FIT

A film on homophobic bullying is to be screened in all UK secondary schools next month. The film – the first of its kind to be sent to all schools – will try to stop pupils using the word "gay" in a derogatory way. It tells the story of six teenagers – who are gay, straight or not yet sure of their sexuality – and are taking classes in hip hop dancing at a college in south London. Some come out and are bullied for it, others conceal their sexuality out of fear. The film’s director, Rikki Beadle-Blair, who wrote and played the lead role in the Channel 4 drama Metrosexuality, takes the role of the teacher. The film, FIT, is part-funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and will be sent to every secondary school next month by the gay rights charity Stonewall.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mtG2GR_lf4
 

A poll of more than 2,000 teachers, commissioned by Stonewall last year, found that 90% thought homophobic bullying occurred in their school. The same percentage had not been trained in tackling the problem. A fifth said they did not feel comfortable talking about gay issues in the classroom, and one in six said they felt uneasy if a pupil asked a question about homosexuality. Chris Gibbons, Stonewall’s senior education officer, said: "Teachers are still ill-equipped and unsure of how to deal with gay issues in their classrooms." The film is adapted from a play which has been seen by 20,000 pupils in the last two years.

  

46 thoughts on “FIT”

  1. I’m not to sure why the director decided to go with the chavvy txt’speak style of talking for practically everybody in the film, (going off the trailer.)

    Myself, being in a comprehensive school, and having some loud-mouthed, homophobic, ugly, prickish, moronic, cretin (whom has pubes for hair, and a face that saying it ‘resembles a mouldy left over dish of haggis’, would be considered “nice”.)… then blather this inconsiderate and stereotypical views into my face isn’t what I would call fun.

    I like that they’re trying to teach kids to stop using the derogatory paraphrase for the word gay in schools, at least its a start! However they should have realised this a long, long time ago.

    1. You have a way with words and I like your comments. I suspect you enjoy writing. Keep it up. I agree with you “at least its a start.”

    2. Yes, it is a start and it’ll be good when more and more people recognize where to start. Of course, we the gays feel that the time is long passed that people should’ve realized that the derogatory use of the word “gay” is a bad thing.

      I’ve been with a group of younger people and the degree to which “gay” is used to mean “stupid” or “fucked up” is obviously fairly prevalent. I’ve tried to correct them, only to have them come back and say, it’s just another definition for the word and we don’t mean it as a slight to you’re being gay, or some such b*******.

      So, yes, it’s a good place to start, indeed.

  2. I have not seen the film, but that trailer looked quite horrible. It looked like cliché ridden piece that teens and kids would detest. And what was up with the clothing? Neon colors and bright jogging suits that were like from 80’s.

    Or am I just old and passé?

    1. Depends on where you shop. Bright colours are quite the fashion on the high street at the moment, the clothes in this were suitable to the rolls… but the language on the other hand is the kind that your dad would try re-enact in front of you, half of it is really cringe worthy.

      A nice example of this is the fantastic Channel 4 teen-drama, Skins, which is currently on the verge of a fourth season. It’s a must watch, and it’s got the cutest guy in it ever in Series 1 and 2.

  3. I hate when people make a big deal out of using the word “gay.” As if its really going to make people more accepting of it.

    And its kind of like fag and douche, like to be a fag is not to really be gay. A fag is a person who runs a red light and then you get stuck in the middle of the intersection.

    1. It’s a big deal because it makes some people feel uncomfortable when it is used as an insult before. I hate it when people think it’s not a big deal.

  4. When society starts tabooing words, their strength increases. This is evident in one of the most infamous derogatry terms, which happens to start with an N. Now let’s be honest, how many of these “that’s so gay”-flinging ignorant teenagers really mean it in a derogatory term? Yes, there will be some malicious, but most just do it because it’s popular.

    Films such as this will do some part to open the eyes, but most people won’t give a damn. This was evident back at my old high school, where we talked to pretty much every student. Two weeks later, no teacher reported any change. People don’t care.

    1. “When society starts tabooing words, their strength increases. This is evident in one of the most infamous derogatry terms, which happens to start with an N.”

