Andrew and I have never been the type of couple to hold hands in public, preferring instead to showcase our relationship in a lewd, camp, musical cabaret whenever we are paid to do so ! We wear our hearts on our mics rather than our sleeves.
However, were we able to complete a pert pike into a very tight tuck and still come up for air, we would doubtless have behaved just as Britain’s young Olympic diving champions did this week. Criticised by a lurid British tabloid for not showing restraint in their Olympic celebrations, these young guys could never have dreamed they would dive into a pool of glory only to resurface into a simmering cauldron of latent homophobia.
And they are not even gay!
Because these boys got a little creative in their joy at winning gold they were accused of going overboard and were advised to ‘Steady On’! The tawdry reporting implied a lack of masculinity in their behaviour and a comparison was made to the way in which their fellow Chinese athletes expressed their pleasure. They ‘settled for a manly pat on the back’ the ‘Daily Mail’ sneered implicitly. They also settled for Bronze. Whereas the British competitors had somehow let the side down – despite winning gold.
Really! Do we still live in an age of ‘Slug And Snails And Puppy Dog’s Tails’? A world where men must share their mutual respect and love for each other in a show of friendly slaps and punches. Unless of course, they are on the football pitch, where both diving and explicit displays of man-love seem to be universally acceptable.
And should we be taking lessons in social etiquette from a country that still largely manipulates how it’s population should behave? In the big pool of life China may loom large but when dragged along by the political current it’s folk are largely all doing the same stroke!
It is so depressing to see such archaic attitudes being expressed by what is purported to be a reputable newspaper. One cannot help but get that sinking feeling when illiberal ideas that should have gone out with the Ark are re-floated, often in times of stormy waters.
Joy should be admired in whatever form not splashed across this pitiful rag as an admonishment.
Chill out Mr Editor. Forget what the old boys think. Why not try dipping your pen into the warm water of humanity. Come on dive in. The water’s wonderful.
You may even like it!