Letter: Hatred for gays

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your interviews with teenagers about the gay age of consent (23 June) left me deeply depressed. One was not surprised to hear the predictable views on homosexuality of some senior members of the Upper House during these last few days, but I was dismayed to hear that most of the students interviewed felt negative towards gays and described homosexuality as a "lifestyle".

This article was a clear indication of how affective Clause 28 has been. Whole generations of young people seem to be growing up ignorant of the fact that one does not choose one's sexuality. Hussain Kahn, aged 18, who states that he does not agree with homosexuality, would I am sure be appalled to hear that someone might, on the same basis, disapprove of his race and colour.

Having spent all my working life promoting equality for all, and acting always against racist and discriminatory practices, I feel so sad when one minority displays such disregard for another.

Last Saturday, in broad daylight, while shopping in the Chiswick High Road with my partner, we were loudly abused by a young black man as "perverts", without any provocation whatsoever. Perhaps we should be grateful that we were not physically attacked - simply for being.

Have I wasted my time trying to help create a fairer Britain which does not exclude so many of its own people, only to be rejected for being gay? I despair.

MILAN SVANDERLIK

London W4

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