Monday, May 2, 2011

Two gay guys are turned away from a hotel because the husband and wife proprietors are Christians and cannot accept homosexuality. The men go to court and win their case. Now two girls have been given the same treatment, this time in Brighton. The hotelier said if he were anti-gay he wouldn’t have set up shop in Brighton, known as the gay capital of England. The girls’ version of events as they were ejected was the manager saying, ‘Boy and girl, yes. Two boys, no. Two girls no.’ The reason he has given for turning them away is that they were behaving in an unruly fashion, very badly in fact, and it was most certainly not because they were gay. Who to believe? Take your pick. Now two guys seen kissing were ejected from a pub in London. What has got into these people that they can behave in so stupid a fashion? Do they think homophobia has been eradicated because of a few laws and a bit more general acceptance? Men seen kissing anywhere other than in Great Britain or America (except somewhere like San Francisco obviously) wouldn’t raise a single eyebrow but why feel you can behave like this when and where you surely must know it is going to cause some embarrassment, resentment. Apart from anything else it is sheer bad manners.

There are still countries, mainly Muslim I suppose, where homosexuality is illegal and can be severely punished. The government in Malaya has come up with the most wonderful idea – any of fifty young boys deemed to be ‘effeminate’ will go to a boot camp and be taught what it is to be a man. This does not take into account the fifty young boys who are gay and as butch as all get-out. Can you honestly imagine anything quite so stupid? At the least it might be an improvement on the old-fashioned idea that homosexuality is an illness that can be cured by horrible aversion therapy or EST and was only given up as a bad job and a waste of time when the powers that be came to their senses and the conclusion that what they were doing was degrading, painful, and totally useless.

A last minute donation from the National Heritage Memorial Fund has saved for the nation the papers of the computing genius Alan Turing. Alan Turing is credited with a key role in breaking German wartime codes. He was one of the founding fathers of modern computing (note that) and a key figure in breaking the German Enigma code. Famous for his work at Bletchley Park during World War II, he was central in the creation of ‘the Bombe machine’ which cracked messages enciphered using the German Enigma code and viewed by many as the progenitor of the modern computer.

He committed suicide in 1954 at the age of 41, two years after being prosecuted for having a sexual relationship with a man and no longer able to take the ‘medical’ treatment he was being forced to undergo. In 2009 thousands of people signed a Downing Street petition calling for a posthumous government apology to Turing. The then prime minister Gordon Brown responded by saying he was sorry for the "appalling" way Turing was treated for being gay.

Maybe if he had been sent to a boot camp as a young boy he would have grown up different and the world would have been poorer without his genius. Next time you play computer games, with your Ipod or open your laptop, think of Alan Turing.

1 comment:

Lewis said...

Turing is credited with shortening World War II by as much as a year. His reward: torture by chemicals.