Robert Hampton

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24th March 2013

Ecce Homo

Rainbow flag fluttering in sunlightGay rights and gay issues have always interested me, and you’ll find reference to them throughout my blog, right back to the earliest days. Nowadays, the reasons are obvious. However, for the first seven years of the blog’s life, I was hamstrung by the fact that I was out to almost no-one.

I thought I was being quite clever, carefully wording my posts in such a way that I could demonstrate I was a champion of gay rights without actually coming out and saying that I was gay myself. However, when I was finally brave enough to start coming out to people, a response I got more than once was, “I know, I read your blog.”

Waiting until the age of 27 to come out is not ideal, and it’s something I regret bitterly (especially as a lot of my friends and family already knew, or at least suspected). There are many reasons that I left it so late, but discussion of those reasons is something more appropriate for a revealing therapy session, rather than the blog. So, on with the flashback!

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28th June 2011

Queer Head
Posted by at 9.59pm | Gay, Liverpool | No responses

*Yes, I’m sorry. It was either that or “Mersey Fairy”

Regular readers of this blog (all three, perhaps four of you) will remember what an excellent time I had at Liverpool Pride last year. As someone who had been closeted until a fairly late age, it was an exhilarating, liberating experience. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that it actually changed my life for the better.

I am looking forward to this year’s festival, which will be held on 6th August 2011 at the Pier Head.

Wait… what? They’re moving the festival out of the city’s gay area? That’s a controversial move, and true to form there’s been a lot of comment (much of it negative) on the official Facebook page. What do the organisers have to say for themselves about this?

Obviously, we were disappointed to have to move out of Dale Street and the gay quarter but, like just about every charity at the moment, we have had to tighten our belts in order to survive. Closing such a huge area of the city centre is a difficult and expensive operation, so we had to look at a range of alternative spaces for Liverpool Pride, including some outside the city centre. None of the other options even came close to the Pier Head in terms of accessibility, grandeur and, dare I say, fabulousness!

My irrational knee-jerk reaction was one of disappointment, but on reflection I don’t think it will be too bad. The Pier Head is a good open space, the Three Graces will provide a wonderful backdrop to the celebrations, and there will be comedy value from bemused tourists, alighting from the Mersey Ferry, mingling with drag queens. AND it’s only a five minute walk away from the gay quarter! Don’t be so lazy.

It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing – which is what we were close to getting, if the rumours are to be believed. It’s also better than having to pay twenty quid to walk around streets that are free the other 364 days a year, as happens at many other pride events.

Don’t let a few naysayers spoil the party. For the good of the whole community, Liverpool’s Pride must go ahead in any possible form. Onward and upward!

31st December 2010

Twenty Ten – again. Again

July brought big changes to the newspaper industry, as The Times started charging for access to its web site. This was supposed to ensure a steady income stream for the newspaper, putting it on a secure financial footing for the future. However, it also resulted in the Times being completely removed from the online chatter of the blogosphere, as its news coverage and columnists were no longer accessible to the internet hoi-polloi. Still, I’m sure this decision made sense to someone somewhere.

The Supreme Court ruled that gay people facing persecution are entitled to claim asylum in the UK. I welcomed the decision, although my blog post is curiously vague about precisely why I welcomed it. Hmm…

In other gay-related news, I reviewed, with sadness, a booklet from the US Military discussing its anti-gay don’t ask, don’t tell policy.

Elsewhere, health and safety went mad as one person suggested banning rugby scrums. I felt uncomfortable on a train full of Orange Lodge marchers and I defended the traditional sitcom from an onslaught of criticism from trendy TV reviewers.

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