Pigeon Holes

Do you ever find that without you doing much you have been placed in a pigeon hole? Judgements are made and those opinions stick with you. You are effectively the short, fat, old, ginger, gay, black … guy

Well, when I identified as ‘gay’ (because I am so, not a choice then) I was OK to find my pigeon hole was with gay men, lesbians and bisexual men and women. It worked, we all were attracted to someone of the same gender (at least sometimes in the case of bisexuals).

True, I rapidly discovered it wasn’t that simple. You see, I was not a stereotypical gay man. No, a stereotypical gay man was gay first and foremost. Everyone had to know they were out and proud, they were not monogamous, they were often rude and opinionated and, well, I wasn’t. I also discovered that actually, quite a lot of lesbians really don’t like men at all be they gay or heterosexual and, as for the bisexuals, well, no one ever quite knew where they were with them.

But, basically, I was part of the LGB ‘community’. Community is actually a really bad word, it totally isn’t! It’s full of cliques, and this group, that group, tops, bottoms, versatiles, leather queens, twinks … of it so goes on!

But, if someone (clearly not thinking much) wants to put me in the LGB pigeon hole, then OK.

Except now it isn’t OK!

Imagine you are in your lovely Catholic support group and then you discover, it’s no longer the Catholic support group but rather, the multi-faith support group! I mean, a radical departure right. Now imagine it is the black and multi-faith support group, wow, suddenly it feels like it’s not your group any more right?

So, imagine, if you will, how I felt when I’d just got used to this LGB thing when suddenly I was now in the same pigoen hole as trans and heaven knows what other gender issue groups there are.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their own unique community but, what do trans people have in common with LGB? One is about sexuality and the other about gender and, news flash, these are not the same thing.

I therefore disconnect myself, I have left the pigeon loft and am a community of one

(unless other gays choose to join me).

Why it’s gone wrong

Religion, faith, belief or, whatever we want to call it, well, it needs looking at again don’t you think?

“In the Beginning”

Well, I guess different faith system believe different versions of ‘the beginning’ but, even so, it seems a good place to start!

In the belief system I was thrown into as a child it was all very simple. It was never discussed, it was always these absolute facts:

God created man, man got bored so he created woman. Woman was weak and easily influenced and did the only thing God had, for reasons no one can fathom, told them not to do so, God cast them out.

Sure, that’s not quite any text I have read but then, let’s get something very clear here just adopting a little logic shall we. God did not write the Old Testament, neither did Adam and neither did Eve so, someone who was, without any doubt whatsoever, not there, did write it, indeed, several different people.

So, who wrote the early bible?

Safe to say, it was not the kids of Adam and Eve, shall we ignore the elephant in the room (except there were no elephants), the obvious somewhat weird relationship between Adam and Eve. Let’s take that a little further shall we, their kids, Cain, Abel & Seth, all guys. Adam and Eve supposedly lived 900 years, again, somewhat strange as no dating system yet existed. Yet, in those 900 years not one mention of you know, a girl. Had they a daughter then one of the other three, if not all of them, would have needed to have sex with her to begat the spawn of the planet and, if not their sister, their mother? I think we can say from all biblical references with the exception of Jesus, there were no virgin births and yet, pretty soon we had a heavily populated planet full of a lot of very bad people with the exception of Noah and his family. That God (or maybe not) that the incest had stopped by this time.

So, we have already established that really, the story of the creation was, for a very long time indeed, passed down through the generations and we are all aware of how well that works out for accuracy which brings into question a great deal of detail. But, this is what I was taught as absolute fact which cannot be questioned, indeed, I remember trying to a silenced room and then told not to question the word of God … except, it wasn’t the word of God. Way back I established that ‘God’ did not write it any more than he is writing this or, maybe he is, he works in mysterious ways.

On that note, one thing we are all taught as Christians is, The Lords Prayer which starts with this line:

Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name

There we go, right there. We actually have no accurate record of God’s name, it certainly isn’t ‘God’ so, huge fail there. When were we given this because, sure as night as day, it was at a time when we surely knew the name of God? Jesus gave it to us so, in historical and literary terms, quite recently. So inaccurate were the writings of the New Testament, let alone the old, it was never mentioned, nothing, the name of God totally lost in time, the one thing Jesus told us to be hallowed about, we were meant to honour that name and there it was, Gone and the best we can do is to guess at it.

