- Saturday 8th February 2020, 7:00pm [Edited]
- United Kingdom
- 7,077 posts
The 21st Century culture of openness - the sort which dwells on identity issues for days on end because the United Kingdom no longer has an industrial heartland - is becoming more of a sham than it has ever been in terms of being a supposed development from the bad years. There can be thousands of pages of newsprint devoted to it, four million hits on You Tube and nearly a week of phone ins with the half-baked thoughts of Trevor from West Malling. Still it seems we are all none the wiser about anything specific when it is specifics that alone should define reality. The political line is next. It is one to which we are all expected to adhere or else be described as a social leper. It was funnier in the old days.
So, someone after nearly 30 years of marriage with an individual of the opposite sex and with two adult offspring, quote, "comes out as gay". Everyone says they are proud of him. Lengthy discussions are held in the media on the matter to use up air time, justify presenters' millionaire style salaries, and ensure that no effort has to be made to fill that space instead with expensive documentaries on dinosaurs, space travel, the piano concertos of Tcherepnin (Alexander rather than Nikolai) and advanced crochet. And after it all, what has any of us learned? Precisely nothing other than that this is all to the good just so long as no in depth questions are asked as those apparently are about personal privacy. Well, I am going to buck the trend. I shall ask as I am not as a viewer quite satisfied with the vagueness being promoted. One which turns us all into beings compliant with the socially required naivety. What does gay in these circumstances mean? Specifically?
It does not mean, does it, being in love with someone of the same gender when the existence of such a relationship seems to be absent. Nor does it appear on all that has not been said to mean having a strong emotional yearning to be in a sexual relationship with someone imagined of the same sex who is older or who is younger or who is of the same age as the individual concerned. Thirdly, it is not that the individual could be said to have had a physical inability with sex with someone of the opposite gender for donkeys years which of itself would genetically rule out bisexuality. A strong yearning to have sex as sex with a man - any man - well, perhaps, but that is not exclusively gay either and hasn't been confirmed. So, no, it is on the basis of what we have been allowed to hear more general. More vague. Less specific. Not specific at all in these ways, that's as it has been told. Without question, the spotlight is wholly on the coming outer but his spotlight on what others mean to him has to date been "no reveal". Except that in many ways could be the biggest reveal of all.
Who would begrudge a man who on coming up to 60 and, who, since his mid teens, has been desperate to entertain and do the usual responsible thing of being a husband and a father, opts to have a bit of "me time" as death draws closer? Some go down the pub more. Others take up fishing. A few will choose to do it altogether differently. The ageing process is a devil for everyone, whether he is a professor or he drives a dust cart. Consequently, by this sort of age, sex is largely absent so any talk of having a sexual identity is almost comical, let alone of having a sexual orientation. But then there is the fact that the media business is a very fickle mistress who, in her modern insistence on making life fairer for everybody, needs to have a dismissible fool guy. He is today called the white older middle aged British heterosexual family man.
Yet, change heterosexual to homosexual here and the media model suddenly changes. Computer indicating about to say "no - go and find a nice late night slot on BBC Radio Cleveland" switches in to "you've got a job for life, mate" mode. Immediately it senses currency, modern relevance, albeit bizarrely in what has been an aspect generally in life since long before the Bible, and a reversal of age-related fading significance much as a new weave would have a dramatic impact on virtual baldness. All the while, no other person (apart from the wife and the kids and a few celebrities) or yearning or behavioural preferences to the extent that they exist, if at all, need to be mentioned during what is falsely described as in-depth scrutiny. There is, I am in no doubt, an aspect to these things which says something of social changes in the past 30 years. They have made many lives easier than they would have been. There is also, without question, a very genuine quality to what has been thought and felt and expressed in which career based considerations unequivocally play no part.
But the gay identity here is a closeted thing in its supposed outness. It is in regard to its perceptions of any other person (or people generally) like a three line sketch in which one can just about see it is a figure but all its characteristics are missing. Strange when the entertainment has so often been about interviewing other people but then does questioning ever fully reach or engage?? As for the person with the perceptions, he is reduced to a word - gay - but is simultaneously elevated by its simplicity which in truth can never be the full identity in anyone or close to it. It's a construct as all aspects of our identities are but one in which even more notice is taken of someone who has rarely been out of the public's gaze yet only seemingly about his true gaze in regard to others which, by necessity for self-focus, must remain approximate.