Redbrick Comment sat down with Laura Bates to discuss her views on sexism, activism and education.Written by Daniella Bassett on 27th November 2015
An absentee’s view of Gay Pride
Somewhere along the lines this was supposed to be a report of the Birmingham Gay Pride Parade that took place on 3rd June
Somewhere along the lines this was supposed to be a report of the Birmingham Gay Pride Parade that took place on 3rd June.
This reporter had been ready to run along in skimpy hot pants and glittery tank top, hair dyed proud pink and skipping along in rainbow coloured sandals, blending in with the crowd in true gonzo style, soaked through with Chanel sweat and lubricant, gyrating madly with rubber limbs to Lady Gaga’s brilliant instant ready-meal anthem ‘I am the f****t Queen, I get paid anything’!
I would be exploring and embracing my moot sexuality with the rest of my kind and realising that because I share a lot of their sexual attractions I have in fact got more in common with all of them than with any of my close friends and family, who secretly hate me in their boring ‘straight’ blinkered way.
‘Back off people whom I’ve known and loved all my life, now I am truly at home and accepted!! There’s no one more qualified in telling me how to be myself than a sixty year old man who dresses like a twenty year old woman!’ Surely like this, I would be showing who I truly am, for as we all know there is something very inherently queer about high heels, pink balloons and Dolly Parton. Discovering my sexuality did a lot to explain why in my early years I had been so obsessed with the Wizard of Oz, cheap tacky music sung by cheap tacky women, and was an expert at talking to girls about fashion, boys and Barbie dolls. I really should have seen it coming sooner. Obviously I was never shy, introverted, quiet and moody as a boy; I have fond memories of standing out from the crowd and dancing like a peroxide goddess. Maybe if I’d been "a straight" such personality traits would have gone (it’s all in the genes you know).
For many years I have had to endure being ‘straight-acting’. I have had to suffer the terrible repression of pretending to enjoy rock music, beer and mindlessly violent video games. It never really occurred to me before I saw a gay pride parade (bar the odd bit of informed tutoring from watching ‘Will and Grace’ which upon accepting my sexuality I have discovered to be a delightful, hilarious show instead of the stereotyping shitfest I stupidly thought it was before) that all of this, my entire life, has been one long denial, that what society seems to think I should act like as a bisexual man, is in fact correct, confirmed with glittery smiles by the gay ‘community’ on parade.
At first the logic of dressing and acting like women when you want to attract gay men rather threw me (I would also ask this of the lesbians but in their quest to turn into burly, lumberjack-style men, I was afraid they might simply crush my skull under a parade floats wheel). But my doubts would soon be dispelled, or at least drowned out when we all put our paws up and chant ‘BORN THIS WAY, BORN THIS WAY BORN THIS WAY, BORN THI…’
But no, this report is not about that. Instead it’s about a quiet teenage guy who happens to be bisexual (if that matters to ya) who skipped out on reporting the parade because it’s been chucking it down all day. Maybe there’s something wrong with him, maybe he is repressed or in denial, but he feels much happier sitting here in his flat with a cool beer listening to Led Zeppelin than he would be out there enduring pop songs, rain and groupies in an inbred mutation of protest and party. He cannot be the only one who feels like this, unfortunately there isn’t a group for LBGT’s who just want to act the way they feel regardless of what right wing and left wingers have assigned them rigid behavioural patterns. Having a group for such feeling would be an oxymoron anyway. So instead they must be content to settle down to a life where they get neither the support nor provocation that so many seem to crave in equal measure and simply stay inside when it rains.
Written by Giles Longley-Cook