2001

The Future of OutRage!

The following article was written by David Allison, a member of OutRage!, and was published in the last issue of Outcast magazine. We are very keen to hear feedback about the article – please e-mail us or call David on 020 8240 0222.

OutRageous new ideas

On behalf of OutRage!, David Allison tracks the group’s history, confronts some of
its critics and looks forward to new developments.

There must have been more pleasant ways to spend an early summer afternoon, but at the time, twelve years ago, Cowcross Street was where it was all happening. In a shabby, run-down road on the fringe of the City of London, a group of people who were considered (by themselves at least) to be leaders of the queer community were gathering in the old Lesbian & Gay Centre. There they pondered how to set up a direct action group that didn’t suffer from the same shortcomings of the other groups that were imploding at the time because of the venality, incompetence and egos of those who ran them.
The Lesbian & Gay Centre folded a few years later, but the offspring spawned on that sunny May afternoon lives on as the world’s longest-surviving gay direct action group.

Not everyone loves OutRage! – not even some of us who have been involved for many years. Like most groups, we have had the mad, the bad and the sad. We’ve had those who were out to push their own agendas; those who sought to further their own careers. But, in between, there have undoubtedly been many, many others who got involved simply because they cared and wanted to contribute. Those people will always be the soul of the group. We had a business man from the USA whose ability to think laterally was nothing short of genius; a lawyer from Catalunya who put the fear of god into god with an energy born out of total commitment. In between there have been all sorts. We’ve even had some people who were not male, not white and not middle class – not many, but some.

Meetings in the basement of the Lesbian & Gay Centre used to attract an average of eighty people, week after week. Sub-groups were formed to specialise on specific targets. The ‘Whores of Babylon’, for example, took on religious homophobia. Colourful and imaginative actions followed each other in quick succession and media saturation meant that we gradually ceased to be ‘OutRage, the gay pressure group’ and became just ‘OutRage!’.

The media is important. There is no point in staging an action unless it gets coverage and, consequently, encourages public debate on the subject that you are trying to raise awareness of. London witnesses a demo of one sort or another almost every day. Most are ignored. Marches are boring, unless you can bring hundreds of thousands onto the street – like, for example, when the squirearchy and the peasantry came to town last summer.

Using the media successfully was – and is – an integral part of our activism. Setting up photo opportunities with camera-friendly subjects, in attractive, relevant locations makes life easier for the people behind the cameras, and is therefore more likely to get our message into print or onto TV. Similarly, remembering the rule of ‘who, what, when, where and why’ when talking to reporters gives us the chance to give journalists what they want quickly, and still leave time aplenty to sink a couple of pints with them before they return to their office. How better to get them onside?

“The Archbishop of Canterbury had looked into the abyss and seen Beelzebub in an OutRage! T-shirt. Compared to that, the LGCM was the Choir of Angels, even if they were singing ‘Jesus wants me for a bumboy!’.”

OutRage! has been accused of seeking publicity for its own sake. We would not deny that we have had our fair share of media-queens who can hear a camera click at a hundred metres but, fortunately, most of them have been able to make a persuasive case too. Having people who are articulate, informed and confident is an obvious prerequisite to ensuring that our message gets across on air.

Neither would we deny that some individual members of the group have been less than reticent about propagating their own ideas in the media, however daft or far removed these ideas are from what OutRage! has always been about. But you get that everywhere, whether it is your local darts club, political party, or Senior Citizens’ S&M thrash. The strength of the group is that it can exercise some control over what is done in its name, whilst respecting diversity and individual’s freedom of expression. We are not a political party; we do not have whips to keep the troops in line.

Over the years, we’ve done some pretty outrageous things that have put us below the salt in the eyes of more polite and respectable individuals within the community. Many of them would prefer a softly, softly approach. We respect that. In practice, we are separate branches of the same tree – we rely on each other.

