Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Why is this news?
The BBC have reported today that Conservative MP and Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, has come out as gay. Well done Mr Mundell. It's always good to see people in positions of authority setting an example and being a role model, even if he is a role model for a political party whose policies are not necessarily shared by me. The question has to be asked however: why is this news? This is, after all, the 21st century and only a few nutters in UKIP seem to believe that the existence of non-heterosexuals in society is a world ending situation. Mr Mundell's sexual orientation is just not a story. It may have been different in 1992 when I came out, at the start of the general election campaign, after my Conservative opponent in Hexham, Alan Amos MP, was arrested on Hampstead Heath. Amos was rapidly dumped by the Conservatives but it was the Labour party that put my being gay at the centre of their campaign. 24 years later, an MP or minister coming out is just not a news story, in my opinion. Perhaps the BBC had demonstrated that there is still some way to go before being gay is fully mainstream.