Ignorance needs to become a thing of the past

Ignorance needs to become a thing of the past

Dear Amanda Platell,

A couple of weeks ago, I saw your story in a relative's copy of The Daily Mail (she has bad taste), suggesting that moves shouldn't be made to fund a drug that could help prevent people catching HIV. It was also suggested in your commentary that the drug would be given for free to gay men through the NHS, and that this would come at a cost of almost £5,000 a year per person picking up the drug.

Your reasons for this were quite shocking. You claimed that this money should instead be going to places that will help find a cure for cancer - fair enough. But then you went on to imply that those who engage in gay sex and catch HIV do so simply because the sex they're having is unsafe, and that they should instead pick up a £1 condom and stop "denying sufferers a longer life". If only things were that black and white.

Sometimes Amanda, condoms break. Sometimes during sexual intercourse, HIV can be passed from person to person even if they're engaging in safe sexual activity, because of a stroke of bad luck. Are we to deny these people the chance of not contracting the disease simply because of your dislike of homosexuals having unprotected sex? Perhaps you believe that homosexuals shouldn't be having sexual intercourse at all? It's people like you that still allow the stigma surrounding HIV to exist.

I must admit, you had me fired up. You came across as loud-mouthed and homophobic, wrapping your medieval views in the protection of The Daily Mail. And then today I see you return with another piece, this time insisting that a homosexual male "DOESN'T have a right to be a dad". You have been told you'll never be able to naturally bear your own children, and so you want to deny this man the right to be a parent.

The man in question is Kyle Casson, who was devestated to hear that his plans to have an IVF child through a surrogate had fell through. In stepped his own mother who became pregnant with a fertilised donor egg, later giving birth to her son's child and her grandchild. A unique situation for sure. Something I'd engage in? I don't think so. But not something that would make me feel "queasy", as it did you.

It made me feel odd at first, for sure. It's not something you hear about every day. He's become the first single man to have a child through surrogacy in this country and in doing so created a media storm because his mother was used as the surrogate. But when you actually sit down and think about the situation and contemplate what this man must have been going through when his earlier plans fell to pieces, it's not that hard to wrap your head around. He wanted a child, the child was available through his mother, and so that is the new route he chose to take. There's nothing odd or incest going on here, and so there's no reason to feel "queasy".

You worry that this is a story that will not have a happy ending, because you fear that the IVF "may inflict another kind of pain on the child it is creating". You then go on to quote research which sees that those brought up in a "happy marriage" by "both their biological parents" do better in most ways than those who aren't, but you fail to pick up on the children who also come out of life well with same-sex parents, step-parents, etc.

The new commentary sees you go on to pick apart the history of marriage, stating that the institution of marriage has been "unpicked" in a bid "to suit the convenience of individuals and their 'rights'" - lovely use of inverted commas, by the way. Your anger at the LGBT community is once again, shining through. We're sorry for wanting to be treated like the majority of people, I guess?

Your clear hopes that one day we can return to a "traditional" Britain are unfortunately falling on deaf ears. We are the generation of change and we are the people who will ensure that this world is made a better place.

I'm sorry that you will never be a mother, but the homosexual community is not to blame for that. Nor are we to blame for the breaking of condoms, accidental passing of HIV or government cuts. We're not to blame for being born differently to you and we're not to blame for falling in love with other people of the same sex. I hope one day you can understand that.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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