Bashing MPs and PMs, pop stars and presidents has reminded the country that gays are not a crowd of limp-wristed, handbag-swinging, mincing poofs. In many cases, our confrontational approach has persuaded homophobes to give in and talk to the ‘nice’ gays rather than endure OutRage!’s in-yer-face vulgarity. A prime example of this is the reaction of the Church of England to our intrusions into its life. For nearly twenty years the leaders of the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) had tried to get the Church to talk to them, but met with total silence. Then we started questioning the sexuality of a number of bishops and invading Lambeth Palace at embarrassing moments and suddenly the LGCM was being invited round for tea and sticky buns. The Archbishop of Canterbury had looked into the abyss and seen Beelzebub in an OutRage! T-shirt. Compared to that, the LGCM was the Choir of Angels, even if they were singing ‘Jesus wants me for a bumboy!’.

Careful planning and attention to detail has contributed to the success of many of our actions, as when we invaded the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party in the heart of their headquarters in the Walworth Road. While one team distracted the security staff, another team, dressed in smart business suits, headed for the meeting room (we had obtained a plan of the building and other details from an insider). When the team walked in on the meeting, one member went straight to a bewildered David Blunkett to reassure him that we were not an IRA active service unit and that he and his guide dog were in no danger.

Whilst most of OutRage!’s activities are well covered by the media, some aspects receive no publicity. When the Lesbian and Gay Centre closed, many of the groups whose offices and meeting rooms were housed there became instantly homeless. The Receivers promptly evicted them. Only OutRage! refused to move, having taken advice from a sympathetic lawyer. On a Saturday evening, a group of us occupied the OutRage! office and refused to move. The Receiver argued but we had the advantage: although our lawyer was hosting a dinner party at his home, he broke off from time to time to answer our questions and give advice. The Receiver gave up, flabbergasted that we had 24/7 access to legal advice whereas he had to wait until the Monday to speak to his solicitors. We held out for several months until the Receivers offered us a substantial sum of money to relocate. During the hiatus, our office became the meeting place not only for OutRage! but also for the youth group Stepping Out and others. When we finally moved out of the Centre, we took Stepping Out with us and gave them a meeting place in our new, temporary office on the other side of Farringdon Road. They now meet upstairs at the Central Station pub, as do we.

Another unsung activity is providing information, support and back up to the thousands of individuals who contact us. Because of our high profile, people in small towns and villages, many of whom have no access to the gay press and have never heard of Switchboard, are able to track us down and make contact. We do our best to put them in touch with relevant gay groups, if they exist in their areas, and often maintain personal contact by letter, phone or e-mail. At the moment, in addition to this country, we are in ongoing contact with individual gays in rural France and other parts of Europe, in Indonesia and in China…. We share experiences and learn from all these people, and from other activists across the world. We have provided speakers for schools, universities, political groups, trades unions, youth groups and religious organisations – always listening as well as lecturing. OutRage! tries to be part of the community; we don’t lord over it.

We also give lots of help to students writing dissertations, essays or projects, usually via face-to-face interviews. We never say no. These young people, gay or straight, are the future so we do all that we can to ensure that they are as well informed as they possibly can be – not only about OutRage!’s philosophy, insofar as we have one, but, much more importantly, about the issues that affect our community. We are honest with them, whether it is about those who have fought homophobia using controversial tactics or those who have succumbed to the ghetto mentality; whether it is about those who have contributed to the community by giving their time, money and energy, or those who are attempting to drain every last penny from us, in exchange for over-priced and inferior goods and services. They get the whole picture, warts and all. Anything less would be to betray their trust and confidence.

OutRage! no longer has eighty bodies at its meetings. We have lost to AIDS one of our most stalwart and dependable members, Martin Corbett, who gave his all to the group. His wisdom and experience did so much to prevent some of the younger members’ wilder excesses! Other members have moved on to do other things, like sort out their neglected careers, settle down with their partners or just get a life. Fresh blood has pumped through the group’s arteries and, unfortunately, often hemorrhaged away as fast.

