In 21st century Britain, despite the best efforts of the Daily Mail, tolerance is pretty widespread.
Racism and homophobia, whilst impossible to completely eradicate, are largely a thing of the past, and while the economy stagnates and the NHS is torn down around our ears, the price of petrol skyrockets and doctors tell us that we’re all going to die of alcoholism, Alzheimer’s and aneurysms (and that’s just the “A” section!) it’s quietly comforting to realise that at least nobody is getting hassled for the colour of their skin or their choice of partner.
For the most part.
Every so often, a depressing reminder will crop up that some people are still determinedly narrow minded, and can’t stand to leave everyone else alone to get on with their lives.
Then there are the times that aren’t depressing. They’re just hilarious.
Recently, Transport For London decided not to run an advert paid for by the Core Issues Trust, a group of uptight religious people who wanted to harangue the gay community of London through the medium of “stuff written on buses.”
Laughably, their core message was that gayness was just a decision, and one that you could be taught to give up, like smoking or biting your nails.
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Whilst genuine prejudice is always ugly, this kind of blinkered thinking is actually a lot of fun if you know how to handle it. Rather than try to reason with people who earnestly believe that you can “pray the gay away,” I think it’s about time that right-thinking people in this country had some fun with these idiots and dealt with them in a less intellectual and more direct manner.
Mike Davidson, representing the Core Issues Trust, has said that banning the “we can stop you being gay” advert is unlawful. It’s also a safe bet that Mike Davidson, who claims to be “ex-gay,” is sat at home right now, trying his best not to think about the taut buttocks of muscular young men glistening with sweat.
I say this is a safe bet, because this must be how Mike spends all his time. Anyone who has worked that hard to suppress their in-built sexuality must devote an astonishing amount of time and energy to blocking out thoughts of throbbing penises. If these people would just chill out and go on a few dates with another bloke, they could free up an incalculable amount of mental processing power to work on something useful. It’s entirely possible that “ex-gay” people could have invented perpetual motion or cold fusion by now, were they not so busy thinking “LALALALALA, I DON’T FANCY BRAD PITT” over and over again.
With this in mind, I feel it is our civic – nay, humanitarian – duty to break these people out of their emotional prisons. Let’s have a whip-round and next month we should plaster all the buses and billboards in London with pictures of attractive, naked men.
Nobody will really lose out (except people who are trying to advertise something that isn’t “penis,” I suppose) because gays will be happy, straight women will be happy, and gay women and straight men who are secure in themselves will just shrug and not be interested in the first place. Let’s be honest, I don’t care about a billboard that advertises Pepsi Max or Persil, so as a straight man I’ll be paying the same net amount of attention that I always am: zero.
Meanwhile, the poor, confused chaps over at the Core Issues Trust will be having a much harder time of things. You’ll spot these people, because they’ll be the ones twitching and sweating and chewing the edges of their Bibles. Personally, I find it hard enough to watch a movie in which people smoke without wanting to go out for a cigarette, so I’m confident that the onslaught of rippling male torsos will be too much for their previous brainwashing to deal with.
When they crack – and they will – they might just realise that it’s 2013, nobody cares if they’re gay, and the world is a much nicer place when you don’t live in a constant state of self denial.
So let’s have a good laugh at the expense of the Core Issues Trust, and if all goes according to the plan above, this time next month they’ll all see the funny side too, as they look back on their previous stupidity over a strawberry daiquiri whilst cuddled up with Bruce from the Rainbow Lounge.