Small ads

Do we live in a bubble?

From Mary Dacres

Saturday, 16 July 2011

I am a mother of two, one of whom is a 17 year old boy who is 'coming out'. It is with sadness and a bit of shock that I see we are now going to have a shop called 'Home-oh!' in town. I know it is owned by gay men and believe if it were straight men opening the same shop there would be uproar. I feel transported back in time by the image and logo of the woman looking shocked.. that being gay is some thing naughty or bad.

It is as if they are forgetting the amount of abuse and bullying that people still experience every day about their sexual orientation. That somehow the young people self-harming, being kicked out of home and worst of all suicides don't really exist.

I feel their representation of being gay is not a positive one. The shop is not a gay life style shop... out and proud for gay men's needs,I believe it is a general housey shop, so I just dont get it..

In the recent light of various crimes and vandalism in the town, ie the train station and cafe burglary, cars being smashed and shop windows being broken I think we can assume that we do not live in some tolerant nirvana where anything goes, rather it is the same as anywhere else, where bigots and vandals are also everywhere.

What do other people think? I know it has been talked about lots, and I cant say I have heard may positive thought out arguments about what is either clever or funny about this. To top it all, I heard that there would be a gardening section called 'Lady Garden'...seriously??

From Ron Taylor

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Perhaps The Lady Garden will be near the back passage.

From Paul D

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Mary, I wonder if the owners of the shop are trying to reclaim a term that's being used negatively against gay men for some time, like young black men use the N word toward each other? If so, then I think this is a positive step, in that they're not hiding their sexuality and instead turning others' homophobia into a joke on them.

What would be worse would be if we went back to the time of my youth, when local men hid their homosexuality, or had to leave here to openly express it. I'm cautious about linking recent crimes to homophobia, although I'm also aware of some growing intolerance in younger people, possibly linked to the way our town is being promoted in the media as some sort of same sex nirvana.

But if my teenage son was gay, and like your son had found the courage to express his sexuality, and had parents who support him and love him unconditionally (irrespective of his sexuality) as you do, then I'd want him to live in a town where openly gay men (and women) can own successful businesses, where the vast majority of his friends and neighbours are tolerant and where his children (if he chose to have any) would be welcomed at parties where having two mums or two dads is really no big deal.

I think we can be cautiously optimistic that we're not living in a bubble and that wider society shares this growing tolerance of diversity, sexual or otherwise. It's like the rainbow flag on the town hall, subtle, but sending out a message all the same. There are times when I'm really proud of living in a town where intollerance gets a hard time, but it's still out there and like the fascists of the EDL it still needs taking on.

From Jenny B

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Although I do find the shops name mildly amusing, I can't help but feel that it wouldn't quite work anywhere else. Those of us who have debated the 'image' of Hebden Bridge won't find it surprising that anyone, regardless of their own sexuality, has sought to capitalise on the town's gay friendly label. The tourists will probably love it and flock to purchase things in the hope that the (paper) bag they are placed in, is also bright pink with the shops name emblazoned across it! I am more concerned with the sustainability of yet another shop selling similar things to those we already have.

From Claire M

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Well I totally missed that. Ii thought it was more about the idea of the 50s housewife, nothing to do with being gay or not. I think we all read things differently. Don't take it personally.

From Warren B

Sunday, 17 July 2011

I am one of the owners of The Yorkshire Soap Company on Market Street and the soon to be launched homeware and lifestyle shop named Home...Oh!

I felt I had to respond to the previous posts as I personally feel that things have been taken far too seriously. There was and never has been any sexual or political agenda when starting the new shop. It is merely a kitsch little play on words. It was not meant to be a gay statement or a shop merely for gay people or to promote gay activism.

We wanted to bring something new and fun into our diverse and wonderful town. The lady in the window is not shocked, she is merely meant to be expressing the Oh exclamation. Yes the shop is pink, yes it is a bit cheeky, yes it is kitsch, yes it is owned by two proud gay men and yes there are still, unfortunately homophobic people around and always will be. People will always have an opinion and that is their right.

We have had nothing but positive feedback regarding the name and window from the old, young, boys, girls, local and visitors. If a political viewpoint is necessary on such a non-political idea, then I can only reiterate what Paul D stated in his very intelligent response, thank you Paul. I can only apologise to you Mary, that our shop name has offended you at such a tender time in you and your son's relationship. Looking back at my coming out, I can only hope that one day you too will see our shop name choice as what it was meant to be, a little bit of fun in a very serious world.

If you would like to meet for a chat about the new shop or anything, please pop into the Yorkshire Soap Shop. We would be more than happy to try and build some bridges.

I hope that you and your son's relationship blossoms, to tell the people you love the most is most definitely the hardest. But choosing to tell you and include you in his choices, means he loves you very much.


From Jan Bridget

Friday, 29 July 2011

Hi Mary,

I have only just had this thread pointed out to me.

Don't know if you know about GALYIC (Gay and Lesbian Youth in Calderdale)? We have a drop-in and youth group in Halifax every Thursday, 5-8.30.

One of the most difficult things for young people coming to terms with being gay is finding other young people like themselves - this is why GALYIC exists: to give LGBT young people the opportunity to come together and experience as 'normal' an adolescence as possible whilst living in a homophobic society.

Thankfully, some parents accept their children being gay but a lot don't; so your son's journey will be made much easier with supportive parents!

I don't know if you have seen our website? If not, I would recommend you have a look - www.galyic.org.uk - there is an extensive support section aimed at young people, their parents and professionals.

It can be helpful for both young people and their parents to talk to others about coming out, especially those who have experienced it: parents go through a similar process of coming out but usually the young person has had much longer to come to terms with being gay - it can sometimes be a shock for parents to find out.

Our office is in Hebden Bridge so if you want to come and find out more about GALYIC, give us a ring: 01422 844858.

Or if you would like to talk to other parents we can arrange that. Actually for a long time now we have been trying to facilitate an FFLAG (Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays) in Calderdale but have not been able to find enough parents who have the time. So if anyone is reading this and would be interested, please get in touch