To survive, every group has to evolve and change. For OutRage!, there has been a recognition that meetings in dingy pubs in grim areas do not encourage people to come along, particularly those who have to make a long journey to get there. Our current meeting place, upstairs in a gay male pub, excludes many women and disabled people, as well as those outside London. One innovation that we are actively considering is to have only one ‘physical’ meeting each month and then meet weekly using a chat room on our website. In between, our lively e-mail lists will keep people informed about what is happening. We are lucky that one of our members owns a successful Internet company, 4D Media!

We still need to raise funds, and we are seeking appropriate methods. Any suggestions will be welcome, particularly if they are accompanied by a cheque (standing orders are even more likely to create a state of euphoria and delight!). Remember, as a political group, we are excluded from charity status, and we do not attract the generosity of the fageratti. Every penny we get comes from ordinary members of the community. To save money, we have given up our office and now function from the living room of one of our members. Our artifacts are stored in a shed rented from a borough council. Our website is provided and serviced by 4D Media. Our costs are therefore fairly limited so every donation does make a big difference.

Please visit our comprehensive website. It features all that we have done since we went online. Our Links page is also very extensive, but if you know of a relevant group that is missing, please let us know.

You are also very welcome to participate in our meetings, but please phone first to determine the current meeting times during this transitional period. To receive regular e-mails, please go to our website and sign up, or e-mail us and we will do it for you.

If you have any questions, please get in touch. Either by post (OutRage! PO Box 17816 London SW14 8WT), e-mail (outreach@outrage,org.uk), phone (020 8240 0222) or via our website (http://www.outrage.org.uk).

Tatchell Confronts President Mugabe

“He is a torturer and should be arrested for human rights abuses”

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was beaten up and briefly knocked unconscious as he attempted to stage a citizen’s arrest of the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel in Brussels today, Monday 5 March 2001.

As Mr Tatchell tried to arrest the President on charges of torture under the 1984 UN Convention Against Torture, he was punched and kicked by Mugabe’s bodyguards, who knocked him to the ground three times.

Belgian secret service agents stepped aside and gave the President’s security men free rein to beat Tatchell until he blacked out and fell into the gutter outside the Hilton Hotel.

Two Zimbabwean agents, believed to be members of Mugabe’s Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), threatened to have Tatchell traced and killed: “You are dead”, said one. “We will find you and kill you”, said the other.

“The assaults on me by the President’s bodyguards highlight the brutal nature of the Mugabe regime”, said Mr Tatchell.

“This protest was an attempt to remind Mugabe that sooner or later he will be arrested and put on trial for torture and other human rights abuses, such as the massacres in Matabeleland and the terrorisation of the judiciary and political opponents”.

“I am lucky to escape with a beating. If any Zimbabwean had staged this protest in Harare, they would have been shot”, added Mr Tatchell.

Belgium has incorporated the 1984 UN Convention into its domestic legislation. According to Belgian law, the authorities are under a legal obligation to arrest any person, present in Belgian territory, who has committed or authorised acts of torture anywhere in the world.

As President Mugabe was walking through the lobby of the Hilton Hotel, after a meeting the EU Commissioner, Poul Nielson, Mr Tatchell slipped between his bodyguards and tried to effect a citizen’s arrest. He approached the President saying:

“President Mugabe, you are under arrest on charges of torture. Torture is a crime under the United Nations Convention Against Torture 1984. You authorised the torture of Ray Choto and Mark Chavunduka”.

Mr Tatchell was unable to say anything more, as he was grabbed around the throat by four of the President’s bodyguards who pushed him into a corner of the hotel lobby, punching and kicking him to the ground even though the President had by this time passed, and despite Tatchell offering no resistance and posing no threat to the President. Journalists and photographers were also manhandled.

With President Mugabe momentarily stuck in the hotel’s revolving door, Mr Tatchell ran through the emergency exit to confront him outside on the pavement. But he was grabbed around the neck by two Belgian secret service agents who pushed him backwards and slammed his head against the plate glass window of the Hilton Hotel.

While these agents were holding him, two members of President Mugabe’s entourage came up to Tatchell. They threatened to track down and kill him. One went to punch Mr Tatchell in the face, but seeing the Belgian agents desisted. The Belgian secret service men then let go of Tatchell and walked away, giving the two Zimbabweans a free had to punch Mr Tatchell around the head and body, knocking him to the ground.

