Thursday, 14 May 2009

Canterbury? Unwelcoming To Gays?

As a 16 year old boy living in Folkestone, Kent, I went and got myself a boyfriend in the wonderful city of Canterbury. I was blessed with a wonderful mother who would spend her weekend evenings ferrying me to Canterbury and then picking me up in the very early hours (wonderful to me, but then again I was drinking myself silly every night whilst underage with her blessing so some moralising prudes might take issue with this). Even after I split with him Canterbury remained as the centre of my "gay social life" as opposed to that I shared with my schoolmates. When I went out with Gareth in 2003, the gay bars and clubs of Canterbury became very important to me once more. Bar 11, West Bar and even Girls And boYs. So much fun.

So I was somewhat shocked by the suggestion Canterbury was particularly unwelcoming to gay people.

Canterbury Pride is calling for the council to fund a community drop-in centre for the LGBT community, and to make more reference to gay people in its culture.

They also want a gay bar to be opened. Mr Brettell added that the council could be missing out on substantial revenue.

Erm, why should the taxpayer be paying for specific services for certain groups? What exactly is being proposed be done at this drop-in centre that can't be done at a health centre? Social gathering? That's not the councils business and I'd hope they'd keep their noses out of that sort of thing. And why make more reference to gay people particularly? Surely we shouldn't be referencing people just based on who they shag, or the colour of their skin and particularly not on what sky fairy they worship. We should mention them for their input to society, their cultural achievements, the size of their rather well developed arm muscles. You know. Important stuff.

And a gay bar should be opened? Erm... I highly doubt the council is suppressing gay bars, nor are they in the business of operating them so perhaps, crazy thought, Canterbury Pride could open a gay bar and then, out there idea here, use the proposed profits to fund a community operated drop in centre!!

"The council has provided Pride in Canterbury with funding of more than £4,000 since 2005/06 through our grants system, to help them identify the needs of the LGBT community and promote their concerns."

They also held a gay open day at the council offices and addressed the concerns of Pride in Canterbury's "regular correspondence", he added.

Why? Hmm.. I'm thinking of a money making scheme here. Set up my Flying Spaghetti Monster group and getting funding to then admonish the city of Canterbury for being too supportive of Christianity. Brilliant! Who's with me?

Then the really DISGUSTING quote reaches us:

In response to the concerns raised by Canterbury Pride, one of the city's visitor attractions, The Canterbury Tales, said it would be offering members of the LGBT community a discounted admission fee until 30 June to encourage further "pink tourism".

Steve Beer, centre manager, said: "Here at the Tales, we definitely welcome all sectors of society to our attraction."

WTF???? So let me get this straight:

1) based on who you shag you can get a discount. In July those who fuck red heads get in half price!!
2) how on Earth are they going to KNOW?? I mean, as a gay guy, it's drummed into us from the moment we are converted not to show anyone our Velvet Mafia Membership Card. So how else can they tell???

Offering a discount to one group of people based solely on their sexuality is DISCRIMINATION. It is WRONG. It is so wrong that I'm going to write them a strongly worded email. But to all straight visitors to The Canterbury Tales, just say you're gay and so are your children to get a discounted admission in the meantime.

Gay people are DYING in Iraq and Canterbury Pride is sitting there moaning about needing a drop in centre, more love from elected blowhards and a place to drink alcohol and get laid. At least they have their priorities straight. Peter Tatchell, who is taking part in Moscow Pride against fierce official resistance and probable violence, would be really proud of them I'm sure.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

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