      Actually the “taboo” nature of the word nigger came about when people started using the word to denigrate and disparage millions of people; and in many parts of the world that word, or derivations of it, were the last thing someone might hear before they were raped, shot, hanged or beaten to death. Words like homo, queer and fag have been used in similar fashion. You know very little about what you chose to comment on. I think you should educate yourself on history more before spouting off ignorant opinions.

      1. Most of the comments on this site are well meaning and sincer such as the post you commented on. I do not see the need to be so aggressive and insulting.

  5. I’m Sorry, whilst I greatly appreciate the purpose and sentiments expressed in the text story, agree it is high time the subject was dealt with in highschools, either by expert sensor/mediators, or teachers specifically trained in the subjects discussed. For the next decade it would be probably best handled by trained, sensitive, compassionate heterosexuls with minimum dip-ed qualifications and an approved sex educational course passed.

    I really think this film is stupid in the extreme, when adults (Parents & politicians particularly) see this, it will probably add fuel to their fire of denial and criticism, the Education Ministry attempt at handling a very touchy youth subject, may then become lost in emotionl disagreement, at important levels and in society generally.

    One should look back at our own youth and adjustment problem experiences, then try to find the right mix of factual Psychology & evidence, to combine with youth learning & comprehension (Emphasis on proven teaching method successes etc) delivered with compassion and sensitivity for the varying maturation & resistance of the sheltered kids home life averages kids come from to that point of humn physical/mental development.

    Looking back I can say that a lack of understanding of oneself and society mores, caused me no end of anguish a failed marriage (2 kids in that experience) 2 loving engagements, all spoiled by my unadmitted and/or closetted feelings. Why? Because Society and Parent mores of the post War II era and straight buddies plus other school kids intollerance of GBLT (particularly for a Bi in my case) issues, causing the subject to just become intollerance of GBLT. I have my doubts still in me, is it a Bi psyche, or sense of sight, or smell preference? I am inclined to believe the olfactory system has far more to do with it than has yet been studied and revealed by the experts and scientists. Inside me there was simply a never admitted (to myself even) factors that were not admitted and remain today not fully comprehended. Not untill it had brought harm to others, in the form of a failed marriage and confused young adulthood experiences, could I begin to understand why I am as I am.

    Sure the sufferers do mostly survive and find their way through the mire, on their own usually, but maturation/learning curves do have a place in study and informative debate at schools. However I also see this needs better experts attention, other than the confused GBLT, or the homophobic persona of average educators, to help evolve an educational solution prescription for political acceptance etc.

  6. I work as a social worker/psychotherapist for an adolescent residential program for wards of the court. The school room is across the hall from my office. I once heard the teacher lecture to the class on how being gay is a choice. I heard from the kids the effects of his monologue. Believe me, I carry a lot of secrets of the boys I work with. These are tough street kids who are struggling with their sexual identity. 10% of that classroom have confessed to me their attraction to boys and found the teacher’s comments disturbing. One of these boys confessed to brutelly beating a boy who was openly gay in concert with two other gang members. What was so sad to listen to was that it was a boy that he was secretely attracted to. This poor kid attacked a part of himself he could not accept. A part of himself the world will not accept.

    1. Absolutely tragic. And yet, all to damn common. Thanks Bruce. It’s good to have you working with the kids and supporting them. Hats off to ya.

  7. Its bloody well high time it was addressed in all types of schools in the world actually. Leave it to prudish Great Britain to come out with a film that every other country in the world can envy. How ironic.

    One other comment was that there needed to me younger gay kids and gay bashing bullies represented in this movie also. Sadly, gay bashing starts in Year One.

  8. I have known for most of my life that I liked boys. I knew it before school. And yet I had no word for it. I don’t recall one being used like ‘queer’ or ‘faggot’ because I have always been very attuned to language. I would remember this. At 9 years, I remember hearing the word ‘fuck’ and what it meant. It was a blow to me. I felt dirty. My cousin called me a Homo when I was 14 years old. We had played before and I felt, at least, that it was normal. But that started an undercurrent of uncomfortable feelings about my attractions and touch. I read everything I could about Homosexuality but the damage was done. I allowed myself to be convinced that I did not need to be homosexual. And that in academia, it would be better married, a total fallacy. It took 20 years to come to an accounting with my sexuality. And another 15 years to experience the life of a gay man to start understanding who I am.

