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OUTSIDER'S VIEW

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His eponymous band sang 2-4-6-8 Motorway and a host of other anthems, including Glad to be gay. Now Tom Robinson li...
His eponymous band sang 2-4-6-8 Motorway and a host of other anthems, including Glad to be gay. Now Tom Robinson lives in Wandsworth with his partner and child.

What is your contact with the council?

I pay my council tax, use the libraries, get my rubbish recycled, walk on the pavements, cycle in the cycle lanes, use the parks and call the noise line whenever the neighbours from hell play up.

How much council tax do you pay?

About 600 quid a year.

Do you think it represents value for money?

For me, yes - but only because I'm not disabled, poor or a pensioner.

Name three good things the council has done

Door-to-door recycling; easy public access land registry; making some attempt at an integrated cycle scheme in the borough.

Name three bad things the council has done

Ongoing social services cuts; cutting funding to community and voluntary groups; outrageous privatised moneymaking parking schemes that penalise local residents and do precious little to ease the chronic congestion.

When did you last contact a council official and why?

Building services: to ask about dangers from carbon monoxide emissions from gas boiler flues and got a comprehensive and informed answer on the spot.

What's your view on the repeal of s28?

The issue that's been missed throughout is that some kids are always going to be gay - regardless of what any of their parents, teachers or the law may say or do. They can't help it. They can hide it, suppress it, resent it or hate it, but they can't escape it. None of us choose who we fall in love with.

Those kids grow up under huge pressure not to be gay; from heterosexual parents, siblings, classmates, teachers, TV programmes, comics, books, movies, magazines, pop songs, the tabloid press and the whole weight of history in our society. Despite all this they grow up homosexual anyway imbued with guilt and self loathing.

When I was 16 homosexuality was punishable by prison, but it didn't stop me falling in love with another boy. It made me try to kill myself. Even today, the biggest suicide risk group in Britain is young gay men under the age of 25.

It's perfectly possible to grow up gay and live a happy, fulfilled life, but s28 inhibits teachers from saying so in class. Being told this simple fact could potentially mean the difference between life and death to some unhappy and tortured teenager. Would even one heterosexual kid be turned 'queer' as a result? Of course not. Section 28 doesn't 'protect' heterosexual children from being 'turned homosexual'. The danger is non-existent. It simply keeps homosexual children - and all homosexuals were children once - in a state of unnecessary terror and ignorance.

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