A criticism levied at my novel (But I love you) is that the gay issues raised gently therein are no longer relevant. "Everyone's cool with the gay thing now, aren't they?" The answer is probably yes in the metrosexual big cities, London, Manchester, Brighton. But cast your net a little wider, or a little tighter and you will find that homophobia is in the closet. Today's Observer magazine carries an article about Alan Downs book 'Velvet Rage' and addresses why so many gay taboos still need to be broken. The stories from the men on 'coming out' are touching and painful as well as inspiring. Religious parents do still get upset. It is still a difficult personal journey to undertake.
And what about the couple who went to holiday in Cornwall, thoughtfully checking that their dog would be welcome, only to discover that as gay men they were not.
Only a couple of weeks ago, Jeremy Vine invited listeners to his Radio 2 show to share their coming out stories. Again, the reactions were varied, positive and negative.
It is still necessary in 2011 to stand up for our gay friends and share the stories so we may all keep learning.