Sunday, 17 July 2011

Times: Closets are for clothes
Sunday, July 10, 2011, 11:03, by Alison Bezzina

I didn't make it to The Gay Pride March yesterday, because the night before I was at a gay party with thousands of people having too much fun till the wee hours of the morning.
I was therefore too tired to make it to the march the next day.

Ok, that sounded like a good intro, and though the first part is true, I can't really get away with the last bit because too many people saw me up and about doing what I usually do on Saturday mornings - driving my brother to and fro, running errands, stocking up on wine, and getting my car washed.

Why is it that thousands of gay and gay-friendly people turn up to gay parties, but only three hundred people turn up to marches like yesterday's?

Of course, I'm not in any way pointing fingers, because as I said, I wasn't there, and those three hundred people were. They braved the blistering heat, the effects of their late night out, and marched with pride despite the usual no-quick-results that come out of these parades.
Not only did they risk sun stroke, they also risked being ridiculed, and worse of all, they risked being told off by their parents during Sunday lunch. You see, the truth is that whilst most parents eventually come around in accepting their gay children, they always try to control the level of 'out' that their children contend with.

Once parents resign to the fact that it's not a phase, that there's absolutely nothing they can do to change their child's sexual orientation, and once they realise that Pastor Gordon Manche is a fake, the next issue that they struggle with is 'Kemm tidher u kemm ma tidhirx'.

The usual argument is, that it's ok to be gay but that there's no need to flaunt it, and as contradictory as this might sound, many gay people consider this to be a fair compromise. 'I've already put them through so much,' is their usual rationalisation 'the least I can do is not to show it off." And clearly, attending a gay pride parade like yesterday's, would fall squarely in the 'kemm tidher' category.

It is precisely for this reason that my greatest admiration goes to Peppi Azzopardi. He's always been openly supportive of gay rights, but this time, he also took his teenage son along with him to the parade.

It's one thing to be a liberal public figure, and attend these things alone, but most would draw the line at tagging their kids along.

This is not to say that Peppi, would be over the moon if his son turned out to be gay, after all, no parent wants their child to have to face more hardships than others, but he's openly showing him, that if that had to be the case, not only would it not be the end of the world, but his son wouldn't have to worry for a minute about not showing it!

In fact, people like Peppi would be pretty miffed if their child ever tried to hide it at all, thus doing away with what is probably the biggest hardship ever imposed on gay people.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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