The news about David Norris reached Barcelona. I sure don't read the news when on hols, in fact, I don't read it much at all, but being a cryptic crossword addict I did need to log into the Irish Times every day to feed my habit, and so it was that the whole thing caught my eye.
My first reaction to his standing down was that welling up of tears that you have to swallow because you're in a public place, and about a minute later I thought to myself 'wow, this must be how gutting it is for Catholics when they hear that their whole organization has let them down.' So I decided not to go easy on David. After all, I'd just read that he tried to get clemency for someone who raped a boy. I was gutted. My role model crumbled. The gay community looked seedy and it reinforced some peoples opinions that being gay is nothing but sex and immoral carry on.
Ok, I don't know the circumstances - none of us do - we only know what the newspaper tells us, and that goes from the tabloid sensation to the highbrow analysis. And ultimately, it is not David Norris who was involved in any crime, he wrote a letter to support someone, and he had only heard one side of the story himself. Sounds very human really.
For me, the bottom line is this:
David Norris is gay and not a member of a political party, Ireland is a very homophobic country still twisted with cronyism and corruption. David Norris was leading the race, so can you imagine how many people must have been working around the clock to beat him down?
A gay man with the courage of his convictions and a track record in enforcing human rights may be a noble thing, but it may not be the thing that represents Ireland. And that's why I'm gutted now.
I don't agree with David Norris that writing that letter years ago was an error of judgement. I believe it was brave, because it was controversial, but let's face it, he was being honest, and that's something that 'the victim' possibly was not. But of course, the law is an ass, and we don't know the full story.
We lost Clinton because of an affair and got Bush instead. I sometimes wonder if Bush had been caught having a bit of extramarital sex would there be less soldiers dead? But that's it, an affair will bring you down but sending people off to war is fine. isn't it?
One thing I'm wondering about now though is this - if you can't campaign for the presidency because you once did something that was slightly controversial to some people, how the hell will we find any candidate at all? Then again, sometimes, some things are more controversial than others. I believe that if you investigate any of the potential candidates you will find buckets of dodgy carry on, but at the end of the day they are not Gay, and I have a feeling that it is not about 'doing right' that worries people, but more about 'what looks right'. After all, a Gay man in the Arus, what would the neighbours say?