    Words can be terribly damaging, but not as damaging as a society’s undercurrent of sexual repression is. We believe we live in an advanced moral and social society in the US and Europe. Fact of the matter is, we are regressive. Every attempt to loosen the repressive and hateful attitudes of our culture is fought at a base level and resurges with the next generation as the stories and beliefs that homosexuality is unnatural and against divinity are repeated as whole truth.
    Until we break these cultural lies and the hatred they build, we will be repeating this every generation from now til doomsday.The one thing true of Homo Sapiens, whatever great works and culture He creates, is that he can be hateful, and violent and ugly especially when that is acceptable in the eyes of divinity.

    1. Randy, as always I enjoy your comments. You are in love with this site as much as I am. The kids who post their comments here, arn’t they incredible? They need our support. If only I could hug them all. They are absolutely priceless.

      I don’t know where Josh will eventually take this site but he has started something good. The world needs a site like this. Good people leave their comments here. Together we can make a better world for these kids. They are our kids.

    2. Randy,

      When you describe your past it really does bring back allot memories for me. I too had to hide my desires especially in school and mostly in gym class. It was allot of fun going to school during those days even though having to hide my sexuality. In our neighborhood, we had a gay couple who lived around the corner from us and my Dad would be very open that it is best not to go over on that street to play. Of course this was in the mid 50’s and early 60’s so during those times it was very hush hush to speak of them in open conversations. What he or my Mom didn’t know was that my neighbor, who was 15 at the time, was in love with me and we became what I would call, very good friends at the early age of 13.

      I agree with you that we need to break down cultural ties and the “stigma” of being gay is a bad thing, for it isn’t! It’s a great thing and a wonderful way of life. I for one will support our lifestyle to the fullest via this venue and others. Lt Dan Choi fought for his rights but lost his fight against the establishment (The Army) and I will likely loose mine too against the US Government since they are essentially kicking me out of the Intelligence Service for loving my partner who is 21. They feel that all of the Foreign Intelligence Services (FIS) would come after me and try and exploit my lifestyle in order to obtain classified information – how wrong they are!

      I believe your last sentence is most powerful – for I believe God does forgive even if the “established” Christian Right feel it is never going to happen. I would recommend looking at the following YouTube Video which describes one incident that happened at one of the Concentration Camps in Germany during WWIi. The account is from the book “Men With The Pink Triangle”. It describes the last hours of a “Gay Priest” and how he was brutally beaten by the hands of the SS – what happens just before he dies is truly “awe inspiring” for gays. While standing in line he kept his head bowed and prayed at roll call, when a small opening in the heavy cloud cover opened and the sun shone directly and only on him just before he was going to be struck by one of the SS Guards – not one other person was highlighted by the sun but the Priest. The guard slowly put his down to his side and went back to his position in front of the his group. The Priest died shortly thereafter.

      We all have our own cross to bear but I believe He will make sure we are with Him, if we believe and trust in Him.

  9. I would again recommend a book written by Linda Patterson, called “Hate Thy Neighbor”. I believe it is available on Amazon, although I purchased one locally here in San Diego, CA as the writer lives here. The book changed how I view things that have come to bear on GLBT’s, and I highly recommend it for anyone. I wish I was rich, so that I could send one to everyone I knew and all the people I talked to online such as here with Milkboys.

    Anyway, thank you all for your comments above.

    I grew up in a religious farm-type community where you couldn’t be even remotely openly gay, and weren’t allowed to even think that you were. You could be beaten. I was.

    So, I’m all about removing any facet of oppression that my fellow GLBT’s have been bearing.

    Thanks, Josh, for yet another great post.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that you were beaten because you were gay. That had to be an emotionally crippling experience. So you are “all about removing any facet of oppression” that your fellow GLBT’s have been bearing. How serious are you about this?

