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A gay-safe article? 

Audi TT, as photographed by Douglas RimingtonI would not mind some advice on my latest motoring column for the next Lucire, from those in the . From a minority’s point-of-view, I found shows such as Mind Your Language or the Chinaman gag in The Benny Hill Show to be hilarious. The reason is probably because the joke was not on the minorities portrayed, but on the ignorant Englishman. Yet these shows fall foul of the types—the PC thugs—who see us minorities as so weak that we need their defence.
   I have written about the , a car which I associate with female buyers. The new one, however, is more butch. The gag is that heterosexual men like me have a degree of , and we have tended not to buy a TT. All that changes with this new model.
   Is the article appropriate? I hate toning things down for political correctness. That’s not the point. The point is to understand where the limits lie. Many gay men read , and the last thing I want them to feel is that the magazine is prejudiced when it is not. Read it here and then come back and let me know.
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I'd say two things here.

Regardless of your intent, you are perpetuating the use of "gay" as a pejorative term.

Secondly, where do you get that heterosexual men have some reserves of homophobia? If you are talking about yourself, then say so. If you mean your friends, say so. By printing an unreferenced statement like that, you give it authority. This encourages others' homophobia.

Actually, three things. By presenting homophobia as a "gag" you marginalise and diminish the real experiences of those who suffer it.  
Thank you, Anonymous: this is exactly the type of feedback I was looking for. I think the first was something I wasn’t trying to do, and even take a side-swipe at. However, I agree that the second point is very valid, and will need clarifying. I’ll think about the third though, and whether I want the article to have that effect. It’s something that has been used in popular culture (Seinfeld’s ‘Not that there’s anything wrong’, to me, is rooted in homophobia) and I wonder if it is a behaviour that we want to minimize.
   I can only use racism as a parallel, and I believe that presenting that as a gag made some uncomfortable enough to check their own behaviours.  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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