Yesterday I was on my way to Sloane Square. To see the excellent East-West pop art show at the Saatchi gallery. No big deal. Standing room only on the tube. I was standing next to two gay men. If they weren’t gay their behaviour was even more interesting. They cuddled, the pulled on each others buttocks, they giggled sweet nothings. Frankly if it had been two young hetero sexuals it would have just as difficult though more interesting to watch. So how to react?
Complete indifference. Difficult in a crowded carriage. Someone is intimate within six inches of your face and you have to pretend its as dull as someone reading the Daily Telegraph. No that’s as phony as a stony face. So I did the is “that a smell or am I imagining it” ,scewed up face. This set the two chaps into a fit of(not so mature ) hysteria.
So I arched my eyebrows, opened my hands and looked the other way. They responded by nuzzling even more ferociously. These buggers can be so brave.Fine. At 9am their affection for each other was so cheap, everyday that they wanted to parade it on the District Line. Way to go Cedric. Right on Alphonse.
Those who feel I was showing classic homophobia can rest assured that I would feel eventually uncomfortable at lovers of any persuasion going beyond the normal intimacies of public display.
Research shows that while 97% have no problems with hetero couples holding hands that falls to only 62% when it comes to gays doing the same thing. While 95% have no problems with heteros pecking each other on the cheek that falls to 55% when gays behave similarly.
For those who find this prejudice sad just remember how recent the acceptance and legality of gay behaviour is. I can remember being in Ireland in 1970 and an old lady berating a couple for necking on a park bench. Not many years before women in Spain would swim in their clothes-as they do today in India and Vietnam. In Nepal couple never touch in public.
I think my problem is that those who want to be intimate in what I could argue is my or at least shared space are invading and I have every right to even if it is with an arched eye brow or bored look to show my disapproval. After all gays demand political correctness else where ,why cant we, at least in public transport/space?