Sunday, November 14, 2004

How dare you John?

John Laws, one of Australia's most popular talkback radio hosts, has delivered a hate-filled rant directed at Queer Eye's Carson Kressley, and at the queer community in general, on his 2UE show.

Carson was recently in Australia to judge fashion on the field at the Melbourne Cup. The Sydney Morning Herald reported:

"This is a really serious thing," Laws warned his listeners. "It's not often that I get really worried about this country, but I tell you what, I had a sleepless night last night after watching the television that I saw in relation to the Melbourne Cup. Who is this pompous little pansy prig who's strutting around everywhere yesterday, telling Australian blokes how to wear their pocket square? As he called it. That's poof speak for handkerchief ... Who is he? He might be famous in certain circles, circles being the operative word, we know where they are."

The talking Brillo Pad wasn't letting up, and continued with: "He was judging girls, now what the hell does a pillow biter know about judging girls? They should have had a few truckies down there, or me, or the co-driver even. Fair-dinkum Aussie blokes judging fair-dinkum Aussie girls. Not this pompous little pansy.

"I remember when Australia was a land of proud, dedicated women and hard-drinking and hard-talking men. M- E- N, men. Why this sudden proliferation of pansies I don't know. It's a major issue. It's all very good and well that Australia tolerates people with varied sexual leanings but I don't know why we should be celebrating it. The sooner this fairy flies out and lets us judge our own women on our own criteria the better."

Finally he drew to a close, speaking on behalf of "truck drivers, wharf labourers, free thinking red-blooded Australian men and me". He then went on to play a recorded track saying "Piss Off Pansy". Not quite finished yet, Laws went on to say: "I know what you would like to have said [plays track] 'Piss Off Poof', but you can't say that because that's a derogatory word, so we won't say that. We wouldn't stoop to that, well I really wouldn't want to s-s-s-stoop to anything, would I?"

I'm really angry, and not just because I enjoy Carson's fashion sense. As the Sydney Star Observer said last week, these words are not just offensive, they encourage discrimination and, in some cases, violence. I didn't realise until recently how prevalent violence is against lesbians and gay men - particularly in the inner-city. The AVP reports:
The NSW Police Service Out of the Blue (1995) study found that lesbians were six times more likely to be assaulted than other Sydney women and gay men were four times more likely to be assaulted than other Sydney men.
That's not funny John.