock - some people have suggested she might be lesbian. It was obvious that Edwards feels that the possibility of somebody being lesbian is a fate worst than death. Good grief, at least the Reds were under the bed, but lesbians are in it! His thinly veiled homophobia is appalling, and the fall out from it contaminates Clark also. Edwards states that Clark believes it is the National Party that has been spreading the lesbian rumours since 1975, and that is why she hates then so much. Silly me I thought Clark disliked the National Party because of the difference between their political ideology and Labour's. I'm pleased Edwards is keeping us so well informed. Doreen Agassiz-Suddens - 26th November 2001    

Credit: Doreen Agassiz-Suddens

First published: Monday, 26th November 2001 - 12:00pm

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