The Zimbabweans then turned their wrath on the journalists, pushing and shoving them out of the way. The BBC reporter was grabbed by the throat.

While the President’s bodyguards sought to get him into his limousine, Mr Tatchell ran around behind the melee, and stood in front of the limousine as it attempted to leave – forcing the President’s car to halt.

Within seconds, one of the President’s bodyguards got out of his vehicle and punched Mr Tatchell in the side of the head, knocking him unconscious and into the gutter.

The Presidential motorcade then sped off for Mugabe’s meeting with the Belgium Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt.

After recovering, Mr Tatchell went to the Prime Minister’s office in Rue Lambermont, determined to confront Mugabe again.

While waiting outside, he was filmed by the Zimbabwean Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). “For our records”, they told him.

As Mugabe was about to leave the Prime Minister’s office, his bodyguards and CIO agents came out into the street. The Zimbabwean agent who had punched Tatchell in the face outside the Hilton Hotel and threatened to kill him, pointed out Tatchell to his colleagues. He then started to walk straight towards Tatchell, reaching under under jacket, as if he had a gun.

The Belgian uniformed police on duty made no attempt to stop the menacing response of the Zimbabwean agents.

“At that moment, I was in fear of my life. I thought the Zimbabwean agent might have a gun and might shoot me”, said Tatchell, who backed away.

As Mugabe left, Tatchell shouted: “Mugabe, Murderer! Mugabe, Torturer!”

GlaxoSmithKline = Aids Profiteer

AIDS drug patents and prices kill people with HIV

Coinciding with the opening day of the legal action against the South African government in Pretoria – bought by GalxoSmithKline and 41 other pharmaceutical companies – British protesters will picket the GSK plant in west London today, 5 March 2001, from 8-10am.

GSK is the world’s largest drug corporation. It is leading the fight to enforce patent rights and price fixing for anti-HIV drugs, by preventing the South African government from importing cheap generic versions and making them available to people with Aids.

“The outcome of this court case will affect 32 million HIV sufferers in poorer countries, who cannot afford these exorbitant-priced drug therapies”, according to Peter Tatchell of the gay rights group OutRage!, which is backing Monday’s protest.

“GSK says that under its Accelerated Access scheme it has cut the price of HIV drugs by 85 per cent. But this scheme applies only to Africa and even the reduced price of $1500 a year is too expensive for most people in Third World countries”.

“A victory for GSK and the other pharmaceutical giants will make cheap anti-HIV drugs illegal and condemn millions of people to a painful, slow death”, says Tatchell.

“GlaxoSmithKline’s multi-billion pound profits are obscene. The argument that they need these mega profits to fund research is false. GSK made a profit of $7.6 billion in 1999, but invested only $3.75 billion in research that year. Meanwhile, 2.5 million people in the developing world die needlessly of Aids every year”.

Brit Awards Protest

Against Eminem and Brit Awards Judges

Eminem Fans Say: “All you queers should be killed”

Brit Awards Ceremony, Monday 26 February

Protest from 6 – 8pm, Earl’s Court 2 Exhibition Centre,
Old Brompton Road entrance (opposite West Brompton tube station).

Feminist, gay and student campaigners plan vociferous protests against US rap star Eminem when he attends the Brit Awards ceremony in London next Monday, 26 February.

Billed to perform live during the star-studded gala, Eminem has been nominated as Best International Male Solo Artist. He is a strong contender to win the coveted UK music industry award.

Protesters are targeting both Eminem and the Brit Award judges.

“This nomination is the moral equivalent of honouring a Ku Klux Klan singer,” said protest co-organiser, Peter Tatchell of OutRage!.

“Eminem would never have been nominated for an award if his abusive, violent lyrics targeted black people”.

“By nominating him, the Brit Award judges are tacitly endorsing misogyny and homophobia. They would not tolerate racism or anti-Semitism. Why, then, are they tolerating his attacks on women and gay people?”

