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My Gay Hero

Sep 11, 2013

By Luisa
Where do I start?  My ears cry with the screams of ‘Shane’, ‘Shabby’ and ‘Lucy Spraggan’. Seriously. It pains me. Stop.
What is a hero to you?  It should be someone to look up to, someone that advocates equal rights not someone with a fantastic pair of knockers and is known for a quickie under the kitchen table on a reality TV show background?  It is scarily common nowadays to see young girls looking up to the Shanes’ and the Papis’, and, when you ask why, it’s because (let’s be honest…) they’d love nothing more than two hours 4 and a half minutes in bed with them, a tub of chocolate body paint and the cat miaowing in the corner, amidst a pile of goodies from Ann Summers.
I toyed with the idea that a sportsperson could be my hero; making it more acceptable for gay men to come out in an environment that is dominated by macho behaviours, like football, where they spank each other’s arses at any given opportunity.  But no.  Maybe it could be Joan of Arc; apparently she wasn’t a lesbian, but she was examined and was declared ‘a virgin true and entire’… I doubt they had strap-ons in the 1400s so maybe she participated in some alternative lady-loving dalliances. Not her either.
My hero is someone entirely different. Someone that has made many a lesbian see through rose tinted specs. I flicked through the Power List of gay people from a certain site, and saw that RuPaul was number 50 and nearly scrunched up this article and gave up there and then. But then I realised, looking through lists, scouring the internet or asking my friends, won’t tell me who my hero is.
Then it clicked.  Clare Balding.
Clare Balding stands for everything that is good in the world.  She’s painfully intelligent having studied at Cambridge, she has been with her partner Alice (also awfully intelligent – turn on), for 7 years which makes our ‘relationships’ with girls we meet at Candy bar seem fleeting, to say the least. Clare is also a sporting maestro, having presented everything from the horse racing (exciting for 2 minutes out of an hour long broadcast), to the Olympics (swimsuits, gymnasts, muscles and  beach volleyball – I can see why she likes it) and is one of very few gay women in the UK to be at the forefront of primetime TV shows watched by millions across the country.  She has had obstacles in her way, having to defend women from comments from the EVER SO ATTRACTIVE television critic AA Gill, who expressed that some women are too ugly to be on TV. The comments were not passed at her, but she could not stand back and allow another woman to be discriminated against so freely by a man, for her looks.
But she has made it OK.  OK to be gay, have a girlfriend, be out, be out in public, be out on TV; just to be.  She was made OBE by the Queen, proving once and for all that the Queen definitely loves the gays. Her passion and excitement for life, love and sport are beautiful to see and that is why Ms Balding is my gay hero.
Luisa is a personal trainer, freelance Marketing Consultant and Chelsea supporter who loves nothing more than a nice glass of red wine, good food and the English countryside. You can follow Luisa’s tweets here:@lu1820

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