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It seems to me the world is becoming more confusing by the minute. Across the pond, in New York, a strange phone poll has emerged. The Community Health Survey, an annual telephone survey of New York residents, has discovered that there are more men who classify themselves as being "normal" heterosexual males having sex with other men in the city than there are those who see themselves as being gay. The figures appear to show that three times as many "straight" New York men are having sex with other men than their gay counterparts. There have been other surveys in the past that have shown that far more US men have sex with men than identify as gay one found that although 9% said they were gay or bisexual, half as many again (14.3%) had actually had sex with other men but this is the first time that a study has shown there are more straight men than gay ones doing it with men. I'm glad to see one young man has it all worked out. David Bridge, a 15 year old gay boy, put on a tiara and a long dress and became the new carnival queen for a Somerset town. Thousands of Axbridge locals lined the streets to cheer our hero after he beat three girls for the title of Blackberry Queen. Well done, David! And well done Axbridge! Out in the sticks hasn't meant being behind the times for this town! Here in Blackpool things are kicking off already in preparation for Blackpool Pride 2007. Do put your sunglasses on first though, it's as camp and colourful as a Pride should be! And next week (Friday 6th October) there will be Press Releases issued and a load of news appearing on the website and in local newsletters etc. I'm bursting to tell you all about it now, but I mustn't you'll have catch it on the Pride site next Friday! Something else to put in your diaries: on Saturday 27th January at 8pm Blackpool's Grand Theatre plays host to the audience partici . . . pation Sing a Long a Rocky Horror Picture Show, with their bars open from 7pm till very late. The campest cult classic of all time (not having an airing often enough these days, I reckon) gets what it has always been screaming for the full sing a long a treatment. Fancy dress is recommended (there's even a competition), and Riff Raff are welcome! Don't forget to bring all the accessories! What a night! Drag it up for the theatre, and then drag yourselves around our fabulous gay scene afterwards! See you there, it's not too far to come it's just a jump to the left, and a step to a great night! You must remember how not too long ago Sir Ian McKellen suggested that "Gay" should be superseded by "Gorgeous" since the latest street oakley idaho weather talk uses the presently adopted word derogatorily, mustn't you? Well, last week the Liberal Democrat Youth and Students (LDYS) launched a campaign to stop homophobic bullying in schools, and at the centre of the campaign are hundreds of pink badges bearing the satirical slogan "Homophobia is Gay". The badges, which we're told will be available to new students through 150 dedicated LDYS stalls and are also being sent to freshers fairs all around the country, are part of a larger Liberal Democrat campaign which calls for the Education and Inspections Bill to be amended. They want elements of the bill to be changed, and for teachers to be trained in how to tackle homophobic bullying. It's all commendable stuff, but I'm not too sure about those badges. What do you think? Somehow I can't see the word "gorgeous" working for homosexual males. Gay seems apt, and it has been around now for quite some time. It works. I think we should stick with it. Street slang changes fashion frequently left alone, the derogatory usage of the word may be gone before we know it, so perhaps those badges weren't such a good idea. The everyday usage of a word can often have a limited lifetime. The latest "in word" for the UK seems to be: diversity it's like a oakley idaho underground prison plum in a councillor's mouth but a word that is still bandied around a lot these days, often by some hopefully as a means of being seen to be tackling a serious problem, is: initiative. It's a word that now has no meaning to it certainly not in its original and true sense it has been abused. Just about every town and city in our country has had its "initiatives" to tackle various issues. A common one has been binge drinking. Like Blackpool everyone will no doubt have suffered the obligatory photographs in their local press of senior police officers, councillors, and publicans all wallowing in self congratulation at some initiative ceremony. And like Blackpool everyone will no doubt have noticed very little change. The promises of those initiatives a common one: for the licenced premises not to offer stupid drink promotions are apparently soon forgotten. You realise this as you have to side step the giant A board standing outside a bar telling you just how much drink you can get for next to nothing should you choose to visit them that evening. The photographs of those grinning faces then leap back into your mind, and you begin to despair. Licenced premises should survive on how good they are, on what they provide, and on what kind of a service it is that they can offer their punters. Their drinks should be priced fairly, and according to the market. I believe that the main attraction to any venue should never be the price of their drinks, or on how much a person can get down their neck there for the least amount of money. It should always be on how good is the venue. Until that is the case we shall never stop the binge drinking. We must start believing that any venue unable to hold its own without pouring ridiculously priced drinks down the throats of its punters is not really worth a visit that is, not unless you truly are a pss artist! When the people all around you are going to get beyond being sociably merry and become a nuisance, a real pain as they invariably do in these types of cheap liquor places, one is wise to enjoy one's evening elsewhere. It's a sad reflection on the licenced industry that today so few publicans realise that stupid and regular drink promotions are only a short term fix, and that they can be the nails in the coffin for many an establishment as their clientele base changes, until one day they find they are surviving only on the dregs of society. They have become no longer the place to go the place to be seen. It's happened here in Blackpool before, once popular places have deteriorated into merely just surviving, and no doubt it has happened wherever in the world you are reading this. Had those much publicised "initiatives" been strictly adhered to, enforced throughout, then today many venues would be far nicer places to visit and so too would many of our towns and cities! Something to consider: there's many a young binge drinker who has never really had a great and enjoyable night out. They truly believe that what they do getting rat arsed and ill every night they can is it. Most of us have been there and done that at some time or another. But for most of us it was very short lived, wasn't it? We were able to discover that there was better out there. I feel it's such a shame that society today hasn't allowed a whole generation to do likewise, to be enlightened as we were, for it is society as a whole that has created the binge drinker not the alcohol.

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