Thursday, 14 May 2009

My Grumpy Letter To The Owners Of The Canterbury Tales

Following on from my rant here, I've gotten proactive!

Dear Sir/Madam

I noticed a recent news story on BBC News that, as a gay Kentish Man (living in London) piqued my interest. The url is It was about a
supposed lack of support of the LGBT community by Canterbury council. I quote from the article:

"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."

May I ask how this policy is to be 1) justified and 2) implemented?

I am totally shocked that a visitor attraction designed for theentertainment and education of the people of Kent and visitors to our wonderful county, could possibly single out a single group (even one of which I'm a proud member!) for a discount over others. That is discrimination of a terrible kind. Would you think it was acceptable to say "All white people get a discount" or "All straight people get a discount"? It is not, and neither is this.

Secondly how do you propose to implement this discount? Self disclosure? Anyone can say they are a member of the LGBTQ community! Gay people aren't walking stereotypes who can easily be spotted, but this policy seems to suggest they might be. Perhaps you are looking
for those with a keen dress sense, a snappy turn of phrase and perhaps a limp wrist? I am deeply offended by the very idea one would know who is a member of the LGBTQ community based on looks alone or by the suggestion such a member should be worthy of a discount over others and need to disclose their sexual behaviours to strangers in order to get said discount.

I find what you are doing extremely concerning and hope this is a mistake on the part of the BBC and not your actual policy. I am keen to hear your views.

Thank you in advance

Jason Kay

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

1 comment:

Alan said...


You are of course quite correct. This was a totally stupid initiative and entirely unworkable. I guess it was an instant reaction and one which will be rescinded when serious though is given to it. Being open and welcome to everybody is all that is needed.
Incidentally, I enjoy reading your blog. I have added it to my blog list. I hope it is okay to do that. -