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Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir created quite the Twitter uproar today with her piece on Stephen Gately‘s untimely death. One particular passage, which claims Gately’s death is a setback for gay rights, has caused the biggest stir:
Another real sadness about Gately’s death is that it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships.
Gay activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding about same-sex relationships, arguing that they are just the same as heterosexual marriages. Not everyone, they say, is like George Michael.
Of course, in many cases this may be true. Yet the recent death of Kevin McGee, the former husband of Little Britain star Matt Lucas, and now the dubious events of Gately’s last night raise troubling questions about what happened.
It is important that the truth comes out about the exact circumstances of his strange and lonely death.
As a gay rights champion, I am sure he would want to set an example to any impressionable young men who may want to emulate what they might see as his glamorous routine.
For once again, under the carapace of glittering, hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see.
Hmm, seems like Moir is really grasping when she connects the apparent suicide of McGee to Gately’s death by “natural causes.”
Sure, both McGee and Gately were gay men in the public eye who, like many straight people, died far too soon, but that’s where the connections stop.
But, clearly, someone was going to try to tie these two tragedies together as a way to demonize gay men. Thankfully, most UK papers had shown some rare restraint in the past week. Until now.
Gay blog Towleroad refers to Moir’s piece as “a homophobic screed.” And The Guardian‘s Charlie Brooker calls the Daily Mail columnist out spectacularly. His opening lines are scathing: “The funeral of Stephen Gately has not yet taken place. The man hasn’t been buried yet. Nevertheless, Jan Moir of the Daily Mail has already managed to dance on his grave. For money.”
Moir has released a statement defending her article: “In what is clearly a heavily orchestrated internet campaign I think it is mischievous in the extreme to suggest that my article has homophobic and bigoted undertones.”
Well, if it squawks like a bigot…
In other news:
- Gately’s fellow Boyzone members have paid tribute to their fallen comrade by getting tattoos that say “76 09,” Gately’s birth and death years.(The Sun)
- Leona Lewis has stepped out for the first time since her attack, hiding her face behind a hat and sunglasses.(The Sun)
- The drama isn’t over for the Sugababes: Amelle Berrabah has checked into a clinic for “nervous exhaustion.”(The Sun)
- X Factor choreographer Brian Friedman responds to criticisms about Cheryl Cole lip-syncing on Sunday’s show: “I can only compare this to other performers out there; Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, Britney Spears. They’ve all mimed at award shows and other various occasions. This is not Cheryl’s competition. She’s already competed in one before on TV, she’s proven herself as an artist so I don’t think it would really matter.” (The Sun)
- From trackmarks to grillmarks: Amy Winehouse has struck up a Facebook relationship with George Foreman III.(The Sun)
- Jonathan Ross‘ wife has lost an incredible amount of weight.(Daily Mail)
See more posts by Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.