On Barry Manilow

Thursday, April 6th, 2017 04:01 pm
miss_s_b: (Default)
Some of the tone of the news articles about Barry Manilow has made me distinctly uncomfortable today. The vast majority of them have been along the lines of "we've known you're gay for years, and we don't care". This is mostly coming from people who want to show everybody that they are really tolerant and progressive, and I am hesitant to criticise people who are genuinely trying to improve themselves and the society around them, however...

Coming out is not easy. It really isn't. No matter how tolerant the social group you move in, it's terrifying. You don't know if someone is going to react unexpectedly, and therefore you build it up in your head to account for that possibility. Barry has clearly been building up to this for a long time, and it is a scary thing. When you've been brave enough to do something that scary, if everybody's reaction is "we know, and we don't care", that's going to be a real kick in the guts. And that's coming from me, a person approaching 40 who has grown up in a pretty tolerant atmosphere in the UK. Manilow is old enough to remember being illegal - and I use that phrase purposefully. He was illegal.

And that's without even going into the fact that there's no such thing as a coming out, singular. You come out to your family and friends one by one, usually. And then in your workplace. And then in your new workplace, every time you get a new job. And every single time you come out you have the fear and stress. Will they sack me? Will they hate me now? How will this bugger my life up?

I've been trying to think of an analogy that would work to help straight people to understand, and I can't. There is nothing so all-pervasive, that affects so many ordinary everyday conversations in the pub or workplace:
  • What did you do at the weekend?
  • how's the missus?
  • What will your boyfriend say if you do that?
  • How did your date go at the weekend?
These are normal parts of conversation that you have to be evasive about if you're not out. You have to think and consider, and remember who you've told what. It's tiring apart from anything else. Possibly if you're religious and trying to hide it that's similar? But I have never been religious, so I don't really know.

Anyway, my point is, greeting today's news with a shrug and a "so what?" doesn't show that you are tolerant and progressive. It shows that you have never been through a public coming out experience. Do better, media.

And Barry? Go you xxx
I'm proud of you, and I'm glad you have such a happy relationship. Well done.
miss_s_b: (Who: Six (ot3))
So the date has been set for the first same sex marriages in England and Wales.



Caron has had a fantastic idea:I have to say, I get really cross when people give a long list of people who are "responsible" for same sex marriage, from Cameron down, and leave Lynne off it. It wouldn't have happened at all without her. SO I am BANG alongside Caron's suggestion.

Who's with me?

ETA: I shouldn't be as amused as I am that 29th March is also Norman Tebbit's birthday, should I? *cackle*
miss_s_b: (Default)

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