Opinion: Take the sex out of same-sex, leaving love

Dean Freeman
Dean Freeman

Last week, The Express published a photograph of two females kissing.

Was it the paper’s first lesbian kiss? Remember when that was a thing?

Alarmingly, it is only 20 years since the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss was broadcast on British TV.

I missed that one, but I clearly remember the anticipation of the first such kiss in Neighbours.

In the end, it was hugely underwhelming, yet with hindsight I am incredibly glad it was. The unceasing objectification of women in all forms of media is terminally depressing, yet in this instance we saw something unexpectedly – and reassuringly – down to earth.

The former taboo of same-sex relationships, and now marriage, always seems to get caught up on that word: sex. Stephen Fry’s documentary last year, Out There, saw him travel to Uganda to look at the effects of anti-homosexuality laws.

It was terrifying. And sadly is only a different place on the same spectrum of homophobia upon which Mr Barker of Wakefield placed himself last week, before the aforementioned lesbian photo bombing took place (something which sounds more spectacular than it is, admittedly).

Time and again, Stephen Fry faced the same accusations that ‘all gays are paedophiles’.

He dumbfounded them with the admittance that he was in a relationship, but it was non-sexual. Instead, his same-sex relationship was about love, compassion, companionship and respect. They couldn’t pull apart the term same-sex to not include the idea of sex.

They couldn’t see it was just two human beings, together and in love.

It’s sad when Bible verses are quoted to defy something like this, as was the case with Mr Barker.

Because although the Church has, albeit rather slowly, tried to modernise itself, it’s a bit short sighted to suggest that, yes, it was wrong about burning women as witches and female vicars but it is definitely right about this.

These religious types have a lot to answer for. But you know what? I forgive them – not because it says I have to in a book. But because that’s just the way I am.

Besides, I’m too busy to worry about such trivial things – because Long Division Festival is returning this week.

On Wednesday night, we are holding a launch event at Wah Wah Records on Brook Street. It starts at 7pm and we’ll be announcing our headliners for the September festival, including our biggest-ever band.

Why should you care? Well, we bring loads of interesting bands to Wakefield from all over the country. We give as many as we can from Wakefield a chance to play with them. We make it really cheap and it’s an easy and super-fun way to spend a day or two.

Wednesday will be your first chance to buy tickets before they go on general sale on Good Friday.

For more information see the article on page 16 of this paper.