Tubridy continues to examine 'the gay issue'
So for the third day since his initial off the cuff ponderings on whether there is a 'gay issue' in Ireland or if we really need Pride, Ryan Tubridy will return to discussing lesbian and gay issues on Wednesday morning in a panel discussion.
Sean R in the comments here looks at the issue of Tubridy and his ignorance of lesbian and gay issues and identity in Ireland. I don't know if he really does not know the issues, or if it's a Dublin 4 thing or if indeed its a middle class 'all my gay friends are happy homosexuals with no issues'. In this short piece I want to look at the responses of the gay community/lgbt individuals and allies and the changes in how lgbt people feel freer to say what they think.
I have been thinking a lot about Gay Byrne and how he would be handling the whole thing. I don't think he would have been as dismissive, he would of course have loved to interview a mother of a gay child and did do so many years ago. There would be much handwringing. I think people would know that Gay would realise there are still issues though - he had many controversial moments with lesbian and gay subjects on radio and tv over the years but I don't think he offended gay people as much
Of course it was a very different time when Gay Byrne was the housewives choice on the radio. Now we have people ringing, texting and emailing, using their names mostly, calling in, talking on forums about how Ryan is handling (or not) the issues.
Queers are disagreeing with each other - ie. gay people are themselves questioning pride, but many are also placing pride in a political context. People who are not activists have contacted the show angry about their lack of rights be it in the lack of recognition of their relationship by 'in laws' or ignorance of the state.
And then there is the violence - the perceived and actual violence - the name calling, the physical violence and the safety in public space issues. It's good to hear people address these issues and put them into contexts that heterosexuals might understand. For so long many straights have just thought of gay issues as two women getting it on, or disgust at sodomy. Many callers to the Tubridy show are illustrating the non-sexual reminders that are really needed in this debate.
I do expect that Ryan will hint at the fact he is being PC'ed out of it - that is he will try to illustrate divisions in the lesbian and gay community to back up 'there is no gay issue or need for gay pride' - and that will help as straight callers are very quiet on the issue.
Finally for now if you have not heard Izzy of North West Pride ask Ryan out for a pint in a gay bar you can listen here for the next 6 days or so. You'll find the interview about 1hr 15mins into the programme. It's a great piece on Pride and rural versus urban issues and on the definition of hate crimes and where hate comes from. And isn't it interesting that his two interviews on air have been with a lesbian and a mother of a lesbian. I wonder what the panel discussion will bring.