Interpretation or translation, take your pick

Much if not all of ‘the Bible’ was written in Hebrew, I am not an expert here and confess, some of it could have been written in Greek or, indeed, Italian or Latin, lots of different people had a hand in it.

Even if we accepted it was just written in a language we do not understand as, indeed, the way it was written really is very difficult to translate with any efficient accuracy. Even if we accept it had to be translated, how much can we trust those who translated it. Indeed, it’s rarely said to be translated but more, interpreted.

So, what’s wrong with interpretation?

It carries bias whether intentioned or not. For example, have you ever been in an art gallery and watched some ‘experts’ talking. They will say things, about a painting done hundreds of years ago, what the artist was ‘thinking’. That is an interpretation based on their own take on what they have seen or heard. This might not be an issue except that we are told we have to follow the Bible to the letter. But, what if the interpretation was just wrong? Not intentional, they just presumed it could mean one thing but it actually meant something else. The trouble is, the beliefs of the day will have clouded what they were have thought was meant.

Is man sleeping with man as though with woman to mean a homosexual relationship? To many, of course, yes it does. Could it not mean something else though if we knew more about how they lived back then.

It was very much stated in a military context whereby men were having sex with each other not because they were homosexual but because they were horny and any port will do in a storm. What the passage was actually doing was telling civilians that they were better offering them up their underage daughters rather than making them do what was unnatural to them. Clearly there is something very questionable about selling off a mere female child to a bunch of soldiers but, this is what they believed was the right thing to do back then. From that interpretation, the whole notion that the author was attacking homosexuality is just incorrect. Much the shame as eating shell fish (I just had some prawns so I should clearly be put to death). Mixed fibres, working on the Sabbath (depending what you follow that is either Saturday or Sunday so difficult to know who should be stoned there)

Moving on

So, we had all that Old Testament stuff and much of it was really helpful at a time when coming up with any rule based system was problematic. Along comes ‘Jesus’ (Maybe not his real name, see accuracy of writing above), and he effectively acknowledged how useful it was but rather taught that his followers were now meant to follow his lead, he alone spoke for his father ‘God’ so, his words and his words alone were the direct words of God. As we established previously, very little in the Old Testament writings was said to be directly from God, yes, thank you Moses, I’ve not forgotten you’re part in this.

Since the coming of Jesus religious groups have been really busy.

The Jews argue that actually, Jesus was nothing special, a profit at best. The Muslims rather went with Allah, Latter Day Saints, John Smith other religions just going way out there doing whatever. The Catholics, bless them, still proclaim to have a direct link with God and claim to speak for him and, only they can rewrite the bible or add addendums to it because it was what God wanted them to do. The Church of England only exists because Henry VIII of England couldn’t get his own way and divorce his first wife.

Now, we can each individually decide which faith groups have it right and which wrong, I’d argue, most of them, the majority and the largest of them, have it wrong.

Who is right?

Effectively, no one can claim to be absolutely right and those who do must be absolutely wrong because, quite simply put, they were not there.

What most of these people taught us, add Jesus and Allah in there (Not sure what the Jews are holding onto to), both of those spoke of peace, love, understand, respect and so on.

Neither wrote anything, to my knowledge, about having to have strong religious leaders dictating to ‘their’ followers how they ‘must’ live their lives.

Jesus really gave people one simple choice, follow him and his way of thinking and, it’s all cool, you will be rewarded. He may or may not have mentioned heaven, that actually really doesn’t much matter. For Jesus, doing the right thing was the reward in of itself. Imagine if you had the power in yourself to improve the life of someone else, isn’t there a huge emotional reward in that? I know there is because of all those videos on TikTok showing people doing it and how many likes they get so … lots of people instinctively know that. It is this knowing which means we ‘get’ it.

Do we get it if we are mean to people all week then go to Church on Sunday, say a few prayers and go home ready to start another week of being mean? I think not.

So, what of going to church?

Back to interpretation again. Whoever said that ‘church’ was a building or needed someone wearing a dress at the front telling us what to do?