      I live upstate from you. I have over 25 years of experience as a social worker and psychotherapist working with adolescents in foster care and group home programs. I would love to develope a program for homeless gay teens. Gay teens are over represented in the teen homeless population. These are throw away kids who engage in survival sex. So often their families threw them out because they are gay. For these kids the streets are truely safer than foster care or group homes. If you really want to do something let me know.

      In any case I’m happy to have you as a member of this site. I know you appreciate this site as much as I do.

      1. I also have been following your comments here and there, and figured you worked in some capacity as a volunteer, social worker, or higher professional. Lol, guess I was right :-)

        What area of CA do you work in, if I may ask? (no Josh, I’m not trying to get an address here lol, just see what’s happening where…)

        Your goal of foster care and group home program for homeless gay teens is very sorely needed, I would agree.

        While I endorse and wholeheartedly applaud your career and your goals, I am not nearly as educated as I perceive would be needed for me to be part of / effectively contibute to these goals. I am a manufacturing technician (specializing in aerospace), attending city college either online or at nights, with an aim of maybe teaching math / science to high school or college.

        Thanks for reading / following.

        1. I live in Stockton, Ca. I am really serious about a program for homeless gay teens. There is such a big need for programs like this. There is one in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco. These really are america’s most unwanted, neglected and throw away kids.

          All you need is 15 college units in the social sciences. Thats it. That will qualify you as an administrator. The start up money is about $60,000. If you are interested you can attend an orientation meeting with the State Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division. I have a team of people you can consult with who have decades of experience in the group home business. You think about it. I am easy to find my name is Bruce Tharp and I live in Stockton, Ca. If anyone else on this site is interested please jump in.

  10. The most important thing is not removing words like ‘gay’ and ‘fag’ from common use, but making it easier for kids to find supportive gay friends and allies who are cool and dangerous and carry knives. That, unfortunately, is unlikely to be accomplished with this movie.

  11. The trailer looks good, well made.
    But you can be very sure of one thing even without seeing it: the film will come with one absolute condition:
    to be gay is fine, it is natural, maybe even cool, it is who you are, it is to be accepted, respected even.
    But be gay only with someone your age, because if you don’t then it becomes:
    disgusting, perverted, traumatic, against nature, abuse, and you become psychiatrist meat.

    I’d rather the Brits just simply stopped obsessing about youth sexuality, it is really sinister.

  12. Oh JEEZUSS!!!

    First of all, I’m 17 and live in West London, England.
    Secondly, I am homosexual with gender dysphoria.

    To help those who aren’t so clued up on with London culture, TYPICALLY the south and east of london are considered the ‘not so nice parts’ of London. So are they using these areas to link homophobia with social poverty? Interesting idea. BUT very few people speak like that, I can barely understand what they are saying with all those “bats, bats noodems” or whatever he says. (I’m going by phonetics, but obviously ‘bats’ refers to batty boy which means gay which means ‘wrong’. At the end of the trailer, I actually do not know what he said, but assume it was in english. I live on the other side of the city and cannot understand! Certain regional slang and accents will NOT be understood across the whole of the UK. Poor thinking there…

    What’s with the clothing? Just eww…

    It’s a good idea for ideas to be generalised so they speak out to the majority of people – meaning use demographics, accents and ‘average’ social class so that the majority of the students this is designed for feel a connection. We obviously cannot suit every kind of school and area, but could we not try?

    I think its healthy to have a sense of humour where appropriate, but obviously with homophobia it can cause severe psychological and physical distress, and I find it hard to believe, that this video will sufficiently address this in the most appropriate way.

    I can see the novelty in the movie, and yes, also the intention. But in reality, I REALLY do not see it working as it would be hoped to. What I found with people, when they permit, is to sit down with them, everyone on the same level and have a nice little Q&A. Sure the questions can be intrusive or crude Eg: “Have you ever stuck a cock in your ear?”. However, in hearing something earnest from me, they had someone who could set things right. They told me they had never even MET a gay person (outed homosexual – I’m sure they socialise with several unknowingly). Now instead of these people shouting down the corridor, or evil looks, they give me smiles, or little nods as we walk by each other. Of course, not all people who are originally homophobic like this.

