Wednesday, 9 March 2011

BBC fails again - child sexual abuse is not why we are gay

Openly gay MEP Michael Cashman has revealed in an interview with BBC Radio 5 that he was sexually attacked as a child

I applaud his courage, it takes a lot of strength to reveal such a thing and hopefully it will give courage and strength to other people to examine their own pain and be able to confront it.

And this beautiful powerful moment then had his interviewer Kate Silverton ask whether it shaped his sexuality

Did we get that? Being molested when he was 8 may be why he is gay.

I cannot express enough how wrong this is. I applaud Michael Cashman for answering so graciously because, personally, I would have told that homophobe that the interview was over and when they can find someone with a modicum of respect and decency I would finish it.

If a straight person had said they had been molested or raped as a child would we declare “oh this is why you are straight?” No, we wouldn't – because straightness is assumed, it's the default. But if you're gay something must have happened to you. Something must have changed you from true, pure straightness. It must be due to trauma, it must be due to damage – because it can't be normal right? It can't be natural? It can't be who we are!

Is it hard to see how grossly, disgustingly insulting it is to declare that someone's love life, their love, their relationships are all based on trauma from sexual abuse? How can this be anything but demeaning and diminishing and insulting? Referring to their relationship of 27 years of love as being based on sexual abuse? How can this be anything but an insult?

We constantly have to justify who and what we are, because people like this ignorant fool continually refer to being gay as something that happened to you – some damage, some event, some break – because at best we're tolerated, true acceptance is so very rare.

We cannot let slip any indication of past trauma or grief or pain – because TADA! That's why you're gay! There are so many gay men who feel they cannot talk about any abuse they have faced – because the idea that sexual abuse is the foundation to who they are. It's unnecessary, it's clearly wrong and it's cruel – it adds yet another barrier, let another obstacle for gay abuse victims to overcome.

Oh and again it's the BBC. Why am I not surprised? Auntie, I am beyond disappointed.