Have you ever just been out some time and suddenly you look around and everything is just perfect? That is the church of God, that is where you will find the meaning of the whole faith thing.

Take this, just a road. But look beyond, all that crisp whiteness, a perfect high cloud sky, that’s perfection right there, see beyond the barriers.

The classic sunset, trail lights from planes carrying people living their dreams, that’s the church right there

Water, all over the place providing and sustaining life, that’s where the church is, that is where we find our spiritual leader.

We can find the true meaning of religion all around us if we just look and this is what was trying to be conveyed over the thousands of years since anyone tried to tell anyone else. Stop, look, feel and understand. When you feel that magic, share it.

How has religion been corrupted?

Church of England: Only started so that one man could go back on a promise he made to someone. Several hundred years later it is ruled by an adulterer who married the woman he was having sex with whilst married, that’s not idle gossip, it’s the truth. But, at least I am free to say that.

Catholic Church, they’ve added so many things to what their followers must and must not do as though they are the direct orders of God, most of those things go against what Jesus taught. They are also, as are other faiths, about any part of the Old Testament they feel doesn’t need to be followed and which does. They do not know, God does not directly speak to them or any part of their faith but they force their followers to believe it or be cast out. They have a huge wealth whilst people around the world starve to death. Their Pope makes is very clear he believes that homosexuality is a sin because those who the Catholic church chose to interpret the scriptures were told to latch onto anything which divided and weakened. Let us not be under any delusions here, to control people you must threaten them and weaken them, create division and force them to choose. Is this the art of a loving faith in line with the actual words of Jesus who said nothing about homosexuality, nothing about men being superior and so on. But, at least I am free to say that.

Muslims, That is about as much as I dare write about them, that certainly should not be right from any faith group?

Jews, Likewise, we are not allowed to say they do anything at all wrong, it’s just strictly not allowed. Anything they do has to be right, it cannot be reported otherwise, indeed, their belief system is classed by many as a ‘race’, a state which cannot be disagreed with. The holocaust only happened to them, not to the gays, to the disabled, to the Polish or, indeed, anyone Hitler chose to get rid of yet, it has to be seen as a Jewish thing, one only the Jews were victims of, they managed to get their own country on the strength of it! Crazy stuff. But, at least I am free to say that. though I will be condemned as wrong because, this is the way for some reason.

It’s an old cliché but

Why can we not all get along?

The answer?

Religion stops us, we have to be right in our own faiths because that is what the leaders of those faiths tells us, only ‘we’ are right and ‘they’ are wrong. What if there was no ‘us’ but just ‘we’? Wouldn’t that make for a better place? Just people being kind, showing the love, getting along.

It’ll never happen.

Gay Rights again takes a nosedive!

I wonder how many I have looking at my blog are in their late teens? From distant memory it was seen as a huge success for a teen 16+ to bed a much older woman, to have their own ‘milf’. Society seems to accept that this is OK, some might even argue, it’s good to have a woman with some experience to show them the way and then we have Huw Edwards!

I do not pretend to know the man. This said, I am a bit of an expert on gay dads. Many will have known about their sexuality before they got married. They will have lived in an environment where even for them to accept their sexuality was not acceptable, just not a realistic option. They would have to give up everything familiar. Mr Edwards is the same age as me more or less. Back in the 1970’s there were very few parts of the UK where being out and proud was an option. The vast majority of men will have suppressed their sexuality, got married (to a woman they no doubt love) and had children and as life progressed the very real difficulties will have hit.

Sometimes, when we are young, it’s really difficult if not impossible to comprehend what a lifetime actually is, just how long it is. What we think we can manage in our late teens or early 20’s eventually catches up on is.

Many men will just leave their wives and go it alone but for most, they’d already have children by this time. They will have realised that they are performing with their wife but they still love her and absolutely adore their children, they struggle on managing their repressed sexuality as best they can. Sometimes with their wife’s knowledge and sometimes in secret they will find a way to satisfy their need to be with a man or even convince themselves that doing it virtually is enough.

