Monday 7 May 2007

Slamming the closet doors

Quite contrary

Oh! One does feel peculiar; Do you mean queer, dear?

Not at all, it wasn't a gay day, it rained cats and dogs.

That's a bit trite; one would say, quite a day to feel so ordinary.

It's a bit early

So, as I leafed through The Telegraph on Thursday morning after the fallout from Lord Browne's brush with the furious hell of a lover spurned; I guffawed as I read the second-hand tale of an interesting conversation.

Gyles Brandreth wrote in his diary in the Spectator; the following.

The telephone rang at 7.45 a.m. It was a journalist I know. She sounded tense. 'Gyles,' she said, 'do you want to come out?' 'It's a bit early, isn't it, darling?' I replied. 'I mean, "come out",' she said with emphasis, adding, with a little laugh, 'Everyone knows you're gay.' 'Do they?' I asked. 'Am I?' 'Oh, come on,' she persisted, 'Frankie Howerd made a pass at you once, didn't he?' 'Yes.' 'And you knew Ted Heath?' 'Er ... yes.' 'Well?' she said. I put the phone down. What is this bizarre obsession we have with the sexual orientation of others?

And that story continues ... He had to investigate to determine if Gordon Brown was gay - some people!

Keep away from my closet

Indeed, what is this bizarre obsession we have with the sexual orientation of others? Most especially that of homosexuals is referred to as coming out of the closet.

I have a closet, it is in my bedroom which is deep in my apartment; my home in not an open house, it is no business of anyone if I slept in my closet or in my bed. And if I did sleep in my closet and decide to come out in the morning, I do not expect to see a crowd in my bedroom or a snoop peeping through my 7th floor window ready to sell a scoop to the village rag.

However, this colourful tale takes on a shade of pink as The Independent on Sunday published the Pink List 2007 of the celebrated and the successful few who have come of their closets - some probably waving their handbags, some screaming "look at me", but all in a position of never having to suffer the Lord Brownean white lie.

A liaison so discreet

Quite a few in the list would surprise you, but who cares if you like men or women as long are you are doing it behind closed doors and keeping the noise down - thankfully the floors and ceilings in my apartment block are concrete, it would have been insufferable - perish the thought.

More poignantly, the day before, I was reading the obituary of Sir Brian Smedley who died at 72 and was the presiding judge during the Matrix Churchill trial where the government of the day was ready to sacrifice people in legitimate and government-sanctioned business to the unforgivable pretensions of not selling arms to Iraq.

This case was thrown out when Alan Clark made the classic statement of being economical with the actualité in answering questions under oath about Iraqi arms policy.

The long obituary of an utterly distinguished and respected judge ended with the fact that he was survived by his partner of 38 years, Peter Wright.

Gone are the days when discretion was the better part of valour, Lord Browne was somewhat caught in that time warp, but when are you coming out? For dinner, I meant - The obsession remains bizarre.

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