I have been rather uninspired the write recently, I don’t know why, sometimes that is just the way it is.
However, this morning I was greeted to a wonderful news story. A school in North London has practically eliminated homophobic bullying in its classrooms and playgrounds. They claim to have achieved this by teaching about gay historical figures, such as Oscar Wilde or Alan Turing and the persecution they suffered. Alan Turing was actually given an official apology from the government recently regarding how he was treated for being gay. The school is planning to share the lessons with other schools and hope, by the summer, to have trained more than a hundred teachers in how to ‘educate and celebrate’ being gay.
This weekend, I will be indulging of my many strange passions – American Football. My team since I was 8 or 9 years old is coming to play in London and quite frankly I am beyond excited. Due to this fixation with the sport I can often be found taking in news from the US. Recently there has been a spate of worrying news stories from across the pond.
For example, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban against openly gay people serving in the US military has suffered a series of legal defeats – even though Obama is committed to ending it.
There has also been two high profile stories about suicides connected with being gay in the country. A university student committed suicide after his room-mate broadcast him having sex with another man on the internet, and a 19-year-old man killed himself after attending a local council meeting where members of the public had spoken out against celebrating the local gay community.
The family of this young man who committed suicide at home said they believed the "toxic" environment of the meeting had pushed him over the edge. Add these to the story of a group of suspected gang members brutally beating and torturing a 30-year-old gay man and several other youths who had been associated with him, and you have a trend.
This all happens in the country where the car manufacturer – Dodge - has a TV advert with a tag line (complete with images of the US flag) saying, “one thing we have done right is cars and freedom”.
My mum always says that the best way to indoctrinate someone to your way of thinking is to get them while they are young – incidentally, I am sure that cigarette manufacturers think the same thing. It seems that one school in the UK may have found the magic recipe to drastically reduce homophobia in school kids. Get them when they are young and you have won half the battle, I am sure of it. I am sure I would have appreciated it at school.
Anyway, I will be celebrating the best of the US this weekend – Corn Dogs and all. It is funny that in the most capitalist country in the world, their national sport is distinctly socialist. They have profit sharing, capped earnings and ‘parity’ is built into how the sport is run. Oh and none of them ever go out of business. Maybe our national sport could learn a thing or two from it. If anyone else is going to the game on Sunday let me know………….
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