“Eminem’s lyrics encourage bigots who hate queers. Some of his fans have sent me hate mail saying: Eminem is right, all you queers should be killed”.

“It is sick the way he jokes and fantasies about raping women and killing gays. In Britain, an estimated one million homosexuals have been victims of queer-bashing violence, and last year over 7,000 women were raped and more than 20,000 were sexually assaulted”.

Monday’s protest is organised by the queer rights group OutRage! and the National Union of Students women’s and gay sections, with the support of other feminist and human rights campaigners.

Elton’s duet with Eminem is “misguided”

Elton John’s plans to duet with Eminem at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles are being criticised as “misguided” by the British gay rights group OutRage!.

“This duet should only go ahead on the condition that Eminem make a clear public statement condemning homophobic discrimination and violence”, said OutRage!’s Peter Tatchell.

“If Eminem cannot express support for gay human rights, Elton should call off the collaboration”.

“Elton says he wants to break down barriers. That’s fine. But breaking down barriers is a two way process. So far, Elton is willing to to give Eminem the benefit of the doubt, but Eminem is not reciprocating”.

“Eminem has declined to distance himself from his violently anti-gay lyrics. He will not say anything supportive of the gay community. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that Eminem is homophobic. Elton should have nothing to do with him”.

“It is a curious alliance – a bit like a Jewish performer doing a duet with an avowed Nazi”.

“I doubt Elton would do a concert with a singer who advocated raping and lynching black people. Why, then, is he consorting with a rap artist who fantasises about raping women and killing gay people?”, queried Tatchell.

Is Eminem queer?

“If I saw him in the street I would suspect he might be gay”

“Is Eminem queer?”, asks Peter Tatchell of the gay rights group OutRage!.

“To me, Eminem looks and dresses queer. His short-cropped, bleached blonde hair, earrings, tattoos and white vests are typical gay club fashion. It would be easy to mistake him for a stylish young gay man”.

“For someone who says he hates fags, Eminem is totally obsessed with gay sex. Almost every track on his Marshall Mathers album has a reference to homosexuality, much of it dwelling on oral and anal sex. This fascination with gay sexuality begs the question: Why? If he loathes homosexuality, why does keep rapping about it all the time?”

“There is no evidence that he is gay, but his image and lyrics do make me wonder”.

Tatchell’s comments come on the eve of Eminem’s UK tour, starting on 8 February.

“Eminem’s abusive, violent homophobic fantasies suggest a deep, inner unease with his own sexuality. Well-adjusted heterosexual men don’t care if other guys are gay or straight. Their response is: Live and let live”.

“Does Eminem fit the stereotype of the homophobic repressed gay man?”

“Eighty per cent of aggressively homophobic men are self-loathing, repressed homosexuals, according to Prof Henry Adams of the University of Georgia”.

“His research, published by the American Psychological Association in 1996, tested men who were strongly anti-gay, and who claimed they were totally heterosexual. He wired these men to a penile-circumference measuring device and showed them gay sex videos. Prof Adams found that eight out of ten of these homophobic men became sexually aroused (got an erection) while watching the gay videos”.

“Prof Adams concluded that men who express strongly anti-gay attitudes are usually expressing a fear and loathing of their own repressed homosexual feelings. Homophobia is mostly a displaced, disordered form of homosexuality, where the person attempts to deny their queer desires to themselves and to others”.

“Eminem may be an exception to this general rule that most homophobes are self-hating gays. But he seems very insecure about his manhood. Why else would he resort to such macho, homophobic posturing? His ostentatiously anti-gay lyrics look like a desperate attempt to prove his masculinity and heterosexuality.

“It is evident from his abusive relationships with his mother and wife that he doesn’t like women. Like many misogynistic gay men, Eminem would rather hang out with other guys. That’s why he loves the macho world of rap. It’s an all-male scene, where the brothers chill together united in their disrespect for women”.

“It is not hard to imagine Eminem as a woman-hating, self-loathing, repressed gay man”, said Tatchell.

