Q: You attended London Pride 2012, the culminating event of World Pride 2012, on the 7th July, 2012, did you?
A: Because it was possibly, for me, `a once in a lifetime’ event, and I thought there was an off-chance I might meet people I knew. Also because I wanted to observe my own reactions.
Q: Your reactions! How do you mean?
A: Was I crypto-gay myself, some sort of `secret gay’, denying some unacknowledged aspect of myself? That’s one of the main accusations, isn’t it?
Q: And the result?
A: No feeling of identification with the gays present at all, therefore, I judge I am not crypto-gay.
Q: Set the scene, please.
A: On an overcast summer’s day in early July, I stood in the Haymarket.
On one pavement were rows of gays, gay supporters, tourists, and people just out and about enjoying the weekend. On the other pavement were more passers-by, and a small contingent of those giving ‘Christian Witness,’ apparently from Northern Ireland. After a while the procession defiled down the side of the carriageway of which I was standing.
Q: Interesting, and who exactly were these people giving ‘Witness’?
A: They were all, bar one, aged about 60 and – rather like me – had seen better days. They were about 20 in number, and they carried banners with biblical references, such as Matthew 19, verses 4-6; Psalm 53, verse 1; 1 Corinthians 6, verses 9 and 10; Isaiah 10, verse 1; Romans 1, verse 27; 1 Peter, verses 2 to 11; Isaiah 5, verse 20; Proverbs 16, verse 25.
Q: Was there a Speaker?
A: Three, I think. All lucid. All delivering their message with forthright, no-holds-barred, fire-and-brimstone theology.
Q: So who was the most impressive?
A: As far as I’m concerned, an ex-gay, who gave an impassioned, totally convincing testimony. He left the `gay scene’ in 1992, married and now has a child, apparently. When he had concluded, I gave him a hand-written note containing my email details, together with an invitation to contact me, should he be prepared to give his testimony at an AM conference.
Q: You didn’t get his details?
A: No. I didn’t have the heart to bother him. He was done in, almost prostrate, after his performance.
Q: And what was the audience reaction to all of this?
A: Well, those directly opposite seemed somewhat bemused by the lectures they were hearing from the `oldies’ opposite. However, whenever they heard the word, `sodomy’, some of them, in a mutedly aggressive way, chanted ,`Shame on you’!
Q: Anything else?
A: Some slightly different impressions. I felt the speakers’ words were above the heads of the audience (with an average age of 27, perhaps), as if they were listening to some gibberish spoken in a foreign language. And I had an image of two landmasses pulling further and further apart in consequence of moving tectonic plates … then another of people on shore shouting `Don’t go!’ to uncomprehending passengers on board some latter-day Titanic.
And, of course, I wondered where the English `witnesses’ were - as against the witnesses from Northern Ireland. Conspicuous by their absence!
Q: But you were there.
A: I was indeed. Standing for three and a half to four hours – of which one and a half to two hours were waiting for the procession to arrive, and then two to two and a half hours watching it go by!
Q: And the procession itself?
A: At least 20,000 in the procession, I think, with maybe, another 20,000 onlookers. But difficult to say precisely. I await precise figures.
Q: So, 20 bearers of `Christian Witness’, with an audience of approximately 40,000 largely oblivious to `the message’. But, however briefly, all 40,000 were exposed at some stage to the message, were they?
A: Yes, with probably a `heathen/ religious’ ratio of maybe 2000:1.
(to be continued)
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Both comments and pings are currently closed.