    There are still the people who will crowd together, jeer in their numbers at me (and others), one of which ha even thrown a school-bag in my face. Obviously, its difficult to to relate or communicate ideas with all people. Sometimes, my mere homosexuality means they don’t even want to hear me speak!

    Back to the film… The trailer made me cringe and I totally doubt is effectiveness.

    I’d like to think I will be proven wrong.

    1. You are an absolute crack up. Another bright kid on this site who can write. I am not at all familiar with your part of the world but I like what you have to say. I will look foreward to reading more of your posts.

      1. Thank you Bruce for your kind words. I read down the comments and read more, about you being in the closet etc.

        At age 63, would it be fairer to say you’re more in Narnia that simply the closet? Perhaps… ‘emerging’ from the closet will be more your style!

        And also, I understand as a psychotherapist you wish to be invisible, for the reasons you stated; but what about out of the professional context – as another man walking down the street? After many years of serving others and locking your true self away from the world, if you don’t start this precious journey now, then your chance on this planet to be YOU in your entirety will be lost forever. I’d like you to know that if I could, I would give you a hug. Age does not matter because you have been me, and I will become you. In many ways, I see you as a peer, more so than many people my own age. That is how petty age is. Same for experience. It is my view that understanding is most important. And some need age and experience for understanding, but not all. “A wise man learns from his mistakes. The wiser man learns from the mistakes of others”

        I can only speculate that mainly that ‘generation’ is the key theme as to why you are still in the closet. To me, I would wrongly or rightly assume that the stigma of homosexuality was entrenched in you from a young age and trying to clear that from your mind is difficult. Know that you are loved and supported.

        This is the first time I’ve come across your comments, but based on what you and other members say, you work hard with others and contribute a lot to the younger generations. Although I have not met you, I can know your generosity and kindness and would like to thank you for taking the time and effort to help the younger generation.

        I find it tragic how those with great influence and power don’t seem to have the right initiative, or mind to find the best initiative for such things as this movie. I even showed the trailer to my mother, who was also concerned about the wrong messages and questionable effectiveness it will have.

        And its people like me, who are IN the situation – at school, experiencing the homophobia, that should really be able to get into programs to fight against homophobia. Even walking on my way home today, I had a group of girls shouting abuse to me down the road. I don’t think people realise how much homophobia is out there and the distress it causes people.

        I think we’ve all heard people say “Gay is the new black”. If that is so, are we supposed to be expecting a revolution in Gay Rights? I’m personally not over-keen on marriage – I can prove my love with something more meaningful than a document for the government. However, I feel it important that GLBT campaigning for marriage is important, just to show we are entitled to it also. I really cannot believe that sexual preference will not permit people to marry. Its absurd!

        Sometimes the differences and even lack of rights make me feel like an inferior animal to my fellow man. How backwards are we?!

        1. I agree about some of the “hilarious” comments I get cracked at me.

          Here was a… well I won’t say question, more jeer:

          “Olly do you have a boyfriend?”

          No…

          “Did you have one?”

          Maybe.

          “What’s it like taking cock up the bum?”

          /end

          …NOW REALLY! I’ve never even seen you at school, what are you two years younger?

          Then you have the blatant and to the point wisecracks:

          “Do you like it up the arse!!!”
          “Like suckin cock!!!”
          “Fuck off, stop looking at my dick!!!”

          …and so on. :crossarms:

          1. Oh its insane!
            In regards to it, I’m either torn between tired of it or highly amused by it. I’m fortunate in very little of the homophobia I’ve received being physical.

            Some of the questions are just incredible. You know the “cock in your ear” types. What did she expect me to say? ‘Yes, little girl, YES xomg i have had a penis down my aural canal and let me tell you – wow, was it great! My ear is the size of a mouth and his penis the thickness of a pencil!

            And why do guys always presume we are looking at their crotches? Also, as if i would say “Oh, sorry, I couldn’t help myself” had I been looking anyway. And why THEIR crotch – I have the internet! Also – they’re wearing trousers. So what do they expect my thoughts to be “Oh yes… the VERY slight bulge concealed behind underwear and trousers, the way the shadow falls on the left side… so … beautiful!”

            I don’t think I’ve even heard of heterophobia.

