Thank you to my friend CJ for inspiring this story. CJ is a phenomenal artist, and although heterosexual, he is a great ally and takes censorship very seriously. Lee Hall, who wrote Billy Elliot, had his new opera, Beached, cancelled by England’s Opera North for homophobic reasons. The Leeds-based Opera North told Hall to change the following lyrics:
Of course I’m queer / That’s why I left here / So if you infer / That I prefer / A lad to a lass / And I’m working class / I’d have to concur…
Hall refused to change the lyrics and now Beached has been beached. Despite Hall’s protests Opera North did not budge in its decision. To his credit, Hall offered to do some education of the stakeholders:
The writer even offered to pay for courses by the gay, lesbian, and bisexual charity Stonewall to educate the community on homosexuality and tolerance. Local officials rejected the idea.
It is clear that we have a long way to go before we reach full equality and can be rid of double standards between heterosexuals and the LGBT community. Click here to see the full article. Unfortunately in this specific instance bigotry and hypocrisy prevailed. But the fight is not over. We who believe in Freedom cannot rest until it comes. –Sweet Honey in the Rock