Glad to be in the pink

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The Independent Online

Sex between consenting adults, gay or straight, is, and should remain, one of life's pleasures. In this climate of intolerance, bigotry and Section 28, that is easily forgotten. Britain's gay community is vilified by the tabloids, made to feel dirty by the Lords, scapegoated by the Tories. It is time to say "enough". Time to stand up for this persecuted minority. To be a homosexual is nothing to be ashamed of - no more than being born left-handed or red-haired. To celebrate the range of talents and abilities which gay men and women bring to British life, wepublish today our "pink list". It is a flavour of the openly gay people who contribute so much to our society, not an exercise in "outing". No one is on the list whose sexuality is not common knowledge, nor have we listed the reluctant-to-be-named.

Sex between consenting adults, gay or straight, is, and should remain, one of life's pleasures. In this climate of intolerance, bigotry and Section 28, that is easily forgotten. Britain's gay community is vilified by the tabloids, made to feel dirty by the Lords, scapegoated by the Tories. It is time to say "enough". Time to stand up for this persecuted minority. To be a homosexual is nothing to be ashamed of - no more than being born left-handed or red-haired. To celebrate the range of talents and abilities which gay men and women bring to British life, wepublish today our "pink list". It is a flavour of the openly gay people who contribute so much to our society, not an exercise in "outing". No one is on the list whose sexuality is not common knowledge, nor have we listed the reluctant-to-be-named.

While compiling the list we encountered residual suspicion. In particular, many of the gay people we spoke to in sport and business were not keen to put their heads above the parapet. That is their right and we respect it entirely. But we also hope the time will come, soon, when they can join the others on our list in celebration of their sexuality.

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