I saw this lovely photo on the facebook wall of David McAlmont yesterday. It’s a ‘gay choir’ doing a Christmas concert. David was ‘the voice’ in the pop duo McAlmont and Butler quite a long time ago.
I asked under the photo, though, how the men joining prove they are ‘gay’ to get in the choir. This had some relevance to the wider world and to ‘gay’ politics. I had heard recently about a case involving some bisexual softball players who had been kicked out of a ‘gay’ league but who appealed and won their case.
But when I went back to David’s wall I saw my comment had disappeared, even though he’d originally ‘liked’ it. This is the conversation that ensued (click on image to enlarge):
The next thing I knew I had been ‘blocked’ by David, and all my comments (and the ones by the person arguing with me) had been removed.
I’ve only been on facebook five minutes and this censorious behaviour is already being used to shut QRG up.
Another person in the conversation is Paul Burston. He wrote a chapter in Mark Simpson’s Anti Gay(1996). But since then he has become a typical middle class white man gay activist, supporting his own and avoiding debate. He bans me from commenting under his Time Out Gay and Lesbian column, and he and Suzanne Moore publicly slagged me off on facebook before I was even a member.
At a personal level, even though I am a known ‘internet troll’ as Burston calls me, I find it upsetting when people who I once admired treat me like this.
But the issue is much wider than that. This is how ‘politics’ is conducted in the internet age. Dissent and discussion are not only discouraged but positively clamped down on. Either you preach to the choir or you shut up.