Tuesday, 9 November 2010

I am ashamed

I just read that TV presenter Kristian Digby has died.

And I am ashamed of myself

I am ashamed of myself because my first thought wasn’t “damn, that’s a handsome, talented young man with his whole life ahead of him who has died before his time”

It wasn’t “it’s tragic that someone should die so young”

It wasn’t even “no-one should die unnecessarily and it’s a terrible tragedy when it happens.”

In fact, my first thought wasn’t one of sadness or sorrow at all – it was of dread, anger and irritation.

Because Digby was a gay man. And he died due to an apparent auto-asphyxiation kink gone wrong. And while I don’t particularly care what kinks people enjoy, I could already feel the coming judgment, the sweeping statements, the smug righteousness.

Gay sex kills. Kinky gay man killed by own lust. This is what the gays do, the gays die seeking sex thrills.

Never mind that auto-asphyxiation is a kink common to all sexualities. Never mind that it can be practised safely. Never mind that the death of one man would be a ridiculous way to judge an entire sexuality or an entire kink. But we know it will happen, because it always does. There will be fallout from this, the usual shamers, the usual attackers.

But I am still ashamed. I hate beyond words that I couldn’t spare a thought of sympathy for a tragically dead man before anger and fear kicked in. I’m ashamed that I thought about how Jan Moir would be cackling with glee before I thought about how his family would be grieving.

And that depresses me. It depresses me that I feel I need to prefer a defence from another avenue of attack before I can think of a lost life and a future cut short.