Sunday, 5 May 2013

On the Nigel Evans arrest

Nigel Evans, MP, has been arrested for the alleged rape of 2 men.

And, yes, he’s openly gay.

And lo, the hot mess begins. And let there be a lot of “can you not…” right now.

Can we not have the simplistic assumptions we so often see that completely ignore the history of gay men being accused of sexual assault

At the same time, can we not have people who are usually so very sure that blaming the victim and assuming sexual assault victims are lying is deeply wrong suddenly deciding to throw that out the window when gay men may be the victims.

Can we not have any attempts to try and make sweeping statements about all of us on the basis of this. Another vomit-worthy repeat of the “gay men have a culture and tradition of preying on young men and boys” is really not needed. Especially if you’re not actually a gay or bisexual man in which case you don’t know nearly as much about our “culture” as you think you do and can take your nose out before deciding to paint us as sex offenders. Or making being a sex predator a “tradition” for gay men, because that was some evil messed up shit.

Can we not have people handwringing about how this is hurting all gay men. Because it isn’t – the thing hurting gay and bi men is the collective responsibility straight people – and others sometimes as was evident during the Clash scandal – like to dump on all of us. We are not responsible and only people who do not see us as fully people, as individuals or people who are looking for an excuse to attack us will attack all of us based on one man’s actions. That is what will hurt us. By saying this crime will hurt all of us is accepting that we hold collective responsibility rather than attacking the sweeping bigotries perpetuated against us.

Can we not have a full biography of how gay he is every time this is reported? Is it relevant when  he came out? Is there a reason to write articles that at least half about his sexuality? We don't do this with straight people.

I feel a headache coming on already.

And while we're at it - not he isn't a GBLT activist. The man was a closeted homophobe with a dire voting record against our rights who came out seconds before he was outed and then tried to spin it the other way.