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Well, it’s been quite the lesbian weekend. Below is a wee snapshot. What else are we missing?!

Sporty Lesbots

Cork’s Derval O’Rourke wins silver at the athletics European Championships in Barcelona! Okay, Derval’s not a lesbian (or is she? …No.), but this is a magnificent win for her and for Irish women athletes. 100m hurdles in 12.65secs into a -0.5 headwind, apparently, and setting a new Irish record. Check it!

Elsewhere in the world of athletics, and far more importantly (apologies Derval) yesterday also saw the opening ceremony of the Gay Games in Köln (aka Cologne). This fine country is well represented at the Games by Team Ireland, and you can keep up via the following means:

  • One member of the Cork contingent of Team Ireland, @famron, is Tweeting live from the games!

From yesterday’s Tweets:

It’s official, #teamcork have landed & registered. #gaygames people so friendly n helpful. Off out soon for grub & the opening ceremony.

Just waiting to go into the stadium. #teamcork singing loudest n proudest. Team Ireland has 14th largest representation #gaygames

Going into the stadium the rain started pelting for #teamcork. Didn’t dampen our enthusiasm one iota. Up to seats now for entertainment.

Hackney women’s FC and #teamcork have met and now having a sing-off in the stadium.

(Heh, love that last one.)

Also at the Gay Games are several teams from countries where homosexuals are persecuted terribly: Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Zimbabwe and several Eastern European nations. As a result, many of the athletes from these countries need to protect their identities during the competition. Nevertheless, they will be able to meet thousands of other LGBTs from other countries around the world, sharing their experiences.

Clare Balding-v-The Sunday Times

Speaking of sports, Britain’s own Clare Balding is giving The Sunday Times and their writer, A. A. Gill, a smackdown over the latter describing Balding as a “dyke” in a published article. A. A. Gill is the Times’ resident fop who seems convinced that London remains the heart of Empire, where he’s depicted visiting the colonies is ridiculous hats, scarves and poses. He calls himself “A. A.” for fuck’s sake. Somehow this makes him the Times‘ cultural correspondent.

Anyway, via The Guardian here’s the full extract of what he said and the exchange which followed, between Balding and the newspaper’s editor (you won’t be able to read it yourself, as the London Times website is now hidden behind a pay-wall):

Gill had written: “Some time ago, I made a cheap and frankly unnecessary joke about Clare Balding looking like a big lesbian. And afterwards somebody tugged my sleeve to point out that she is a big lesbian.”

After a mock apology, he continued: “Now back to the dyke on a bike, puffing up the nooks and crannies at the bottom end of the nation.”

Balding complained to Witherow. She was then “appalled” to receive a reply stating: “In my view some members of the gay community need to stop regarding themselves as having a special victim status and behave like any other sensible group that is accepted by society.

“Not having a privileged status means, of course, one must accept occasionally being the butt of jokes. A person’s sexuality should not give them a protected status.

“Jeremy Clarkson, perhaps the epitome of the heterosexual male, is constantly jeered at for his dress sense (lack of), adolescent mindset and hairstyle. He puts up with it as a presenter’s lot and in this context I hardly think that AA Gill’s remarks were particularly cruel, especially as he ended by so warmly endorsing you as a presenter.”

Balding responded: “When the day comes that people stop resigning from high office, being disowned by their families, getting beaten up and in some instances committing suicide because of their sexuality, you may have a point.

“This is not about me putting up with having the piss taken out of me, something I have been quite able to withstand, it is about you legitimising name calling. ‘Dyke’ is not shouted out in school playgrounds (or as I’ve had it at an airport) as a compliment, believe me.”

She added: “I am happy to be described as a lesbian, as and when relevant, but ‘dyke’ is too often used as a pejorative and insulting term.”

Stick it to ‘em, Clare. It seems the media are quite happy to throw around insults against lesbians – the BBC a few years ago, the BBC defended a couple of their Z-listers insulting lesbians in one of their countdown shows broadcast in 2008 over the Christmas time.

“DJ Spoony”, a talking head on the programme stated in relation to Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson: “Let the munters and mingers get each other – that’s cool because no-one really wants them. But when they’re hot and fit and Hollywood superstars, they should be saved for guys – not me, but other guys.”

Another contributor, Ron Jeremy, 55, who is a “porn actor”, said that he would like to have a threesome with the couple and even described ejaculating over them. He said: “Those two girls are both very good-looking, so I would love to be in the middle of that. They would do each other, do me, do each other, back and forth, then I do a pop and it’s over. The polite thing to do is to pop on both of them.”

The reply by email which I received at the time after a complaint included:

It’s important to note that this programme was a light-hearted and comedic look at people who have annoyed, amused or appalled us in 2008. The comments made by any of the programme contributors are their own opinions and don’t reflect the opinions of the BBC.

We’ve a strict set of guidelines, that all our programmes must adhere to, which relate to the representation of people of all cultures and backgrounds on all our channels and stations.

Naturally, we appreciate the strength of your views on this matter and so please be assured that your complaint has been registered on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that’s circulated to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers.

The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to contact us.

Regards

Leanne Bennett
BBC Complaints

I doubt the Beeb and the Times would be so permissive if their writers were quipping about spicks, wogs, kikes and niggers – but dykes are fair game. We just need to lighten up, like. Maybe some corrective rape will sort us out.

Darlene from Roseanne comes out

On a happier note, and to ease the rage… You may be familiar with Sara Gilbert. She will always be known to me as “Darlene from Roseanne.” Well, apparently she has come out publicly as gay.

Now, no offence intended to Sara, but this surprised me about as much as Joe McElderry coming out. When I was a wee wan, watching Roseanne in my tender years avec famille, even then I knew she was a big gayer (even if I didn’t have the vocabulary to describe it).

NEXT, ON BREAKING NEWS: Pope is Catholic; Gay girls like gee.

Still, though, props to her (and wee Joe) to have the courage to say it on record. Sara lives with her misses and two kids in California. Good times for all.

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