        2. Dan, you have wisdom, intelligence and understanding that is far beyond your years. Thank you so much for your comments. You have made my day. I have made some friends on this site and I consider you one of them. I hope the world will be kinder to you than it has been to Randy, Nicholas, myself and others of our generation. I would love to return the hug.

          I’d love to know your plans for your future. What career plans do you have? For as young as you are you have a lot to say and you say it well. I will follow your comments on this site.

          1. Dam you Dan. Where were the likes of you when I was young? All I ever wanted was someone to love.

  13. I think it a pity the clip didn’t have subtitles – or translations – as I didn’t understand anything that was said. Dan, you cringe at 17 – I weep at 65 if the film is meant to be representative of modern Britain.

    The trouble with making such films is, as the producers/directors, etc., try to “reach down” to teen-speak, by the time the film has been made, teen-speak has moved on, and what is being said is passe. As indeed are the “fashions” seen by the (presumed) actors.

    Is it necessary to have street-cred kids demonstrating homophobia (if that’s what they were demonstrating!) ? It happens in all walks of life and at all ages, so such a film will not appeal to the middle-class rural Britain, where homophobia also strongly persists.

    I congratulate Bruce on his work and his intentions, but I do wonder if he has “outed” himself to his patients or their parents. Or is that something he prefers to keep under wraps?

    With so many resources available, local, national and international (Stonewall, Terry Higgins Trust, etc) I think the younger generation are lucky in having somewhere to turn to for advice. All it needs is their courage to walk through the door and seek it. But as in everything – it is the first step that is the most difficult.

    1. In response to your comments, no I am still very much in the closet. As a psychotherapist I choose to be invisible. In that way people can make me into anyone the need to and I am simply a placeholder for their unconscious. The homophobia amoung the young gang kids I work with would not allow them to accept me as gay. The peer pressure among them would discourage their making use of my time. I believe I need to meet these kids where they are at. They are emotionally so fragile and gayness is such a taboo subject. They live in such a male driven macho culture with its rigid and narrow code. I work with kids who have killed and gotton away with it. In my private life I am struggling to come out. whatever the hell that means. I have locked myself in the closet my entire life. My parents are gone and they never knew and it is just as well they didn’t. They lived in a very different time. Now at the age of 63, my involvement on this site has been such a liberating experience for me. I have learned to hate myself a little less. I especially enjoy the comments of the really bright kids who leave their comments on this site. I cannot say enough about that. These are high functioning kids. I seldom have the opportunity to meet kids like that. On this site I get to read their thoughts. I think I have rambled on enough.

      1. Bruce, I think what you do with those kids is a wonder. Not being out means nothing. Coming out is a process. Some pop it out and tell everyone. Others take the steps they can; and still others feel their privacy and who they choose to love is no ones’ business. I came out in 1993 to my Parents after my marriage fell apart. They listened with concern and love. And then told me they had known since I was a child. In fact, everyone I came out to who had been in my life knew it. Of course I knew, and I wondered what the point of that was all about. In my case, an affirmation. I had a terrible self image. I loathed myself, not for being gay. But for simply being. I thought coming out and entering the gay world would be a salvation, finding my place in life and the world. I was wrong.I was wrong because firstly, I am Dissociative (?); I have felt since I can remember that I was alien, standing outside looking in on family, friends, school and life. I suffer from paranoia, and schizophrenia which is in my family. No one knew this nor saw it in my early teen years because, being the youngest of two boys with an alcoholic mother (another long story) I tried hard to smooth out all the rough road in the family’s way. So yeah… I lied. I lied every day to hide things that would upset them. Coming out was like cleansing me of that. I told them I was not concerned if they were upset or angered. That was not something I could help. And I maintain that.
        I truly believe each of us comes out for our own reasons, not a general theme even if it is good. Yes, it is good to show being gay/homosexual is not a shameful thing. But not everyone is ready or in a realistic position to do it. In fact, my boy friend, David, is in college and is not ready to share that with anyone other than a few friends and his brothers. I worry about the parents but I have to remember it is his life, and he has to make those decisions.

