Today I think I’m going to add my voice to the growing number of critics of a column article written by Jan Moir for the Daily Mail.
In the article Moir alleges that there was, “Nothing natural” about the death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, who died last week aged 33. And goes on to make several quite backward comments about the singer’s lifestyle – Gately came out as gay in 1999 - referring to it as “Sleazy,” and that his sudden death is “a blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships”. To turn an unfortunate public figure’s death into a case against gay marriage is a strange one. It only seems to undermine a petty and homophobic mindset. It’s almost like she’s seen Gately’s death as a way to put the boot in to the gay community, although without saying it overtly. Still most people can read between the lines of that, and have.
It would appear that in Moir’s eyes, there is no smoke without fire, in the case of a gay man dying; even going against the conventional logic that the coroner’s judgement is generally a good indication of the cause of death (something Charlie Brooker pokes fun at in his reaction piece). Gately died of pulmonary oedema, which caused his lungs to fill up with fluid, and killed him in his sleep. Dr Moir, however, claims that this is doubtful however; whilst I’m sure by her logic watching enough episodes of Quincy makes her qualified enough to suggest whatever she wants about a post mortem result. She is convinced that, “Healthy and fit 33-year-old men do not just climb into their pyjamas and go to sleep on the sofa, never to wake up again.” And how I wish that was true, but of course it isn’t! I had a lecturer who keeled over and died, of a cerebral haemorrhage at about the same age as Gately, and I have heard several stories of people, who on the surface seemed healthy and suddenly died of an undetected health problem, so there’s no doubt it happens. But still, ‘Agatha’ Moir is on the case, and if the person who died is one of those, you know, gays, there must be foul play afoot by her twisted logic.
Moir has basically been naïve, idiotic, and has chosen to relate to this story in manner that only belies her prejudices. Sure we come to expect these things from The Daily Mail, but not with the same stupidity, or even the sheer ignorance that what she’s saying is homophobic. Not to mention publishing this the day before his funeral, at what must be an awful time for his family and fans, is just insensitive.