I am gay, it seems. Not a coming-out speech, in fact gay is something I'm completely satisfied I am not. But I'm told I'm gay, because a bunch of teenagers on bikes screamed homophobic abuse at me last night.
My Big Gay Crime? Being a big scruffy bloke photographing a flower in the park. Yes, that's right, photographing flowers makes you gay.
Harm done: nil. A little shaken at the time, but even homophobic teenagers can tell that someone like me could self-defend the living crap out of them.
Would I have attracted their attention had I been presenting as female? Of course I would, had they identified me as transgender. But then again from a distance they probably wouldn't have seen anything but a woman crouching over a clump of flowers with a camera so I'd have not attracted their attention in the first place. Women are allowed to photograph flowers in homophobe-world.
Today I will report the incident to the police. There is no chance they'll be caught, though they might be on CCTV that would be expecting too much. But hate speech is a crime in the UK and crimes are tackled on the basis of statistics here, so by reporting it I will at least ensure that the crime is taken more seriously .
The picture shows the gay flowers in question. Not framed well and I'm not happy with the light. Being interrupted by yobs plays havoc with your photography. But I'm rather proud of it nevertheless, for what it represents.
I will photograph flowers wherever and whenever I damn well want to.