Magazine article The Spectator

Most Gay Men Have Realised That the Oppressed Victimhood Party Is Totally Over

Magazine article The Spectator

Most Gay Men Have Realised That the Oppressed Victimhood Party Is Totally Over

Article excerpt

Some of my best friends are gay - but now I can go one better than that: one of them is HIV positive.

'But that's brilliant news!' I told my friend when he spilled the beans the other day. 'Now I can go round claiming victim cred by association. And if anyone makes an Aids joke I can be, like, seriously offended and put on a solemn voice and say: "Actually, you know, if you had an HIV positive friend like I do. . .".' My friend agreed that being HIV positive was a very handy thing to be, in this respect. But on further consideration, we decided it would have carried more victim cred weight in the days before anti-retroviral drugs when a) it was a death sentence; and b) being gay won you many more oppressed-minority brownie points.

Personally I blame Ken Livingstone.

Remember in his 1980s GLC days how shamelessly he courted the pink vote with his taxpayer-funded gay parades and lavish grants to any organisation run by crop-headed women with dungarees and CND badges? Well that all ended when he worked out there was more electoral mileage in shamelessly playing up to the prejudices of his Islamist constituents instead. And clearly, much as Ken might have liked it, you can't court both minorities at the same time: not when one of them thinks the only suitable fate for the other one is to be thrown off a high rock, hanged from a crane or buried under a wall.

Maybe there's some connection between these socio-political shifting tides and the fact that the majority of my most deeply sound right-wing friends (though not, I don't think, my new mate Lord Tebbit) are gay. Probably not: as far as I know they were all born rightwing, not made. Then again, when I put my 'Are gays turning more right-wing?' hypothesis to one of them, he thought there was definitely something in it. 'Because we have one less layer of skin, we're more sensitive to the way the wind's blowing, ' he said.

Not all the gay men I know are quite with the programme, yet. My old mucker Stephen Fry has yet to send me any emails saying: 'Stap me vittals, Jimbo, you are so right about everything - and don't I half feel a silly billy for having doubted your politics all these years.'

And obviously, there's no hope whatsoever for the impossible Johann Hari who, even as the wall is pushed on top of him, will be squealing with his last breath that it's all the fault of Western imperialism and white heterosexist Islamophobia. Generally, though, I think even the most obtuse homosexual male has realised that the Oppressed Victimhood party is, like, so totally over.

But how can this be when - anecdotally, at least, there are no official figures - gay bashing is on the up? This is what Nicholas De Jongh disingenuously asked in the Evening Standard the other week, ignoring the quite enormously vast elephant sitting in the middle of his dressing room. Hmmm, now let's see. Is this surge in homophobia the result of a glut of English literature graduates reacting badly to Maurice? Or maybe, part of the great Elton John backlash? An increase in testosterone in the drinking water supply? The shrinking of the Royal Navy? Nicholas Boles?

No wait. Just a theory, this. I don't want to be the second Speccie writer this year to be hauled up before the PCC kangaroo court but I wonder - might it be that there are certain 'communities' in Britain that believe the only good 'batty boy' is a dead 'batty boy'? And certain other 'communities' where at their, ahem, places of worship, preachers project images of homosexual men onto screens in an amusing game they call 'Spot the Fag', while others, more forthright, urge their flocks simply to execute them. …

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