Extracts from Eminem’s Lyrics

Courtesy of GLAAD

From “Kill You”

You faggots keep eggin me on
til I have you at knifepoint, then you beg me to stop?
SHUT UP! Give me your hands and feet
I said SHUT UP when I’m talkin to you
YOU HEAR ME? ANSWER ME!

From “Who Knew”

You want me to fix up lyrics while the President gets his dick sucked?
{*ewwww*} Fuck that, take drugs, rape sluts
Make fun of gay clubs, men who wear make-up

From “Skit: Steve Berman”

Steve: Tower Records told me to shove this record up my ass! Do you know
what it feels like to be told to have a record shoved up your ass?
Eminem: But, I-

Steve: I’m gonna lose my fuckin’ job over this. You know why Dre’s record
was so successful? He’s rappin’ about big-screen tv’s, blunts, 40’s and
bitches. You’re rappin’ about homosexuals and Vicadin.

From “The Real Slim Shady”

But if we can hump dead animals and antelopes
then there’s no reason that a man and another man can’t elope
{*EWWW!*} But if you feel like I feel, I got the antidote
Women wave your pantyhose, sing the chorus and it goes

From “Remember Me?”
(guest artist Sticky Fingaz)

I’m the illest nigga ever, I told you
I get more pussy than them dyke bitches total
Want beef, nigga?…

(Eminem)
Sick sick dreams of picnic scenes, two kids, sixteen,
With M-16’s and ten clips each
And them shits reach through 6 kids each
And Slim gets blamed in Bill Clint’s speech to fix these streets?
FUCK THAT! {thhbbpp} you faggots can vanish to volcanic ash
And re-appear in hell with a can of gas, AND a match

From “I’m Back”

With Ken Kaniff who just finds the men edible
It’s Ken Kaniff, on the internet
Trying to, lure your kids, wit him into bed
It’s a sick world we live in these days

From “Marshall Mathers”

New Kids on the Block, sucked a lot of dick
Boy/girl groups make me sick
And I can’t wait ’til I catch all you faggots in public
I’ma love it.. (hahaha)
….
Plus I was put here to put fear in faggots who spray Faygo Root Beer
and call themselves “Clowns” cause they look queer
Faggot2Dope and Silent Gay
Claimin’ Detroit, when y’all live twenty miles away (fuckin punks)
And I don’t wrestle, I’ll knock you fuckin faggots the fuck out
Ask ‘em about the club they was at when they snuck out
after they ducked out the back when they saw us and bugged out
(AHHH!) Ducked down and got paintballs shot at they truck, blaow!
Look at y’all runnin your mouth again
when you ain’t seen a fuckin Mile Road, South of 10
And I don’t need help, from D-12, to beat up two females
in make-up, who may try to scratch me with Lee Nails
“Slim Anus,” you damn right, Slim Anus
I don’t get fucked in mine like you two little flaming faggots!
….
It doesn’t matter you {*edited*} faggot!
Talkin about I fabricated my past
He’s just aggravated I won’t ejaculate in his ass (Uhh!)

From “Amityville”
(guest artist Bizarre)

I fucked my cousin in his asshole, slit my mother’s throat
{*AHHHHHHHH!*} Guess who Slim Shady just signed to Interscope?
My little sister’s birthday, she’ll remember me
for a gift I had ten of my boys take her virginity
And bitches know me as a horny ass freak
Their mother wasn’t raped, I ate her pussy while she was ’sleep
Pissy-drunk, throwin up in the urinal (YOU FUCKIN HOMO!)
That’s what I said at my dad’s funeral

From “Bitch Please II”

So when you see me, dressin up like a nerd on TV
or heard the CD usin the fag word so freely
it’s just me being me, here want me to tone it down?
{*LOWER pitch*} “Suck my fuckin dick, you faggot”
You happy now? Look here

From “Under The Influence”
(guest artist Dirty Harry)

Stranglin’ rappers to the point they can’t yell
Cuz they crew is full of fags and sweeter than bake sales

From “Criminal”

My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge
That’ll stab you in the head
whether you’re a fag or lez
Or the homosex, hermaph or a trans-a-vest
Pants or dress – hate fags? The answer’s “yes”
Homophobic? Nah, you’re just heterophobic
Starin at my jeans, watchin my genitals bulgin (Ooh!)
That’s my motherfuckin balls, you’d better let go of em
They belong in my scrotum, you’ll never get hold of em
Hey, it’s me, Versace
Whoops, somebody shot me!
And I was just checkin the mail
Get it? Checkin the ‘male’?
How many records you expectin to sell
after your second LP sends you directly to jail?
C’mon!– Relax guy, I like gay men
Right, Ken? Give me an amen (AAA-men!)

