All Articles

Editor’s Words – Oct 2010


Hi, and welcome to a slightly different looking Bent, I hope the new format meets with everyone’s approval. Still packed with interviews, reviews, opinions and this month we take a look at some of the latest trends in underwear.

Meanwhile, I was chatting to a young guy the other day and he’d recently returned from a trip to the States and in particular San Francisco’s Gay Pride. I expected him to be effusive and big on praise for this, some would say, iconic event in the city that helped spawn gay global awareness. I asked him if it was busy and he unenthusiastically replied; “…yes I suppose so”. Realising that something wasn’t quite right (I didn’t get to be an editor without being on the ball in these matters) he looked at me with a look of disdain on his face and said: “It was all just a load of old guys with their todgers out,” he shrugged his shoulders, “I couldn’t see the point.” I was about to launch into how these ‘old guys’ were part of the reason we had so many of our gay freedoms these days but he just looked at me with pity in his eyes and, as a parting shot, said as he turned to go:

“… and who the hell wants to see that?” I was left wondering if these days younger gay guys only see Pride as a chance for exhibitionists and nothing at all to do with gay rights and the continued struggle to attain equality. I wasn’t comfortable lecturing him about why folk got their ‘todgers’ out but I was saddened to think that that particular image was the only memory he came away with from a city that is so important in gay history.

Hot on the heels of the ‘Is He or Isn’t He’ gay argument surrounding the recent news on Foreign Minister William Hague’s decision to share a room with his young male special advisor, I was asked to appear on a local radio programme for my opinions. My view is that it has nothing to do with me or anyone but him and his missus, and I was keen to make that point. However, when I got to the studio the story was more or less dead and it turned into a chat about, whether these days being gay it should make a difference. I was armed with some witty one liners and a series of programme-stopping points until my fellow guest was introduced. He was a small man, holding a bible and had a large cross on a chain around his neck. He was a 79 year old former Bishop and I was wary of what he had to say. Having a complete downer on religion and its blinkered followers I was prepared to give him, despite his age, hell. It turned out that this ageing gentleman was himself gay and had been married, had male friends and had suffered over 30 years of denial because he wanted to fit in to what the ‘Good Book’ was supposed to represent.

He spoke quietly and with some assurance and when it came to my comments I simply told the interviewer not to chat to me… they had someone far more interesting in the studio and his voice should be heard. Apparently, late in his ministry abroad he went to tell his ‘confessor’ that he’d fallen for another man and didn’t know what to do. The confessor asked him if the feelings were mutual and when the answer was in the affirmative he simply said “Good, you’ll now have someone to love.”
It is a pity that such simple advice isn’t at the forefront of all religious doctrines.