A number of celebrity speaking positively in media has helped a great deal to bring focus to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT / glbt) or queer issues, so much so, that some issues have become much celebrated causes. ‘Prop 8’ after Lady Gaga reportedly penning a new song post the result of the court case, sounds to be one of them. More interestingly, Daniel Radcliffe reportedly suggesting stigma around LGB and Trans issues is now ‘less of an issue’ may sound true to several observers, but the reality on the ground can differ for each LGB or Trans individual when they challenge any homophobic or transphobic situation that they may face.
Celebrity support for gay issues is often desired in areas such as gay adoption, gay art and entertainment, gay marriage, bullying in school of LGBT students and tackling homophobia and transphobia in social spheres. More of it should deliver greater social justice for LGBT people across the world. However last week, Stephen Fry had to point his criticism towards The Independent on Sunday’s Pink List, despite being featured as the third most influential gay person in the UK, for the ‘insult’ to TV presenter Louie Spence who was included in the pink ‘rogues’ gallery’. Fry, who is often referred as the ‘national treasure’, was right in addressing the issue, to correct someone’s error. Actress Emma Thompson’s joke about Isle of Wight ‘stones homosexuals there?’ was seen as offensive to its residents. And George Michael’s arrest became a news headline on gay and other news websites when he was briefly booked on charges of drug possession and driving offenses.
There must be great pressure on celebrities to provide entertaining or newsworthy quotes and it is not an easy job if their comments are open to misinterpretation. Although sometimes, it seems odd to listen to some, not necessarily the above mentioned, celebrity soundbites on gay issues.
There is always a demand for influential celebrity messages endorsing the work of grass-root LGBT community organisations and for stars to act in small budget gay films and theatre projects. Perhaps, more visible and proactive support to a number of smaller gay voluntary organisations, working tirelessly and resourcefully, should help.
_____________________________________________________________More info on GFEST – Gaywise FESTival (GFEST in short) web: http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk GFEST Artistic Director: Niranjan Kamatkar WISE THOUGHTS is an arts charity that organises GFEST – Gaywise FESTival in venues across London. GFEST web networks: http://www.wisethoughts.org http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk http://www.facebook.com/niranjan.kamatkar http://www.gaywisefestival.blogspot.com/ http://twitter.com/gfest https://gaywisefestival.wordpress.com/ http://www.yoursemotionally.com/ http://www.myspace.com/interviewwithapolitician http://www.flickr.com/photos/gfest/ http://www.youtube.com/user/wisethoughts http://uk.linkedin.com/in/niranjankamatkar http://www.myspace.com/gaywisefestival