The title of this post is obviously something of a contradiction in terms. Revolutionaries are noisy, especially gay ones. But more on that later.
There is a blogging hazard, if you like, a kind of latent explosiveness, about doing "gay" posts. Iain Dale gets it all the time, but of course he is gay. The hazard, of which I write, is that it is almost impossible to write about gay issues without attracting criticism. I don't know why this is, because sanity (or pragmatism) should have prevailed long ago along the lines that, some people are gay, they demand to be (and should be) socially equal with the rest of us, now move along, sonny, there is nothing to see. Or snigger at.
Iain Dale gets criticism because, when he does a post about gay issues or gay people, he gets a lot of comments that amount to asking him why, as a gay man, he does not just leave it out and stop banging on about his sexuality. I find this position unreasonable and unsupportable because homosexuality is still political and personal and as relevant as any other aspect of one's make-up. He also, and this is quite rare I think, makes very sure that, whilst be positive about his sexual orientation, he does not apotheose it - idolatry being the chief sin of the homosexual community today.
Because being gay is political, and by that I mean it is (unlike heterosexuality) subject to arbitrary public opinion. It is not a default aspect of humanity that is so taken as read that it has, by familiarisation, ceased to be noticed.
I get criticism for being homophobic, merely because I am a straight man who dares to discuss the subject at all, and possibly even be critical sometimes. Which is a bit like discussing Christmas and being criticised for moaning about the commercialisation of our winter festival. I am challenged by gays because I am not considered an insider, and suspected by heterosexuals of being secretly gay. All of this I can deal with - it is water off a duck's back.
Which brings me to two stories running today. The first is a story, all but buried under a welter of Tory Conference stories, that the boss of Stonewall, Ben Summerskill, has boycotted a conference event - described as a "pride" event - because of the presence at the conference of a right-wing European politician called Michal Kaminski. There is no doubt in my mind that Kaminski is someone I would avoid myself. There is no doubt that his views on many things (homosexuality in particular) are offensive, and there is no doubt that his presence at the conference is an anathema to many. Not that his path was due to cross with Summerskill's. Just that out of a conference of several thousand delegates and hangers on, both were at some point in the same building.
Which brings me to an observation. Stonewall's raison d'être is subversion and what used to be called agitprop. They exist to challenge and change societal views and actions on homosexual issues. Simply walking away from an event, is in my view and own goal, and looks churlish. More importantly, such a group, any group, that exists to be a pain in the arse, ensures the pain goes away when they do. Sorry Ben, you left the building. You have not made your contribution as a key speaker. Nobody is going to be outraged or challenged because of that.
The second story is the news that the former civil partner of the comedian/actor/writer Matt Lucas has apparently committed suicide. This is not a gay story, this is a bereavement story. My condolences to those Kevin McGee left behind.