It is with trepidation and a fearful reverence that I creep
towards my target to load up another crossbow of vitriol. I would
like to address the comments that Jean Alexander, better known to
most as Coronation Street's Hilda Ogden has made in the press about
the imminent arrival of yet ANOTHER lesbian on the street.
Before I begin I would like take this opportunity to
pre-emptively make some apologies for the Ogden bashing I am about
to commit. So… sorry Mum, sorry Northern people and sorry to the 26
million people who tuned in to watch the episode of Corrie where
Hilda left, making it still the most watched episode ever.
Alexander has never hidden her feelings about Coronation Street
since she left and said she would never go back, citing an
overemphasis on sex in the new gen Corrie as one of the reasons. On
hearing news of another lesbian character buffing up her
Birkenstocks (and probably in her eyes, planning some kind of
Lorena Bobbitt style phallus removal campaign) the Ogden in
Alexander has obviously been re-awoken. She was quoted as saying
"Every community has people who are gay and they are very nice
people…but three couples seems excessive".
Firstly Jean, your assumption that gay people are all nice is
offensive, gay people are individuals and not just one big lump of
matter that is "nice". In fact a lot of gay people are really NOT
very nice at all, i.e. the
gay couple that just got busted for running a global child porn
ring in Lincoln. There's also the bears that live in my block of
flats who borrowed a whole mug of olive oil from me and never
returned it. What's more, three couples are NOT "excessive". There
have been approximately 5,000 characters in Corrie since its
creation back in 1960. In that time, how many of these people have
been LGB or T? Let's round up and say approximately ten. That would
mean that only 0.2% of characters have ever been gay.
I believe that Jean Alexander should be lucky that Coronation
Street is offering such a watered down example of diverse sexuality
anyway, if she was hit in the face with a halfway representative
portrayal of sexuality she might pop her clogs. Firstly there's
Sean, camp and cheeky and wholly de-sexualised who spends the
majority of his time at Underworld with 'the other girls' or
sipping tea with Eileen. Everyone loves a flaming gay because they
know where they stand with those, no one likes a gay who they can't
spot at 100 yards (cf. the nation's love of Alan Carr and Graham
Norton) as it brings up the idea that gays might be stealthily
creeping up on straight people and this could be dangerous. With
girls it's the opposite though, no one wants them to look "gay", so
we have Sian and Sophie, entirely non-offensive to the senses.
People can happily relax in their denial with these two and believe
that they just have pillow fights in vest tops and listen to a bit
of P!nk every now and then.
Coronation Street boss, Phil Collinson said last year that he
will "look at sexuality in a much more hard-hitting way". Following
on from this claim, I don't really see how this homogenised,
sanitised version of homosexuality is exactly "hard-hitting" but
then with ignorant comments like Jean Alexander's facing producers
at every corner and the "why are we even having this debate?"
debate around homosexual kissing before the watershed which is
ongoing at the moment, is it much of a surprise that we are not