What a gay day…

What is it about the BBC, rampantly gay presenters, and Christmas light entertainment? Radio 2 – consigned to oblivion since the 24th – presented us with Alan Carr for two grimly “festive” hours on Christmas Eve, and bludgeoned us with a huge slab of Paul O’Grady on Christmas day (not to mention another two shows on New Year’s Eve and Day), two people who are so gratingly, tooth-grindingly, in-your-face gay they’d bring out the closet homophobe in a saint. Or a pope…

Don’t get me wrong, a person’s sexual orientation is their own business, but why are there certain gay people – and it’s almost always guys – who insistently flaunt their homosexuality, practically pushing it, as it were, down people’s throats?

It all started, I think, with Larry Grayson. Before him, we all had a good idea who was “queer”, the term “gay” not yet having been appropriated by the homosexual community at that point or, if it had, it hadn’t gone mainstream, and who wasn’t, but it was all very discreet and no-one cared overmuch one way or the other. And just a thought, but why is it men are gay, but women are still saddled with the ugly term lesbian? Maybe they don’t care, I don’t know, but whenever I hear “gay and lesbian” it jars badly. I suppose Sapphic sounds better, though it’d be routinely miss-spelled.

Grayson was openly gay, though dubbed “camp”, as if he were a field full of boy scouts, and though he made no attempt to hide it, he was, at least, discreet, unlike his present-day counterparts, who are staggeringly, shriekingly, gay.

If I’m listening to, or watching, a comic, for argument’s sake, I don’t want his sexuality to be the most dominant aspect of his act – it doesn’t, for the most part, happen with straight comics – they just get on with the job of being funny. Or not. It’s not a case of oh, look at me, I’m straight.

I suppose it’s really the “professional gays” who piss me off the most, guys like O’Grady and Carr who, stripped of the alleged comedic value of their rampant gayness, would simply be unutterably crap. Actually, they’re pretty crap anyway. I’ve just had a listen to Carr’s inane babbling on Radio 2 – and it sounds like he really revels in his own ignorance and stupidity. Which, as he’s filling the Jeremy Vine slot, seems fair enough.

Is that the reason, then? Is being so aggressively, outlandishly gay a substitute for raw talent? Listening to those two guys – and Carr has the greatest ability to get right up my nose – I think that may be the case. Remove the overt gayness from their acts and you’re left with a grumpy old queen and an amazingly annoying guy who gets gays a bad name, and who should sue whoever told him those glasses worked, and that’s all.

Remember the Black & White Minstrel Show, which ran for 20 years from 1958, and was immensely popular (though in reality it was terrible)? Eventually, the show’s white folks in black-face formula offended the black community so much that the show came to be reviled. Well, I have a feeling that the forceful, up-front, gayness is like latter-day black-face – something for people of very modest talent to use as a mask to conceal the fact that there really is nothing else to them. Happy Christmas!

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