From “The Kids”

Mr. Shady will be your new substitute
while Mr. Kaniff is out with pneumonia (HE’S GOT AIDS!)
Good luck Mr. Shady.

Eminem’s songs promote prejudice

His homophobic jibes help make bigotry cool and acceptable

“Eminem’s lyrics send out mixed messages, some positive but most negative. Whatever his intention, he reinforces prejudice, instead of undermining it”, says Peter Tatchell of the gay rights group, OutRage!. He was speaking in advance of the US rap star’s UK tour, which begins on 8 February 2001.

“He appears to be very insecure about his sexual identity. Are the homophobic elements of his songs a bid to prove his masculinity and heterosexuality? His macho pose often comes across as a masquerade to disguise inner turmoil and confusion”.

“It is evident from his abusive relationships with his mother and wife that he doesn’t like women. Like many misogynistic gay men, Eminem would rather hang out with the boys. That’s why he loves the macho world of rap. It’s an all-male scene, where the brothers chill together united in their disrespect for women”.

“It is easy to imagine Eminem as a woman-hating, repressed gay man”.

“The Grammy and Brit Award judges are two-faced hypocrites. They would never give air-time, let alone an award nomination, to a singer who fantasised about the murder of black people”.

“If Eminem rapped about killing blacks, cutting their throats, suffocating them in the boot of a car and dumping their bodies in a river, he would be hounded out of the music industry. By nominating him for an award, the judges are signaling their toleration of misogyny and homophobia”.

“His bigoted sneers give homophobia a veneer of coolness, which colludes with the twisted prejudices of maladjusted young straight men.”

“Eminem’s abusive depiction of women and gay people looks like a tacit endorsement of queer-bashing and domestic violence.”

“He plays at being a macho bad boy who dares to break the rules. But he never cusses black people or raps about them being killed. He’s a coward who picks on easy targets – women and gay men.”

“Eminem shafts gay people while sucking up to the big boys of gangster rap.”

“If Eminem was really into challenging political correctness, he would diss black people with the same enthusiasm that he disrespects homosexuals and women. But he doesn’t dare abuse blacks because he is scared of their reaction”, said Tatchell.

Ministry of Sound should cancel Eminem’s appearance

Monday 4th February, 2001

James Palumbo,
Ministry of Sound,
103 Gaunt Street,
London SE1

Dear James,

I’m writing on behalf of OutRage!, the queer direct action group, to express our disappointment and anger at your decision to invite Eminem to the Ministry of Sound.

As you know, the lyrics on his latest album, Marshall Mathers, are widely acknowledged to be hostile and aggressive towards the lesbian and gay communities, especially towards gay men. Although some lines are ambiguous and have been defended as dark fantasies, others – such as “You faggots keep eggin me until I have you at knifepoint” and “I was put here to put fear in faggots” – leave no doubt as to the performer’s attitude.

Whilst we respect any artist’s right to express themselves, we believe that these violent images can lead to homophobic attacks. A high profile club such as the Ministry of Sound should not be fuelling the flames of prejudice and intolerance.

If an artist advocated violence against black or disabled people, would you invite him to play at your club? Why is it still socially acceptable to advocate attacks on queers?

As you have reported on your own website, Eminem’s records have been widely criticised and even banned in some parts of the UK and America.

We call on you to take a stand against prejudice by cancelling your invitation to Eminem, and by issuing a public statement deploring his
homophobic and misogynistic lyrics.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Morris
OutRage!

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