Friday, 20 November 2009

Tatchell: 'Alan Carr and Graham Norton are camp and cliched'

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has said that TV executives should chose a wider range of gay presenters, not just "camp and cliched" stereotypes.

Speaking to Stage magazine, he said: “I am not saying Graham Norton and Alan Carr should be taken off TV. I am just fed up with the way this camp, cliched stereotype is mostly the only one that gets broadcast."

He continued: “Gay comedians like Graham Norton and Alan Carr are great, but terribly cliched and stereotypical. They pander to very tired archetypes of gay men and are just a continuation of John Inman and Larry Grayson.

“It shows little imagination and can reinforce prejudices. The problem is not that they are camp comedians, but that they are the only kind of gay comedian that have major TV programmes."
“Heterosexual audiences like laughing at gay men and so people like Alan Carr and Graham Norton fit that bill," he added.

However, Tatchell said he thought that producers were far less likely to pander to lesbian stereotypes.

A spokesman for Carr refused to comment, while Norton could not be contacted.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Liverpool rally against hatred on Sunday

Hundreds of people outraged by the growing number of homophobic attacks in Britain are expected to join a protest march in Liverpool this Sunday, 22 November.

Campaigners in Merseyside are determined that the recent attack on James Parkes, who was on an evening out with his boyfriend, will not stop openly gay people from being able to enjoy the city.

Tara Hewitt, who is one of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) officers at Liverpool university’s guild of students, said, “It’s very good to see something happening in Liverpool, which is one of the unsafest metropolitan areas in the country for LGBT people.

“Everyone needs to be included in this march.”

The demonstration will gather on the steps of St George’s Hall, opposite Liverpool Lime Street station at 1pm.

We are trying to organise transport over to Liverpool so if you would either like to go or can do a car share and drive over then please contact Phil at or ring him on 07805 576 720

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Brown's apology to Alan Turing is not good enough

By Nicolas Chinardet from

Those who know how militant and political I can get may be surprised to hear that I did not sign the widely publicised petition for an official apology to Alan Turing.

Of course this campaign is in many ways a very positive thing. It brought a dark page of the history of the LGBT community to the forefront, making the wider public aware of what some of us (many still alive today, no doubt) have had to endure from their own country.

It also served to highlight the way LGBT people have been treated by historians simply because of their unorthodox sexual orientation; how they have been prevented from taking their rightful place in the history books and have instead been firmly kept into the historical closet, regardless of the scope of their achievements.

As news comes that Gordon Brown has taken the highly unusual step to actually grant the demanded apology, I can't help but wonder once again, as does Peter Tatchell (in a statement made today on the subject) and no doubt a few others, why Alan Turing should be singled out. Why should he be the only one deserving of an apology for the "utterly unfair" treatment he has received at the hand of the government of the time?

Tatchell, in his lukewarm praise of Brown's apology as "commendable", reminds us that an "estimated 100,000 British men [...] were also convicted of consenting, victimless same-sex relationships during the twentieth century". And then there were the others before that whose lives were destroyed (all too often literally) for who they were and who they loved.

And this brings the next question, that of the worth of an apology. This is not a new debate. It is a particularly heated one, for example, in the black community around the issue of slavery, where it is complicated by the question of financial reparations.

An apology is, of course, a potent symbol, but what is an apology by people who weren't involved to someone who is dead going to achieve? Especially when so many inequalities, humiliations and rebuffs are still visited on LGBT people today around the world. Indeed, at the same time that Brown was apologising to a British citizen for the treatment he received for his homosexuality, another British citizen was being killed in Jamaica for the exact same sorry reason.

Finally, let's not forget, at the risk of seeming ungrateful perhaps, that while the PM may have apologised, Turing is still officially a criminal. He and all the others should be pardoned, not solely apologised to. What are you going to do about Mr Brown? An apology is not enough.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Welcome to Outrage! North East

OutRage! is a direct action campaigning group based in the United Kingdom which was formed to fight for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.Join our facebook group for the North East for frequent news on local LGBT rights campaigns and to pledge your support. Our new site can now be accessed at