Ben on: LGBT and Pride (An idiot’s post about accepting gay people)


From the Facebook posts, news reports of festivals and rainbow coloured stuff everywhere, It can only be one thing: Pride 2017 in London, where we celebrate the LGBT community and their freedom to be themselves. I have one problem with it…LONDON ISN’T THE ONLY PLACE IN THE COUNTRY. WHERE’S MANCHESTER PRIDE, OR LIVERPOOL PRIDE, OR BRIGHTON PRIDE? WHY NO UK PRIDE 2017? That annoys me.

Anger aside, Gay pride is a great thing and something I enjoy to either observe or be a part of. It is frankly amazing to live in a country where our rights for the LGBT+ community are at their best ever since Gay marriage was brought in a few years ago. I want to talk about my views on LGBT+ people, and how they’ve changed over the years.

I didn’t know any gay people until I was 15, I grew up with a Mum and Dad, and the only gay people you see are the ones on TV, who are very camp. They say that laughter is a defence mechanism to things which you don’t expect to happen. When you’re young, you do see a lot of stereotypical depictions of gay people, and you learn to laugh at it. And you do laugh at it, and that is what I did. When you are younger, you don’t typically understand why people are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. It is completely alien to you. So you do laugh or you do react to gay people. The stereotypical, effeminate, burly gay man is supposed to make you laugh. Especially when he wears tight leather. That’s how my first exposure went. I didn’t know nothing.

This is something I find myself thinking about: Are stereotypes of gay people meant to ridicule, or normalise gay people? Since I was 15, I found out that some of the people I went to school with are gay or lesbian, and I didn’t react adversely, I just went with it. These guys weren’t camp or wore leather or anything like that. When you see a gay person in real life, they’re obviously not all going to be like Mr Humphries, most people who are gay are not going to be like Mr Humphries. I sort of came to a realisation, that the portrayal of camp gay people was a way of normalising gay people because when you meet LGBT people in real life, you find more often than not they’re nothing like that. I prefer women, but I am the campest person I know!

And since being in university, I am around LGBT people all the time, because it is a wider world out there. Some of my best friends I have met in university, like my friend Scott, are gay. I am not trying to sound preachy when I say that I am friends with gay people, I suppose what I am trying to say is how I feel you should come to accept gay people. You’re always going to get people who condemn their way of life or ridicule LGBT people, but you should be following my route. I found out about gay people through sitcoms and came out (pun intended) with an idea of gay people that was very inaccurate. But when I met people who were LGBT in real life, or friends came out to me, you do find that these people are not like the ones on TV, they’re just as boring and as ugly as you.

These days, I consider myself an ally to LGBT+ people. I try to give money to charity when I can. I am part of the LGBT society, and try to educate myself on things. And that is what you should be doing if you find out someone you know is gay. Do your research. And don’t give them special treatment or be a dick because they’re LGBT+, just remember that they’re not good people or bad people for who they sleep with or want to sleep with (if they want to sleep with anyone at all). They’re just people.

Hope you all enjoyed London Pride, and I wish you all the best. Also, if you’re LGBT+ I don’t give a shit. Don’t be a dickhead. That is all I care about.

About the author


Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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