A rather wonderful spat in the always mysterious and interesting democratic republic of homosexuals. On one side, the excellent lesbian writer Julie Bindel, on the other side, St Peter Tatchell. The point at dispute is London’s Gay Pride March: Peter likes it a lot and was there this year as usual. Julie thinks it’s become absolutely ghastly: just a huge party for men to secure sexual access to as many other men as they possibly can. It’s been taken over, she says – sounding for all the world like a retired army major living in Burford, – by ‘rollerskating nuns and men with their backsides hanging out.’ She also takes a pop at the gay world’s ‘cult of machismo’ which is, she reckons, ‘the insignia of our oppression’.
I think I’m with the radical lesbians on this one, and I’m sure they’re delighted I’m onside. But still, it has often occurred to me that it is less the fact of homosexuality which makes straight people a little squeamish, than the overt sexual incontinence associated with the male gay scene. Politically, gays and lesbians were banded together, reasonably enough, because they suffered, or felt they suffered, similar forms of discrimination. But habitually they make uneasy bedfellows, to use a singularly apt simile.Tags: Gay Rights, Sex