Scrolling through my Twitter and Facebook timelines earlier this week I kept seeing the same thing over and over again on the various LGBT-related pages I follow; hate comments aimed at James Arthur for daring to want to put right his wrongs. How dare he do such a thing!
Last year James Arthur caused a bit of outrage among gay people when he used a homophobic slur in a rap aimed at a fellow artist. Since then his career has faltered as the nation turned against him and branded him a monster homophobe.
Although I do not condone the use of the words “f***ing queer”, I do actually intend to stick up for James here because I do not believe him to be a homophobe. What James is actually guilty of is speaking before thinking it through.
In my book that makes him human.
Can anyone honestly say they have never said something hateful or nasty about someone and then regretted it or wished they had thought before speaking?
I know I can’t.
That’s because I’m human too. Is that such a crime?
Stonewall’s newly appointed Chief Executive, Ruth Hunt, tweeted James Arthur to offer him an opportunity to meet some of the organisation’s youth volunteers. Arthur tweeted back to accept that opportunity.
Whether it’s a cynical move to get his career back on track or not, it’s still a good thing. It demonstrates that the perceived homophobe can’t really be one and that he is willing to go through some form of rehabilitation to right his past wrongs.
Maybe becoming involved with Stonewall will be a massive wake up call for him, in that he’ll begin to think before speaking and realise the damage that homophobic slurs can cause to gay people. As leader of my own LGBTQ youth support charity I’d also welcome discussion with James Arthur and extend an opportunity to meet some of the young people that the charity works with.
Sometimes I feel that the LGBT community becomes outraged too easily. There are genuinely awful things happening around the world that we should be angrier about. It was fine to be livid with James Arthur when he made that rap containing the words “f**king queer”, but nearly a year on and with him now trying to do something positive, I think it’s time people climbed down from their soapboxes and left the guy alone.
Some of the comments aimed at James Arthur on social media sites have been appalling and I believe that makes those people no better than him when he used that homophobic slur.
What we should be doing is applauding James Arthur for accepting his wrongdoings and trying to make amends. Surely everyone deserves a second chance?
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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.