Sixth Form Boys Will Hug Boys

Someone simulating coitus behind you while you were potting a tricky black on the pool table was a popular part of the game. Grabbing one another’s lunchboxes as a form of greeting was another. Often this was accompanied with a loud John Inman/Dick Emery ‘OOOOH!!’ noise, which somehow proved that what you were doing was, in fact, totally and utterly straight. Me in the Daily Telegraph contrasting my teenage school days with a new study showing how much ideas about masculinity have have changed amongst […]

The Straightness of George Michael

Back in the early 1980s, I was one of those annoying “alternative” British teens who, when pressed, would admit they quite liked “Wham Rap!,” which extolled the freedoms of unemployment (“I’m a soul boy! – I’m a dole boy!”), and acknowledged he was “really talented,” but essentially dismissed George Michael as “too commercial.” Which in the inverted snobbery of the era essentially meant “uncool.” And also – you may find this rather difficult to believe – “too straight.” Me on the straightness – and subversive […]

Ronaldophobia

Mark Simpson explains why Cristiano Ronaldo’s talent & prettiness are so intolerable One of the queerest things about homophobia is that many of its targets are not actually homo. Not because homophobia is a blunt, inaccurate baseball bat – though that as well – but because homophobia is used as a way of policing all men’s behaviour, whatever their actual sexual preference. Or just to bring them down a satisfying peg or two. That’s so GAY!! What are you, a FAG?? Etc. Etc. Now that […]

‘End of Gays?’ – Kindle Single essay

Back in the 1980s, when the Conservative Government of Margaret Thatcher banned the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality, gays were still semi-criminal – as well as immoral, ridiculous, disgusting, diseased and after your kids. The UK’s ban on homosexual propaganda failed – spectacularly. Gays have been promoted more rapidly and giddily than almost any persecuted, despised group in history. In just a generation or so UK gays have achieved legal equality, civil rights and even respectability. Today they are gay married by the Tory PM, David Cameron, […]

In Defence of Jerry Lewis

Martin and Lewis were the hottest male comedy double-act of all time – who make today’s ‘bromance’ look like bromide. (Originally appeared in Out, May 2009) Forget hair whorls, genomes, amniotic fluid, older brothers, domineering mothers or disco. I can reveal with absolute, religio-scientific certainty that the cause of my homosexuality was just two words. Jerry. Lewis. As a kid in the 1970s I watched re-runs of his movies, especially the ones from the early fifties with his on-screen boyfriend Dean Martin, with a level […]

How Beer Went Queer

Beer, as everyone knows, was invented so that men can touch and hug and kiss – and sometimes shag – one another.  And not have to talk about it or even remember the next day.  ‘Oh boy, was I drunk last night!’. Beer was invented in other words to allow men time off being MEN.  While still being manly. Because drinking beer was what guys did, as well as the reward for being guys. No wonder we drank it so much, even if much of […]