Friday, October 16, 2009

News: You can die from being gay but not from being a bigot

The Daily Mail's had an interesting fortnight. First they manage an article on the death of Kevin Mcgee that, despite a simperingly sympathetic tone manages, oh so subtly, to say lots of nasty, silly things.

And now, Jan Moir is famous for her article on the death of Stephen Gately, which is best summed up as "He died of Gay".

It's good-old fashioned arms-crossed "well, it was probably drugs. And if not, then he got what he deserved, didn't he?"

Sadly, even the Daily Mail's own version of the the police report contradicts Moir's ravings. Stephen Gately didn't die alone in a sinister "prayer-like position". He and Andrew curled up on the sofa and dozed off after fiddling with the Bulgarian.

Frankly, I can think of worse last evenings than going out with the man you love, pulling an Eastern European stunner, and then falling quietly asleep in your bloke's arms.

Thanks to the comments section on Jan Moir's article, it appears a surprising number of people have had loved ones drop dead in a similar way. By which I mean sudden deathy-fluidy-lungs, rather than after spit-roasting a male model.

The thing the Daily Mail is incensed by is that they were having their cake and eating it. Clearly they were in a functional open relationship - a lot of gays are (and several of them still text, the sweethearts) and if it works for them, then hurrah.

The circumstances of his death - slipping away in his sleep acts against the Mail's drive of "well, it must be some kind of gay disco drug, obviously". When people die from a ketamin/GBH cocktail, it is not a gentle passing into the good night, but more
like Michael Bay remaking the Exorcist in a caravan.

UPDATE: Couldn't follow Charlie Brooker's advice to go on to the PCC on Friday, as it appears 21,000 other people were doing so. But here's what I sent them:


I would like to complain about the above article. As a gay man I believe I am "directly affected" by the cotent of the article. I personally found that

1.i) it portrayed an "inaccurate, misleading or distorted" view of homosexuality,

1.iii) failed to "distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact" by suggesting that Stephen Gately's death was as a result of his lifestyle choices rather than natural causes.

12.1 & ii) it also clearly failed to observe that "Details of an individual's race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story" and such references were "prejudicial or pejorative" by saying "it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships", linking his death to the suicide of another gay man, and the use of the words "sleazy" and "ooze".

5.1) Finally, although I am not Stephen Gately's mother, if I was and had read:
"In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication handled sensitively" shortly after reading that "his mother is still insisting that her son died from a previously undetected heart condition that has plagued the family", I believe I would have strong grounds for offence.


richardwatts said...

I know nothing of Moir other than this article, but based on it, what a cow!

PS: Have just ordered yr new book through Amazon. :-)

Skip said...

wooo! thank you.

JahTeh said...

Moir got trashed by Janet Street-Porter's more balanced article but those figures on the increase of gay bashing are alarming.

Don't leave the flat without the attack cat or your mother.