        Josh, I love this site because it is open, and allows us all to be what we are. People… people with different experiences and different points of view. We offer these and accepts others in a way we see rarely in our society. I have been called a dirty old man because I am an Ephebephile. I am not dirty. I am older, and I appreciate youth as a form of timeless beauty. The courts may decide to outlaw all forms of images, virtual or traditional and all it do is make our world a harsher place. I refuse to change myself because some dislike or disagree with my likes. I found a place with young artists. Those weird and wild kids in school with whom I would hang in the art rooms. I would never force myself on anyone, and I think anyone who does is wrong and manipulative. Respect should be for all. So yeah…rant over. XD I love everyone here.

        1. Randy, your the best. Thank you so much. Please forgive me but I’m overwhelmed by what you say. For now I cannot do justice to your comments. But for now I just want to say thank you.

      2. Thank you for your honesty, Bruce. I expect you realize that in this country, what with the present legislation and witch-hunts, there is no way you could work in such a job in this country! Having lived abroad for over 30 years, and only recently retired to the UK, I am shocked at the persecution that takes place, in one form or another, against “non-normal” persons. It’s got to the state where when I walk out with my dog, I furtively slink along the sidewalk, not daring to look at any young person, male or female, in case I’m seen (and reported to the police) as an old perv. Sad, but true.

        Near where I walk with my dog are some public parks where (boys) schools have their pupils playing sport. I daren’t even wander near there in case I’m asked the reason for me being there and whether I have any relatives in any of the teams (the usual questions asked by the overly protective). Paranoid? Yes, of course I am. And especially so with our tabloid press, quite willing to destroy the reputation of anyone who doesn’t conform.

        Britain has become a mockery of what it once was, sending people like me, especially at my age, even further into the closet and made to feel guilty for being what we are. And this, despite (obviously unsuccessfully) my having spent 50 years trying to accept me for what I am.

        As other have said here, all thanks to Josh for allowing some of us to “open up” – even if partially anonymous. It helps to relieve the tension and the feeling of loneliness, especially when I read of so many of us experiencing the same angst at going through the “difficult age” (all our lives!).

        1. Nicholas, I have lived in Britain (a long time ago… pre-deluvian if feels like XD) and admired the directions the country was going. Police being armed only with a truncheon; a growing awareness of human rights and the needs of the under classes. Yes it has gone totally mad. And much of the work in the 70s to protect the worker has decimated industry giving Britain an undeserved reputation as a rotten manufacturer… British Leyland being an example. Such total nonsense. The English are on par with the Germans in engineering (not surprising considering the Germanic heritage there.). However since the conservatives lost power, there is a total disconnect between progressivism and reality. I would be very concerned about producing my comics and stories about young gay boys (teens) and even being around them. Something the current laws are working to do, segregate the population based upon age and gender. I cannot go near high schools or ball fields and just watch for the same reasons you quote. I cannot even look at a young man in mixed company because I get dirty looks… really aggressive looks… from those with him. The chance someone might report me as a ‘predator’ or ‘pedophile’ is very real. And once done, no matter the outcome, I would be forced to publically sign in as a ‘sex offender’, stripped of my rights as a citizen, and locked into where I live with the very possible threat of harassment, assault and death from the ‘good family folk’ around me. This is for life. Innocence, probation or guilt amount to the same hellish treatment. It is draconian, it is unConstitutional, and it is becoming harder and harder to fight. The whole concept of this ‘tracking’ of the vile and evil ‘predator’ regardless of the fact in the crime (being caught visibly nude in your home from outside constitutes a sex crime) is driving people away from children of all ages. I make no secret of the fact that I don’t like kids. I want nothing to do with them. When I tried to help, I was questioned quite sternly on my ‘aim’ at talking with the child. Why would anyone take the chance? And yet if you suspect a child is being misused or abused, and it is found out that you knew, the sentence is just as harsh. All well and good I suppose if it worked to save children from those monsters that do abuse them. But it does not. Nothing I have read suggests, intimates or supports a positive effect on the numbers of cases of child abuse. It is reactionary,and punitive. Recidivism is suppose to be the reason for this but even so, it only serves to track down a suspect after the fact.

