You Decide: Is The Metro Homophobic Or Not…

Now this was in the Metro today, now I thought this was mildly homophobic. But its up to you to decide, homophobic, or light hearted comic strip for the morning bus? Answers on a post card or or in the comments section below.

And as we have decided that we are going to be more vocal with our dislike about representation, the editor of the Metro will be reading an email from us in the morning, so I will let you know how that goes.

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23 Responses to “ You Decide: Is The Metro Homophobic Or Not… ”

  1. its does seem abit homophobic but could of been written by a gay person too? as I know only guys that I know that have seen mama mia are gay and I’m saying that as a proud gay myself :) lol (yes Darren thats you and Mark) but it is annoying if straight people label gayness with one stereotype.

  2. If it was in gay press my reaction would be different but this is from a free daily newspaper that is on all the trains and buses of England.

  3. I like musicals. I also like bosoms and other lady-parts. Case closed.

  4. Just in case that lacked clarification, this is lazy comedy with a lazy, and offensive stereotype. It’s not quite as venomous (and demonstrably false) as classics like ‘white working class people are bigoted racists’ or ‘Jews are greedy’ but it’s on a sliding scale with those sorts of ideas.

  5. I was a little put out by this too. It’s lazy, we find Mr Humpfries funny because it was 1970blah and it was ‘okay’ then and funny voices and walks were funny so were stereotypes, now, not so. Boo you Metro - I do find the ‘This Life’ strip wildly inferior to the awesome ‘Nemi’ which has protrayed gay and bisexual characters without scorn.

    but all in all I might have let this go if it was funny.

  6. Thanks for all your speedy responses :)
    Just to let you know I have emailed The Metro

    To whom this may concern,

    I was a little shocked this morning when I read the ‘This Life’ comic strip and its homophobic stereotyping. I do not feel that this was an appropriate choice of subject matter especially considering the current climate after comments made by Iris Robinson, the Heinz advert and the Snickers advert.

    If a similar strip had been written with tired clichés about ethnicity or religion would it have been published?
    I am very disappointed.


    David Blackett

    and you too can, just email [email protected]

    I will let you know what/if I get a response.

    I have also been uber proactive and contacted Just to keep you all up to date :)

  7. I agree it’s tired and cliched, but offensive? No. There are far worse stereotypes to worry about than a fondness for ABBA!

  8. For the record, I am a gay man and I’m not a right-wing libertarian. I don’t think the issue is whether it’s ‘offensive’ as such, but whether we generally have the right to offend other people within certain limits. I find homophobia offensive, annoying and tiresome, but I believe the right to free speech always trumps the right not to be offended. Of course there is a line to be drawn, and that line is where comments incite hatred and violence towards LGBT people. For example, paedophilia gives rise to hatred and violence, so comments to the effect that gay men are all paedophiles, or worse than paedophiles, is likely to increase homophobic violence. But a lazy stereotype that all gay men are into ABBA or musicals? Well, ahem, I do think ABBA are great, but hate musicals and prefer hard core guitar noise and skronky electronica. So I think the cartoon is tedious. But if we get uptight over this kind of mild stuff, I think we are over-reacting, and it’s likely to backfire, because then when we rightly complain about comments such as the vile ones made by Iris Robinson, it can be mis-represented as those gays being over-sensitive again.

  9. I agree with Matt. We have the right to free speech. We don’t have the right not to be offended.

  10. Perhaps it should have read, “I think I’m having a sexual identity crisis. I’m conflicted about weather I should see Mamma Mia or not.” or better yet, “Who the fuck is Abba?” LIghten up a little!

  11. I took your suggestion, Blackett, and wrote to them:

    It seems to be that you are coming under some criticism for your cartoon “For a while I thought I was gay, …” (, and we’re apparently being asked to give our views.

    Just for the record (from a gay male who is strongly against homophobia) I didn’t think it was remotely homophobic. (Not hilariously funny nor particularly well drawn; but nevertheless, definitely not homophobic.)

    All the best

    - andi

  12. I suppose I was feeling a little stroppy, but it is a tired stereotype and by having it in the metro it implies that its ok for people to still have these views, when I dont think it is.

    In my opinion its just as bad as casual racism.

    And it doesnt deserve a big fuss, I am not suggesting The Metro be pulled and never print, or for all of the gays in the world to unite in some sort of sudo Muslim offended pyrotechnics. But considering the recent media stories, such as the the Snickers advert being pulled for relying on gay stereotypes maybe it wasnt the greatest option to run this particulare cartoon.

  13. The ‘This Life’ Strip has been pointless for weeks now - It just goes to show how lazy they are when they fall back on tired stereotypes.

