Am I allowed to laugh?

Tory MEP Roger Helmer cracks some funnies

I was greeted this morning with the news that Tory MEP Roger Helmer has declared homophobia an invented phenomenon designed to ‘denigrate’ and ‘stigmatise’ people holding ‘conventional’ opinions.

This silver fox, who has defended a number of individuals found wanting in tolerance, claims that homphobia is a prime example of how political correctness is restricting ‘our’ [as in white conservative middle class] freedom. In his blog ‘Straight Talking’, he has further noted (ready the pitchforks): “Why is it that some groups in society, notably homosexuals, seem to regard almost any reference to themselves as automatically pejorative? It suggests a terminal lack of self-respect and self-confidence, an over-developed sense of victim-hood, a mighty chip on the shoulder.”

What was my first reaction? Frankly, I thought it was hilarious.

The incompatibility of homophobia with realistic modern life is such that when someone comes out with these quotes it is so awkward and passé that there is nothing to do other than laugh. Homophobia sound inarticulate, badly informed and to defend its use is to come across as a moron.

As I was having a wander through Hanover Square the other day dressed like a new romantic (large dress shirts are a great way to hide any extraneous fat), I heard a shout of “Jesus loves you” from a white van. The workman further inquired, “Mate are you gay?”

I gave him a quizzical look and was informed, “You better get down on your knees [oh dear] and repent or you’ll go to hell. Christ loves you”.


Is this homophobic, or just bizarre? Every time I hear of friends experiencing verbal taunts, there is a clear lack of basic understanding. Some youths shouted “Get out the way, you lesbian paki” across the street from my friend, despite the fact she was not in the way, straight and Caucasian.

I think gay people are aware now that when they receive verbal abuse, we are in the right, and we’re at a stage where we can laugh off this kind of ridicule. Nevertheless, this Helmer character should consider the well-being of the hundreds of gay people in his constituency, and in doing so get a grip on reality.

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