          I know precisely how you feel. I do the same. I stay inside, and make my friends on the internet rather than stumbling about making friends outside where there is so many well meaning, prejudicial people.
          I don’t know the answers because clearly education is distrusted and becoming only a means to push an agenda. I love learning but what is called education today is pale and thin in comparison to 30 years ago when education started to change in progressive ways. I did not think it worked then, and I don’t now.
          “sigh*

          1. Thank you Randy – and others who have posted , including the prolific Bruce! The more I read this site, the more I discover that the pain and sadness suffered by me for being a loner and gay, is not unique to me but is fairly common, especially among more mature gays of my age. But then, sadly, it seems also the younger generation (presumably depending on location) still, are fraught with the agonies of adolescence and sexual identification, despite what we older folk are led to believe, with everything being available in life, or on the internet.

            One final comment from me on this subject. Last night as I was walking my dog, I saw a young man (boy?) struggling with a very large amplifier – I think it was that, anyway – carrying it down the road. As I passed, and he put it down again, perhaps due to its weight, I said: “That looks heavy, do you want a hand with it?”

            He replied, “No thanks, I’ve only got to go round the corner with it.” I said ok and left it at that.

            As I walked on, I heard some raised female voices which sounded like they were questioning the boy about what I had said. I inwardly blushed at my foolishness in asking him if he needed help, and half feared the prospect of being questioned either by an older brother, his father or the police. (It would not have been the first time in my life to be so confronted.)

            That is what I mean by Britain today. An innocent remark, or look, can be misinterpreted and trouble can follow. It makes older gays paranoid and afraid to start up any form of conversation, let alone friendship, with anyone younger.

            And nowadays, as most of you may know, once you get on the sex offenders register (for whatever reason, no matter how innocent) you are there forever, as even the neighbors can now have access to files to see if the “new single guy” who has just moved in down the road. is a pervert or not.

            I’ll now crawl back into my closet and commiserate with my dog – at least he doesn’t mind living with a gay!

        2. What you say is really sad. It sounds like the UK is less accepting of sexual minorities than the USA. Lucky for me no one suspects that I am gay or bi. As an adult I have never acted on my same sex attractions. I have lived my life as a heterosexual. I guess that would qualify me as bi. Now I am old and a recluse. I have not been sexually active for years. I tend to find my physically abusive mother in the women I select. It would be professional suicide if I were to make my attraction to teen boys known. I guess I will forever be in love with my high school boyfriend. As I look back it is amazing how we keeped that a secret for three years in high school. We were both athletes and had girlfriends. I hope the young kids on this site will have a better life than we did.

          1. I am moved by the tragedy behind your words. Part of me supposes in my youth that when we grow older, we leave a legacy for the new generations, but will still always have the slight feeling of sadness that we will not have what they will grow to take for granted.

            I started puberty when I was 6 years old, and since then I have had identity crises with gender, sexuality and social isolation for other reasons. Your love of teenage boys I feel is like my love of young boys (aged 6 to appx 11). I imagine that because I didn’t have a childhood, I love to watch as young boys experience their reckless and carefree running around. I climbed my first tree aged 16 for goodness sake.

            I personally see nothing wrong in my interest in young boys, or yours in teenagers. I’m currently having psychotherapy, and have been referred to the Tavistock Clinic in London with gender dysphoria.

            In fact, if you’d be interested in correspondence via e-mail, please let me know and I will give you my e-mail address. I feel I have much to learn from you and wouldn’t want to take up Josh’s precious server space with comments that may be considered deviant from the topic.

  14. Words are organic and change their meaning from generation to generation. Bullying against any group of children or adults is an awful dilemma. The word Gay has shifted its meaning several times My gran used gay to mean happy jolly, my dad used gay to mean homosexual, lots of people today use it to mean lame, weak. Words are not set in stone. New words crop up in schools to mean homosexual as long as they are not used to bully people but to recognize the plethora of sexuality there is and to rejoice in the difference.

  15. Understandable criticism from the age it is directed at. More power tho’ to Rikki. We once slept together, that is to say, 3 of us just slept in my bed, ha ha. I was younger then and so was he and the world. Issues though are the same as ever.

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