Nearly all of us have been in love, or at least felt a sexual attraction for somebody, so we know what it’s like. A rrecent display of such affection caused a bit of a fuss and I’ve been watching, and participating in, the response.
Firstly although the people concerned were men I don’t think this is really restricted to attitudes to homosexuality. There seems to be a much broader discomfort, which puzzles and fascinates me.
The idea seems to have been got about that if some other people are minding their own business and, for whatever reason, I feel uncomfortable about it, I only have to complain and they have to drop whatever they were doing and stop it. Where did that come from and where is it going? Don’t like sitting next to a bloke who is reading the Daily Mail? Complain about it! Don’t like sitting next to a chap who is eating a packet of pub crisps? Complain! Don’t like the smell of cider? Complain and have the scrumpy-drinking perve moved to another part of the pub, or if necessary thrown out!
It’s hard enough to avoid tensions in London where we’re all on top of one another. If everybody who saw a couple kissing complained and had them moved on there would be more than just the odd pub kiss-in protest.
So I’d just like to put in my plea for sanity and commonsense. If somebody is doing something you don’t like looking at, look the other way. If you’re in Soho you can look out of the window at all the prostitutes and their customers. Oh hang on, perhaps that’s not to your taste. Oh well, perhaps you could try looking inwards and ask yourself: why does this display of genuine affection and love so upset me, in this district of London so notorious for its counterfeit?
A sign of maturity is to accept that we don’t have to throw our toys out of the pram just because somebody else is doing something that, inadvertently, makes us feel uncomfortable. Are these people a hazard to traffic, or to anybody’s personal safety, or are they making more noise than the droning of the passing traffic or the noise of the jukebox? If not, try looking at something else. Because making them personally responsible for your own equanimity is not on.