A couple of weeks ago, I found myself watching the Jonathan Ross show, (not a regular habit as I find Ross’ style of interviewing a bit crass and a very self-absorbed). However, on this occasions I was pleasantly surprised to listen to the actor Zachary Quinto, (Star Trek, Heroes, American Horror Story) talking about being a successful actor in Hollywood, while being open and proud about being a gay man. Quinto spoke most eloquently about his need to come out two years ago, after hearing about a rash of young American teenagers had committed suicide because they were bullied for being gay. In his speech, Quinto went on to say how important to not only speak out about homophobia, but to also show that regardless of your sexuality, you can archive your dreams. What pleased me so much more was the fact that here was a successful actor, not only talking about being gay on a primetime television programme, but also exposing the bigoted homophobia that still exists in Hollywood. A point Ross brought up when he asked Quinto; “Where you afraid you wouldn’t be considered for ‘straight’ or ‘action acting roles because you came out?” Quinto’s responded by saying, “I wouldn’t want to work with people who thought that way – we live in a time, where time is changing. All over the world the movement towards equality is cresting and that wave is unstoppable,” That simple sentence made me stop and think about all the LGBT marches and most recently the many online petitions I have signed that as a collective community (something Thatcher never believed in) we are making a positive difference towards equality for all.
The unstoppable wave that Quinto spoke of is gathering more strength, with the most recent battle ground being the same sex marriage bill. It’s fantastic that the bill has now passed through parliament and due to face the final hurdle in the House of Lords. Let us not forget that a few years ago, such a bill would have been thought impossible. Thankfully there are many people across the world who started the ripples in the laws on equality, first made by the Netherlands giving their lesbian and gay citizens equal marriage rights back in 2001. Since then many other countries have followed suit including: Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark, Uruguay and a brilliant response from New Zealand’s parliament when the same sex marriage was passed last month.
Rather predictability here in the UK, a good half of Tory’s voted against the same sex marriage bill, which has only shown just how out of touch they are with the changing times. There are concerns that the new same sex marriage bill does not give same sex couples the same beneficial pension rights as straight couple, but this is something that can be rectified in due course as this equality tidal wave gathers pace.