Opinion: How Gay Rights Have Impacted Me, A Straight Man


AS part of WWN’s continued support for the gay community during Pride Month, here’s Malcolm McCannell, the ninth straight middle-aged man to be given a guest column in our publication to discuss what ‘all this LGBT craic’ means to him.

“When I was growing up in the 80s in Waterford, there was no gay people. Maybe Jimmy the bachelor up the road, or the Canning lad who went to college in Manchester and stayed there, but that was it. Straight people like me could do and say whatever we wanted. You didn’t have this craic today where you’re watching over your shoulder to see if someone’s going to give out to you for something you said. In fact, at the time we weren’t even straight people, we were just people. It was very liberating”.

“Compare that to today, and there’s a dozen gay lads to every straight person, or at least that’s how it seems to me. Every musician you see is gay, or bi, or whatever. We used to have straight popstars we could look up to, like Freddie Mercury, and George Michael. I mean, ok they later turned out to be gay but we didn’t know it as kids”.

“Anyways, all of a sudden homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993 and there were gays everywhere. And now, 30 years later, I have to see at least one gay character per TV show I watch. It’s a bit much, if you ask me”.

“And that’s not even mentioning Pride – look, when it was one march in San Francisco or wherever, no problem. A march in Dublin? Alright, we’ll allow it. Then there was Pride in Waterford, and that started to get a bit close to home. Then St. Pride Day became Pride Weekend and now it’s Pride Month… ah here, lads. I can’t go for a pint without seeing a rainbow flag. One whole month of having to be alright with the LGBT community. What’ll be next, will I have to respect them for a whole year? Not on, if you ask me. I much preferred it the old way, that’s for sure”.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s column, where we interview a woman who was ‘100% sure’ that gay people would have settled with getting marriage equality, but no, they’re never happy.