    I don’t know if it was homophobic, probably just dergogatory, which is still bad.

  14. As a gay man who reads gay press like gay times and Boyz, i’m constantly bombarded with messages which typecast or assume that i act a certain way or like certain ‘gay’ themed things which leave me thinking this is a load of bull**it. This cartoon is no different to the type of cartoons or column-speak i come accross over the years in the gay press.

    The difference is the context. But both the gay and the straight media space are hugly guilty of promoting stereotypes and i find both offensive simply because neither is an accurate picture of how real people are in all their diversity.

    The unwritten law says you can have a gay cartoon that in a toungue in cheek way derides gays by exagerating their image as a queen or a leather boy but you cant have straight people deriding a universally recognised piece of camp, tacky theatre(cinema) as a sign of being gay.

    It’s all abit double standards and screwey. People get on their high-horse about the principal of broadening the way straight people should refer to their own sexuality-anxiety but it’s ok for gays to represent themselves in exactly the same way as we dont want straight people to…..i dont really get it.

    To conclude i would say the cartoon is partly homophobic - in that it’s a negative and untrue stereotype ie. all gay men will want to see an abba movie which is bollocks - but also it’s not just about phobia but also straight male anxiety about personal sexuality and masculine boundaries. Campophobia would be a better description. Maybe it’s time gay media embraced non-camp male imagery as signs of gay presence where currently there is too much emphaisis on gay = camp which is a distortion of the true picture of our masculinity.

  15. I think that use of the word ‘offensive’ in this case is a bit strong and counter-productive to the fight for LGBT equality in society. There are more important and offensive voices out there which demand attention, such as Iris Robinson or the ‘God Hates Fags’ movement in the U.S.

    I agree with the comments made above however. It is the context in which this cartoon is placed. METRO is read by thousands every morning, and any paper worth its salt will provide a little humour to suppliment the news. But exploiting tired stereotypes really isn’t humour, it’s simply pathetic.

    If it were a gay magazine, it would be more acceptable. We feel empowered when, in our own arena, we laugh at the way other people view us. Take the black community - they freely use the term ‘nigger’ (which of course is unacceptable for a white person to say) to describe each other, because of the history surrounding the word. Its a clever tactic, taking the power out of the word by using it themselves. We do this in the gay community too, drag queens exploit gay stereotypes for their own brand of humour. METRO is not such an arena, and as such should never publish such tripe.

    Incidentally, had the guy on the right been drinking a cosmo with an umbrella, it would’ve been fine :-)

  16. It’s actually quite witty.

  17. For a group of so called liberal thinkers…you sure find ways to be maligned over any mention of your chosen
    professment. I guess it could have been worse…he might have mentioned a Barry Manilow concert.

  18. you sure find ways to be maligned over any mention of your chosen professment.

    I think that’s what they’re trying to get at. By saying that you can fip-flop on being gay on something as trivial as a Musical Movie it perpetuates the myth that being gay is a choice that we could be talked out of or not do - it isn’t a choice and getting cheap laughs over something as important as sexual identity isn’t fair. It’s like saying I thought I was Jewish until I realised I wasn’t stingy.

    It’s actually quite witty.

    No, no it isn’t.

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  21. No, it’s not remotely homophobic, it’s comic. And calling it homophobic does no service to gay people like you and me, and it does no service at all to the discrimination and blight which is homophobia.

    Things that are not joking matters are taboos which are talked about in hushed whispers as if terrible afflictions. I often make a joke at the expense of straight friends… it’s a sign of friendship and acceptance that we can make jokes about each others characteristics and stereotypes, whether we’re gay, straight, black, white, male, female, fat, thin, old, young…

    For pity’s sake, stop taking yourselves so seriously and celebrate your sexuality.

  22. And I’ve just had a quick search for the “offending” Mr. T Snickers ad. Is this it?
    It’s nothing about being gay, it’s a footballer stereotype of falling down and pretending they’re hurt.

    This Snickers ad has a gay theme, and it’s poking fun at heteros…
    … but interestingly, that doesn’t seem to have been controversial!

  23. Heterosexual people are the majority so the same concerns about language dont apply, next you will be demanding a ‘Straight Pride’

    That is a very intellectual reading of the comic strip but I dont think you considered the venue of the strip which is the problem that I had with it. Funny as it may be as I do love Nemi I don’ think it was the right use of language for The Metro.

    As for celebrating my sexuality, I do. But for those that find it more difficult to you think it helps seeing words such as ‘Poof’ or seeing old out dated stereotypes in the popular press? I dont think it does.

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