Rod Liddle

Queens of camp

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Homosexuals are tired of being portrayed on television as sexually obsessed, hilariously narcissistic, outrageously dressed queens each carrying a boxed set of Abba CDs - ie, Clary, Norton, Carr and so on. They want a bit more realism, believing that this sort of stereotypical depiction is hardly better than the Black and White Minstrels, or Al Jolson. Well, maybe. But be careful what you wish for. Inaccurate it may well have been, but at least it was an agreeable stereotype which probably advanced the cause of homosexual equality. If we suddenly discover that gay people aren’t always the life and soul of every party, but can be as crushingly dull as Brian Paddick, or as duplicitous as Mandelson, then even more bed and breakfast institutions might refuse them entry (“refuse them entry -ooh missus!” etc). They should talk to the Irish, who know the value of good PR; the whole of Europe loves the Irish for being ineffably good-natured top o the mornin’ fiddle-de-dee live and let live free spirits, rather than grey-skinned marsh-dwelling gingerish psychopaths with a block of semtex in each pocket and an insuperable sense of grievance. The truth is somewhere between the two, as it always is. Stick with the image, boys.