In the current issue of the Spectator, former Conservative MP (who came out during a House of Commons debate in 1984) now journalist Matthew Parris writes about two contrasting views of gay life:
"The Pauline [homophobe Paul Johnson] view reflected a belief that homosexuals were inherently hedonistic, seeking sex only for the sake of sex; and that while heterosexual society organises itself through successive generations, homosexual society does so by forming bridges between otherwise unconnected citizens. Gays would be drawn away from the values of constancy and love, and duty to elders and successors. They would become what Johnson used to call ‘degenerates’ in more than the physical sense, and live only for today, and for pleasure. The future could go hang.
"The theory has a certain plausibility, which made it sting the more. But I did not recognise in myself nor in many gays I knew that carelessness or shallow pleasure-seeking. Rejecting Johnson, I took refuge in the view of Plato and his culture: an analysis with equal plausibility. This view, current among many Ancient Greeks, was that heterosexual reproduction was more likely to distract men from wider social obligations, because they would focus on advantaging family and the next generation, rather than root their interests in society and democracy as a whole. According to this view, same-sex couples would make ideas and values their children; the public good would be ‘family’ to them; and they would not be distracted from public duty by the desire to spawn, endow and promote copies of themselves for the next generation. Gay men would prove more selfless politicians."
Read "It's Gay Men Who Contribute Most To Society" in full here.
In his 30s, Parris was a freakishly fast marathoner, running 26.2 miles in 2 hours 32 minutes. He and his longtime partner Julian Glover, former head speechwriter to the Prime Minister, share homes in East London, Derbyshire, and Spain. His many books include The Spanish Ambassador's Suitcase, Inca Kola: A Traveller's Tale of Peru, and Scorn With Extra Bile.