Preaching To The Choir

Posted: December 18, 2011 in homosexuality, Identity

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.

Comments
  1. elissa says:

    It’s a sad state of affairs to be sure.

    I’ve read enough of your stuff and I simply don’t get how anyone can stick such a banner on you or the things you say. I find your thoughts and ideas to be very flexible. I don’t get it at all.

  2. Lily says:

    I clicked on the screencap from Facebook to read it. Can I ask, why did you append the tag #antigay to one of your comments?

  3. paul says:

    Was “#antigay” in your original comment? If so, the explanation might have been as simple as someone seeing that and assuming you were “antigay” in the more usual sense. If not–your explanation would seem to be the only one that makes sense.

    (I’ve only heard a few songs of his but DM does have a lovely voice…)

    • yes it was but I explained it. they deleted the bit where I explained it and Mcalmont knows Mark S and Paul B who wrote in anti gay, so he knew what I meant and it was he who deleted my comments.

  4. paul says:

    ah okay… that’s a shame 😦

  5. I can only say: only tools enjoy Facebook, particularly tools who enjoy micromanaging their online “social life” and see the word “friend” as something other than the awful metaphor that it is.

    Best not to invest too much time or energy there.

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