Would it have been a news story so enormous as this if a newsreader had a distance fling with a younger woman? No, it would barely have attracted a mention. Maybe, as was the case with me, the wife is fully aware and accepting because it maintains their life of respectability. We just do not know but ‘The Sun’ came at this from the outset with their suggestions of what went on. To read what they wrote there was a newsreader obtaining sexually explicit images with a teenager. For many reading that they would have presumed the teen in question to be around 14, very much still a child. As it was, nothing illegal happened, both were of legal age and consenting.

I was listening to the radio this morning. People phoning in to explain how disgusting it was for this married man to have sex with a teenage boy … not that there has been, as far as I am aware, a fact that sex occurred but, even if it did, how is this in the public interest?

If Mr Edwards had spent his career being homophobic and challenging same sex relationships then yes, that is in the public interest but, again, AFAIK, he never did. He and his family have struggled through trying to have their private lives.

Then people are saying victim blame is going on, how so? The alleged ‘victim’ was legally able to consent to what he did AND had said prior to the printing of the story by the sun, that the story his parents told is just untrue. We cannot blame a victim who doesn’t exist?

Those who feel gays have got full equality need to understand from this story that they don’t. The UK press will still see their activities as a scandal, their life choices are not private.

‘Gay’ Pride’

Yes it grabs the attention, makes people look but … one question I get asked too often is “which of you is the woman?”

I do not want my sexuality confused as a gender issue.

Thanks to my lovely husband in the foreground.

My own perspective on gay pride and, indeed the so called ‘community’.

Firstly, understand the history of pride. It started when gay people finally took a stand against the homophobia they were subjected to. For many years gay people were unprotected, no laws gave them equal rights not even the laws of the lands they lived in as citizens from birth. They were seen as criminals and generally people with severe mental health issues and deviants.

With slow progress in many countries we got some kind of equality or, at least legal protecting from prejudice to the point many who don’t recall when it wasn’t there really believe we’ve already got there and Pride has become nothing more than an in your face celebration of a job well done!

We are no where near that point yet and to make matters worse, we are diluting the cause and allowing it to be taken over by issues which are not our issues.

Over recent years our fight for equality for those with differing sexuality has had added to it, the fight for gender identity. What real connection do we as gay, lesbian and bisexual men and women do we have with the multitude of current gender identities?

Don’t get me wrong, I support that battle separately just not inclusively. If we follow any natural progression some trans might take we get this scenario and this is merely an example:

Mike is trans. Right now Mike is gay he is part of the LGB community. However, Mike is transitioning to Michelle. ‘She’ is living as a woman who is attracted to men. When she fully transitions she will be and wants to be a woman. At this point, Michelle becomes a straight woman, no longer a part of the LGB community. Of course, it’s way more complex but, we have to call a spade a spade.

Gender identity should have remained an issue in of itself. They will have their supporters and those in the LGB community will have theirs. Sometimes they may be the same people.

Does it help that leading many Pride events (which used to be pre woke, called ‘gay pride’) we have drag queens? I’ll wager that the majority of gay men have no desire at all the wear female clothes and yet, as far as society sees us, we come across as cross dressing weirdos. Not as we are, just the men and women you work with, who you see every day or pass by in the street. Again, don’t misunderstand me, no issue with drag queens, some are great but, would be put the Royal State Coach at the head of an environmentally friendly car parade? It’s overkill and suggests totally the wrong thing.

Beautiful and grand but, not taking us into the future

If you’re selling EV’s you don’t use the State Coach to promote them!

In short, Pride has been taken over by those with heavy egos who don’t even realise this is still a struggle.

How many gay men would feel comfortable walking through the Grosvenor Centre holding hands with their husbands? I see the ladies doing it but, never us men. Is that a rational avoidance or is it justified considering recent attacks on gay men in the town?

Gay men ‘afraid to hold hands in public’, survey finds

We’ve police forces up and down the country recognised for being institutionally homophobic. That on top of how generally ineffective the police are anyway and it matters not what laws are passed if the police and CPS do not enforce those laws.

We still do not have marriage equality, under law religions cannot perform same sex marriages. That was as much a government decision as it was the religions involved.

In many countries around the world our rights range from tolerance to a criminal offence punishable by death. Our government and monarchy still counts those countries amongst our ‘friends’.

I would like us to get back to being the LGB community fighting our own causes.